Four China Enactus teams were selected by a panel of Ford Motor Company representatives as winners of the 2014–2015 Ford College Community Challenge Building Sustainable Communities Project Partnership. The teams receive a $5,000 USD grant to implement their projects.
The Harbin Engineering University Enactus team is training disabled women to create and sell fish skin paintings, a traditional Chinese art. The team will continue training the women to master their skill to produce quality art while leveraging a variety of sales channels, including exhibitions, online platforms and tourist shops. The women also receive ongoing business training from the team, including areas such as marketing and negotiation to increase their profits. As a result, the team is improving women’s livelihoods while promoting traditional Chinese culture.
The Jilin University Enactus team has created an innovative solution to rural waste by converting garbage into enzymes to produce eco-friendly multi-purpose cleaners. Partnering with local garbage companies, unemployed individuals will be hired to manage the collection of organic waste. Once the waste is transformed, the new product can be used to clean a variety of materials including floors, dishes and clothes. The team aims to reduce soil, water and air pollution while providing income opportunities for local residents.
The Nanjing Agricultural University Enactus team saw opportunity to convert discarded straw into an eco-friendly fertilizer. Discarded straw is typically burned inefficiently, which causes air pollution. The team has mastered a new technology that heats straw without oxygen, resulting in carbon fertilizer. The team has introduced the new technology to a struggling straw processing factory that can now effectively recycle straw and generate profit from the new fertilizer. Moreover, local farmers will also increase their income by selling straw to the factory, resulting in a ripple effect of positive impact in the wider community.
The Sun Yat-sen University Enactus team is training farmers from a poor, isolated island village to utilize banana leaves to cultivate and sell mushrooms. For decades, banana farms were the main source of income. However, 10 years ago, Panama disease struck the island and severely affected the crop quality and output. The team saw opportunity to transform fields of abandoned banana leaves into cost-saving mushroom fertilizer. By training members of a farming cooperative to cultivate mushrooms and revitalize the banana fields, the team aims to improve the economic development of the island in a sustainable way.