The application process:

The applications underwent two independent ratings in the first round of the process following a scoring system of 15 different aspects. Nearly 200 applicants were asked in the first round of the process to send us documentation and a detailed project outline. Among them, 30 participants were selected to conduct video conference interviews.

Evangelista Vambe from Zimbabwe. She aims to address human-wildlife conflicts using chilli bombs – an innovative, non-lethal solution to protect crops by scaring the elephants away. The project will involve conducting research to assess the effectiveness of chilli bombs, developing a training program for farmers on how to make and use them, and implementing a pilot project in selected communities. In the short term, the project aims to distribute and promote the use of chilli bombs as a non-lethal method to scare away elephants from crop fields, thereby reducing crop damage and economic losses for farmers. In the medium term, the project aims to establish community-based monitoring and early warning systems to detect and prevent human-wildlife conflict, as well as to provide training and support for community members to develop sustainable livelihood alternatives.

The project contributes directly to SDG 15 – life on land – by promoting conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, as well as indirectly to SDG 1 – no poverty, and SDG 8 – decent work and economic growth – by reducing crop damage and improving livelihoods for rural farmers. Additionally, the project takes into account gender issues – SDG 5 – by involving women farmers in the training program and ensuring their equal participation in decision-making processes.

Harrison Ashangwa from Cameroon. His project – The Clean Air Initiative Cameroon (CAIC) – is designed to tackle the pressing issue of air pollution in Cameroon. Recognizing that the majority of Cameroonians are breathing polluted air, the initiative sets out to create a significant shift towards cleaner, healthier cities. CAIC’s approach is three-pronged: firstly, it focuses on educating and empowering local environmental champions with the knowledge to lead the charge against air pollution. Secondly, the initiative actively works to change the conversation around transport, aiming to influence policy and public opinion towards more eco-friendly travel options in urban areas like Douala. Lastly, it involves the community at large by raising awareness of air pollution issues and promoting behaviour that contributes to cleaner air.

An innovative aspect of the CAIC is its development of the ‘CleanAirCa’ app, which aims to involve citizens directly in monitoring air quality. This tool is expected to boost public participation in air quality advocacy, leveraging technology for environmental action. By aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals 3 – good health and well-being, 11 – sustainable cities and communities, and 13 – climate action, CAIC not only looks to improve public health but also to support the change towards a climate-resilient future.

Sushmita Krishnan from India. Her innovative project focuses on tackling the environmental challenge posed by water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an invasive aquatic plant. The core idea of the project is to train rural communities, especially women and youth, to make valuable products from this otherwise harmful plant. Sushmita´s vision is to turn an environmental problem into an opportunity for sustainable development. The project aims to restore the balance of the affected wetlands, enhance biodiversity, and create new economic opportunities for the rural population, particularly by empowering women to become entrepreneurs. This approach not only helps to manage the water hyacinth problem but also promotes a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of life.

With this project, Sushmita tends to address several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including no poverty (SDG 1), good health and well-being (SDG 3), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), and sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12), while also emphasizing gender equality (SDG 5) and climate action (SDG 13).

Chimwemwe Tembo from Malawi. The aim of his project is to restore the vitality of Lake Chilwa’s fisheries within the Phalombe District, Malawi. Confronting a high decline in fish stocks and biodiversity, the project will be addressing mainly the critical problem of local fishermen’s disregard for fishing laws, such as using improper nets, fishing during breeding times, and in nursery areas. This initiative’s mission is to educate and empower the local fishing community on the merits of sustainable fishing, thereby aligning with the global directive for sustainable consumption and production – SDG 12. Through this education and empowerment, the project seeks to replenish fish populations, boost local economies, and support community health and welfare, in line with key sustainable development objectives (SDGs 1 – no hunger, and 8 – decent work and economic growth).

Expected benefits of the project include an increase in responsible fishing practices, a diversification of income sources for fishers through new business ventures, and the revitalization of community savings and support groups. The project’s end goal is a future where fishermen harvest mature fish, comply with seasonal fishing regulations, and foster an environment where the youth and women are key players in fishery management, leading to a sustainable and prosperous fishing industry.

Bee Ling Hung from Malaysia. The Reimagine Plastic Project is a pioneering initiative that seeks to transform community approaches to managing plastic waste. By integrating the principles of circular economy, the project is designed to empower marginalized groups through vocational training, enabling them to upcycle plastic waste into valuable products. Aiming for long-term sustainability, the project commits half of all earnings back into the community, fostering economic growth and independence in line with SDG 8.

From Participation in the ISA program, Bee Ling expects to elevate awareness, reduce waste, and in the medium term, spark an upcycling economy that enhances living conditions and embeds sustainable habits within communities. This endeavour not only promotes decent work and economic growth but also actively contributes to poverty alleviation – SDG 1, quality education – SDG 4, and sustainable consumption and production – SDG 12, with a keen focus on gender equality – SDG 5 and climate action – SDG 13.

Djivenson Macius from Haiti. Djivenson is pursuing the Educating Young Haitians on Climate Change initiative, an educational initiative that aims to integrate climate literacy among Haiti’s youth. Haiti is one of the countries most affected by climate change yet the population and especially the youth is almost unaware of the phenomenon. 

The project is in line with SDG 13 – climate action, which aims to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards. The project also supports SDG 4 – quality education, ensuring that young Haitians are informed and prepared to address environmental challenges. Through the ISA program, Djivenson intends to create ecological clubs, which will promote SDG 17 – partnerships for the goals – by encouraging collaborative efforts. These steps are crucial to establishing sustainable practices and awareness, paving the way for Haiti’s youth to become agents of change in their communities.

