Students from National Chengchi University win the 2015 Hult Prize

Students from National Chengchi University win the 2015 Hult Prize
由左至右為薩爾瓦多艾安禮(Andres)、台灣陳安穠、加拿大史泰勒(Taylor Scobbie)、宏都拉斯潘方砥(Juan Diego)。Photo Credit:IMPCT.co
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The four members of the team, IMPCT, all come from different countries and aim to raise funds to build schools in slums all over the world and foster community teachers to provide better education for children in these areas.

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Four graduate students from the IMBA program at National Chengchi University have won the US$ 1 million Hult Prize hosted by former US President Bill Clinton with their sustainable early education solutions. The four members of the team, IMPCT, all come from different countries and aim to raise funds to build schools in slums all over the world and foster community teachers to provide better education for children in these areas.

UDN reports, the Hult Prize was initiated by former US President Bill Clinton and encourages participating teams to find solutions to pressing social issues through business models. This year’s challenge was, “Early Childhood Education Challenge." 21 thousand teams from around the world participated in the challenge, and IMPCT went from being bench players into top six in the world.

CNA reports, one of the team members, Chen An-nung, says besides establishing the first preschool education center in the La Cuchilla community in Antiguo Cuscatlán (a city in El Salvador), the team plans to set up a similar facility in Nicaragua. It will also promote a language program in Taiwan to help solve the problems of early childhood education for aboriginals and those in remote areas.

When the team first formed, it found that preschool children in El Salvador and Honduras were often taken care of by aunties in the community for US$ 1 per day. But the iron sheet enclosed space the children were sent to was very simple. There was no light in the classrooms and the children even had to go to the bathroom in puddles of water. This inspired the team to establish an education investment platform.

Chen says after they identified the slums that were in urgent need of schools, they put the renovation project onto to the platform, including location, number of students, business status and financial reports. The citizens then decide if they want to invest or not and obtain part of the shares as a partner of the school. The school is made sustainable through surplus produced from actual operation.

CNA reported in April that the team has raised US$ 25 thousand on the fundraising platform and will use US$ 20 thousand renovate schools in El Salvador. It also invited licensed teachers and community members to go through training and counseled them to help operate the school. The school fees will be used to make the school self-sufficient.

The remaining US$ 5,000 is used to establish a dedicated education investment platform. In addition to showing investors the results of the school’s renovation, the team also hopes to put future renovation plans onto the Internet to raise more funds. IMPCT second renovation program will target Honduras and will gradually extend to places all over the world, including rural areas in Taiwan, like Nantou area.

Translated by Olivia Yang

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