By Elias Hakizimana.
A group of students from Riviera High School in Kigali were recognised yesterday by YES High School awards for their innovative idea to invent a paper recycling machine that will be useful to protect environment and make sheet of paper available for your use.
Omella Karangira, 16, one of the students in senior four at the School said that the initiative came after observing the problem of wasted papers in the country and was in line with complementing the country’s current initiatives to ensure environmental protection.
The awards given to the students include Rwf125,000 thanks to the contribution of the Bank of Kigal, and a brand new smart phone worth more than Rwf145,000 through the support of MTN-Rwanda.
Gatera Umurerwa Audrey, 16, one of the group of the students awarded in this school is pursuing her lessons in senior four. She told The Inspirer that the award becomes the second for two projects that she conceived after her first one dubbed “Nature Talent Club” operating in the school.
“We have won the second place in the YES Conference where we presented our project called “paper recycling company” by giving feedback and reliable resources, reliable budget and health we want,” said Umurerwa.
She said that the awards mean a lot to her as having achieved such a significant innovation is pride to herself, her colleagues and the community.
“I am happy that I have done something that can help me to accomplish my dream with my own thinking and innovation. We are helping our environment to be more productive by keeping it clean through reduction of air pollution, she added.
“One of us came up with the idea and we joined our hands, and we designed it all together,” Umurerwa added.
She mentioned that the machine will cost them $2million, pointing out that they already have have Rwf125,000 from the awards, and that they need to collect more funds from the government to make the project viable.
“Our targeted funds can come from our parents, Business Development Fund (BDF), which can also fund us on 75 percent of what we need. Through that, we can collect enough money for shipping and buying our machine,” Umurerwa noted.
Arsene Ndayishimiye, a senior 6-student in Mathematics, Physics and Geography (MPG) is among the group of winners, he said that the money they got will be useful to boost the first project ‘Nature Talent Club’ of Umurerwa that is operating in school.
Cedrick Nyagatare, in senior five, is also a member of the nature talent project in the school and was among the winners. He said the money they were awarded will help them expanding other projects.
“This money is going to motivate us continue expanding our businesses, we thank All Trust Consult to give us this opportunity, it has really motivated us to work so hard and if anyone wants to help us, we are ready to do the best,” Nyagatare said.
Frank Rubaduka, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of All Trust Consult that organizes Yes High School Awards said that he believes these students have potential and just need motivation to run successful projects.
He said that at this time around, the final contesters were from Lycee de Kigali, Green Hills Academy, Riviera High School, Widove and Fawe Girls School.
“We came up with YES conference as a platform to help startups and we have partnered with financial institutions including Bank ok Kigali and MTN to fundraise all these funds to award the best projects. So, we believe in this guys, we believe in their viable ideas and projects and we believe they can get little support. What we do is not really funding but to give them seed capital to venture; and we stay around them to try catching up with them in writing and orienting their projects,” said Rubaduka.
About YES High school awards
YES Awards means Youth Entrepreneurship Startups that actually be organized in two categories: YES awards High School and YES Campus awards. The initiative that is a project of All Trust Consult Ltd is sponsored by Bank of Kigali and MTN Rwanda.
YES Awards was introduced in 2018 by All Trust Consult Ltd where business leaders meet and inspire high school students to create jobs than seeking. YES=Youth Entrepreneurship Start-ups.
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