South African Innovation Prize Awarded

October 28th, 2010

The first ever South African Innovation Prize was awarded on Saturday 23 October 2010  to Humairah Jassat. The prize, created by ALA and supported by the Sunday Times, honours a young leader who has created a sustainable and effective venture to improve his or her community. Ms Jassat, 19, created the Pink Hijaab Day campaign, which uses pink head scarves to draw attention to breast cancer awareness, and also to help others understand and see Mulsim women beyond the stereotypes. Ms Jassat was awarded R70,000, to be divided between her project and herself, as part of the prize.

The finalists for the South African Innovation Prize were:

Shiksha Lutchmipersadh is a student at Newlands Secondary School, currently doing Matric. Shiksha is the project leader of the Drug Prevention Project in her school and a youth coordinator in the area. She found that once people saw that drugs affected them in a negative way there was a decrease in substance abuse as pupils became involved in other activities. At school, Shiksha managed to get ±1400 students trained as drug marshalls, as well as working on the HIV/AIDS program, the literacy program and the Young Women Empowerment program.

Dineo Lettie Molema is a student at Sekuruwe Secondary School who has been working on Expanding the Value of the Proposition of Mphuthulle Drop-in Centre. The project is a family/community project that was originated by the Dineo’s mother. Dineo came up with an idea using the platform to help other kids with life skills. The project is targeted at children at the feeding scheme and drop-in centre feeding the needy, helping other pupils with their homework.

Eugene Khoza is currently involved with the Currigude Learning Project, which gives literacy skills to the elderly. The Project is helping the community in that it educates the elderly to read and write, thus reducing their susceptibility to fraud in the banks; it also helps build communication within the community. Eugene finished matric last year at Phahameng High School.

Humairah Jassat created the Breast Cancer Awareness —Pink Hijaab Day campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and to work with communities to build an understanding of Muslim women. On the Pink Hijaab Day, Muslim women wear a pink scarf in solidarity with breast cancer sufferers. The project has raised cancer awareness in the community, raised money for cancer SA and built solidarity among people.

Humairah completed her matric last year at Azadville Muslim School.

Ross McReath is a student at St Andrew’s in Grahams Town, currently doing grade 11. Ross is the founder and project leader of the Tiger Town Cricket Club Project in Nolukhanya. The Project was initiated to provide the youth with opportunities to play soccer and cricket and create facilities and to meet other teams. The project was about improving the lives of young children in the township, steering the youngsters away from crime.

Gordon Ballantyne is a student at Graham College, currently doing grade 12. Gordon has been conducting experiments with the spiders, controlling their diet to determine what effect this has on their spider webs. The spiders are fed various items that humans consume including Coca-Cola, coffee and other man-made staples, and the effects are catalogued. The results help the community and all mankind to see what is safe for human consumption.

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