Ebere Marythelma Onwe from Nigeria. The Girl Adoption Project, led by Ebere, is a strategic response to combat child marriage by promoting education and empowerment for girls in rural communities. By directly addressing the root causes of early marriage – poverty and lack of education – the project is aligned with SDGs 1, 4, and 5, focusing on eradicating poverty, providing quality education, and fostering gender equality.

Through mentorship, educational funding, skill training, and global opportunities, the project empowers girls to break the cycle of poverty and become inspiring figures within society. She expects that her participation in the ISA program will enhance the project’s scope, fostering partnerships to host events that provide scholarships and inform about global opportunities, particularly to girls already benefiting from the project. The short to medium-term vision includes expanding the project’s reach, offering world-class education to beneficiaries, and inspiring change in other regions facing similar challenges.

Madan Poudel from Nepal. His project SARVAGUNA – Catering Healthy Diets in Private/Public Schools is a forward-thinking venture that aspires to change school nutrition. Through the stewardship of Sarvaguna Foods and Kitchen Pvt Ltd, the initiative plans to launch franchises with young social entrepreneurs across Nepal, aiming for 20 new locations by 2026. This project addresses SDG 1 – no poverty, SDG 3 – good health and well-being, SDG 4 – quality education, SDG 5 – gender equality, SDG 12 – responsible consumption and production, and SDG 13 – climate action.

By integrating a robust farm-to-kitchen supply chain prioritizing local produce and sustainability, the project seeks to provide healthy meals to students, enhancing their nutrition and academic performance. Simultaneously, the project serves as a vocational education resource, enhancing skills in sustainable food production and management, which supports economic development and job creation.

Sally Bahati Masha from Kenya. She is leading the Moran Mapping Project, an initiative under the UNO and USAID project” Fahari Ya Jamii” aimed at increasing HIV/AIDS awareness and healthcare access among the Maasai community’s Morans. The project seeks to engage young Maasai men, traditionally isolated as they learn tribal customs, by integrating them into health service programs. This includes tailored outreach activities for HIV prevention and testing, focusing on those at high risk due to their livelihoods, such as Maasai dancers, charcoal burners, and local fishermen. The vision of the project is to empower these Morans with the knowledge to not only protect themselves but also to act as facilitators of health education within their communities.

The expected outcome is a significant increase in male participation in health services, leading to a more health-conscious community and ultimately contributing to SDG 3 – good health and well-being). Working with local leaders, the Moran Mapping Project also aims to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and promote a more inclusive and informed society. The engagement strategies promise short-term improvements in health service utilisation and longer-term improvements in community health and productivity.

Nondas Ferreira da Silva from Brazil. His project, Upscaling Forest Landscape Restoration through Native Seed Collecting with Rural Communities in Minas Gerais, Brazil, is focusing on rejuvenating the vital Cerrado biome. The Cerrado is the largest savanna region in South America. Run by the Cooperative of Restorers of the Cerrado in Minas Gerais (COOCREARP), it puts local communities at the center of environmental management. The project provides training in sustainable seed collection, with the aim of planting 50,000kg of native seeds to heal degraded land and promote biodiversity.

With a commitment to gender equality, the project promotes inclusive participation in seed collection activities, ensuring that benefits reach all community members. By integrating environmental stewardship with economic development, the initiative embodies a model of sustainable growth and aims to make a meaningful contribution to Brazil’s 2030 restoration goals. The program is also creating economic opportunities for people in rural areas, targeting key Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 1 – zero poverty, SDG 2 – zero hunger, SDG 5 – gender equality, SDG 8 – decent work and economic growth, SDG 13 – climate action and SDG 15 – life on land.

Sri Trisnavati from Indonesia leads the Bale Lantan project,  an example of innovative community-led tourism in Lombok, Indonesia. It aims to empower youth through sustainable tourism, equipping them to use local culture and natural beauty responsibly and profitably. The initiative aims to catalyze economic growth while preserving cultural and environmental treasures.

Derived from the local Sasak language, ‘Bale’, meaning ‘home’, symbolises the project’s commitment to authentic experiences that allow tourists to engage with the village´s way of life. It’s an initiative where visitors don’t just travel, but connect deeply with the place, fostering a unique home-away-from-home ethos.

Through the ISA program, Bale Lantan aims to develop youth skills in ecotourism and strengthen global links for knowledge sharing. While stimulating the local economy, the project also aligns with global goals – particularly SDGs 8 and 11 – by promoting decent work and economic growth and supporting sustainable cities and communities through its commitment to cultural and environmental stewardship. Through international cooperation, as embodied in SDG 17, Bale Lantan promotes sustainable tourism with the community at its heart.

Tekla N.M. Amutenya from Namibia. Tekla´s project aims to improve sustainable practices in the supply chains of Namibian companies. Namibia faces challenges in implementing sustainability due to limited awareness, insufficient political support, and financial constraints. The project will assess the current state of sustainability in Namibian supply chains, identify gaps, and provide solutions. Previous research has shown that there is significant room for improvement, with many companies lacking knowledge and incentives for sustainable practices. The strategy includes workshops, training sessions, and conferences focusing on sustainable procurement, green logistics, waste reduction, and stakeholder engagement.

Short-term goals are to raise awareness and promote green procurement and logistics practices among Namibian companies. In the medium term, the project aims to build capacity among supply chain professionals, leading to better waste management and a shift towards a circular economy. It also aims to promote collaboration between companies for a unified approach to sustainability. The project aligns with Sustainable Development Goals 12 – sustainable consumption and production, 13 – climate action, and 17 – partnerships for the goals.


Please note that the project outlines are preliminary and will be further defined. Participants and their projects will be presented in detail, once they have arrived in Germany in our News Blog.

You would like to cooperate with one or more of the scholarship holders? Then please contact the Project Team.