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UNICEF Ghana launches “iIMAGINEghana”: The Social Innovators Challenge for Children

Accra, 18 December 2014.

UNICEF Ghana is proud to announce the upcoming launch of its new iIMAGINEghana challenge in January 2015. In collaboration with the non-profit foundation Reach for Change, the Challenge will identify and support Ghana's next social change makers – individuals or organisations with the passion and potential to make a strong positive impact on the lives of children.

Up to ten change makers with their life-changing ideas will be chosen to enter an innovation incubator programme that provides financial support and business coaching to help them implement and bring these ideas to scale.

The eligibility criteria allow non-profit and for-profit initiatives to apply, as long as they work to improve children’s lives and create significant social impact in one of the following areas: education; child protection; health and nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene; or youth participation.  

The campaign will start in January 2015 when the application period will open and interested candidates can submit their pitch and innovative ideas online. After a rigorous selection process, up to ten exceptional social entrepreneurs, showing the strongest potential impact, will be selected by March 2015. The finalists will each receive a needs-based cash grant and support from the Reach for Change incubator programme to develop and expand their idea. Aside from financial support, the incubator programme provides coaching in areas such as business development, leadership and expansion strategy.

The UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Ms Susan Ngongi, emphasized the relevance of the iIMAGINEghana challenge:

“In 2015, the world will take stock of the progress made against the Millennium Development Goals. We will realize that, in spite of the overall development progress in Ghana and elsewhere, there are many children who have fallen even further behind. Old challenges have combined with new problems to deprive many children of their basic rights in all aspects of life.”

“Therefore, we need new ways of thinking and different ways of doing things, for adults and for children. I am excited that iIMAGINEghana will help us identify impactful ideas and passionate change makers. Certainly, there are many of them out there in Ghana. The incubator programme will try to find them and support them, to create real change in the lives of children who need it most.”

In setting up iIMAGINEghana, UNICEF will partner with the Reach for Change foundation. Their Regional Director for Africa, Amma Lartey, explained how the innovation incubator programme will support the winners:

“The competition will turn passion into reality for six to ten social entrepreneurs. Financial support based on the ideas and the needs of the innovators is only one aspect of the innovation incubator. The programme will provide tailored business advice and entrepreneurial coaching by connecting them to experienced mentors. The change makers will become part of an active network of forward thinking and connected individuals from whom they can receive feedback and grow their ideas. We created iIMAGINEghana to empower social entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place for children.”

“A social change maker is a social entrepreneur. It’s a person who has identified a problem in society and has a great idea of how to fix it. Just like a business entrepreneur, a social innovator needs to be innovative and have a relentless drive to get things done. The social change maker wants to improve the lives of children. And if they want to win the support of UNICEF and Reach for Change, they need to submit a strong and convincing application that their idea is worthy of a place in the incubator programme.” 

Should you be interested in becoming a social change maker or want to know more about the challenge, visit the following websites at www.unicef.org/ghana or www.reachforchange.org/ghana

If you believe you have what it takes to be a Social Change Maker, let us know! Send us an email at ghana@reachforchange.org and we will notify you once the online application platform officially opens in January 2015.

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality.  That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

We believe that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress.  UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path.  We believe that we can, together, advance the cause of humanity.

Read more about UNICEF by visiting www.unicef.org/ghana

About Reach for Change

Reach for Change is an international non-profit foundation, which was co-founded by MTG and other Kinnevik Group companies in 2010. Reach for Change supports social entrepreneurs who improve the lives of children. The foundation selects driven entrepreneurs with strong ideas that are likely to have a clear positive impact. Their projects are anchored in the local communities, and RFC supports them in their development through funding and expert coaching on all aspects of business development.

In 2013, Reach for Change supported a total of 46 social entrepreneurs. As a result, overall Reach for Change helped local communities and entrepreneurs improve the lives of over one million children worldwide.

Read more about Reach for Change by visiting: www.reachforchange.org/ghana 

 

 

 
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