“The entrants displayed a great breadth and depth of knowledge. Congratulations to all involved. I will be sharing these with my CAS students as inspiration for future projects.”CAS Project Challenge judge and CAS Coordinator, Tanya Edney, Canada.
A highlight of every year, our CAS Project Challenge is a global competition for teams of student changemakers to showcase their positive impact projects to the world. In 2021, we received 61 CAS Project entries featuring 286 students from 32 countries worldwide. As always, we were blown away by the creativity, dedication, and innovation on display, and although our 29 judges were ultimately able to determine a winner — picking the top spot was no easy task.
In addition to acknowledging the tremendous work of this year’s winner, we would like to take the opportunity to share some of the other projects that our judges found truly exceptional. This is by no means an exhaustive list, as we were impressed with every entry we received this year and are heartened to know there are so many passionate and innovative young people enacting positive change around the world.
Hailing from Sinarmas World Academy in South Tangerang, Indonesia, Project Limitless comprises six student members—Eunike Mangampa, Fatimah Suptandar, Nathania Chan, Sehyun Chung, Crystalia Liaw, Gisela Kasena, and was overseen by their supervisor and CAS Coordinator, Elma Moeloek.
Their team’s vision was built upon the premise that without proper exposure to the arts and creative fields, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Indonesia are unable to dream limitlessly. To begin addressing this issue, they focused their energy on one struggling classroom, which was doing their best to manage under the difficult situation of having countless students and just a handful of teachers.
In addressing the fourth UN SDG, Quality Education, Project Limitless collaborated with a variety of other groups to provide school supplies and host weekly virtual lessons. They taught 10 different subjects, ranging from meteorology to dance. By exposing students to a wide variety of ideas and lessons that they would not otherwise have access to, they assisted them in discovering and cultivating new passions and creative talents that would allow them to dream without limit. As their efforts were met with such success, they plan to expand their access to more schools in the future.
Shei Ascencio, an Service Learning Consultant & Coach, selected Project Limitless as her favorite entry, commenting, “I’m always in awe of what youth can achieve when they’re empowered. Something that stood out to me is the collaboration and reciprocity done within their community and partnerships. When a project is done from the start in collaboration with the community (issue or need at hand) the results are much more impactful and sustainable.”
Period to the period
Period to the period is a project organized by female students from St. Catherine’s Moorlands School in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The team consists of Delfina Strazzolini, Trinidad Loza, Isabel Cancian, Maria Agustina Merlo and is supervised by Paz Costantini.
Their project aimed to provide access to sustainable menstrual management products for the members of a low-income school for girls in their community. Their efforts started with thorough research, through which they found that, in Argentina, two in every five girls skip school because of lack of access to menstrual management products. When you add in the cost of the products, which serves to further disenfranchise women (especially those living below the poverty line), and the environmental cost of traditional menstrual management products (132,000 tons of waste produced in Argentina originates from non-biodegradable pads and tampons), they knew something had to be done.
Through the three lenses of social, economic, and sustainable, they arrived at a solution of providing all low-income women and girls with reusable menstrual cups.
However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing and in the beginning their school did not agree with displaying brochures in the corridors that contained real photos of a menstrual cup. Nevertheless, they were determined to fight the taboo and went through the necessary steps to explain and justify their project to school administrators.
One of our judges, Danielle van Rooyen, selected Period to Period as her top pick, saying, “The Period project had to navigate significant opposition to achieve their goal. These students should be running CAS workshops for new students for sure!”
The six members of Team Ocean Eyes, Ilana Alibhai, Aryen Muravvej, Maria Thathiya, Omar Mwambumba, Aahil Tejani, and Ilyana Jiwa, along with their supervisor, Natasha Haque, were determined to create a project aimed at enabling students to nurture a deeper appreciation for nature in their home country of Kenya. Building upon this foundation, they have been hard at work implementing sustainable projects related to marine conservation.
Through research, they learned that the rise in sea temperatures caused by global warming affects approximately 75 % of the corals along the Kenyan coast and they were determined to take action. In addressing UN SDG 14, Life Below Water, and UN SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production—they devised a two-year plan to work with various schools through a three-phase process.
- Phase 1- Students attend educational workshops on marine conservation.
- Phase 2- students partner with a local organization, Oceans Alive Trust, that aims to conserve the Kenyan coast. Through this partnership, students learn to construct their own coral table.
- Phase 3- Students are encouraged to develop their own marine conservation projects.
So far, they have completed the first and second phases. Along the way, they have been conducting tests to evaluate students’ change in attitude and increase in knowledge. The results indicate that students have become much more attuned to how these ecosystems work, their connection to the community, and the need to fight to protect these environments.
Defend our youth
Vanshika Panchloriya, Aarya Jain, Harshita Hegde, Rachit Vikamshi, Gurudatta Mali are students from the Sanjay Ghodawat International School, who created the project Defend Our Youth under the guidance of their supervisor, Dushyant Avijit.
Defend Our Youth is an awareness program for underprivileged youth that tackles the complex topics of sexual assault and harassment, sex education, and reproductive health. These young people were motivated by the belief that although there are unfortunate realities surrounding sexuality in our world, there are meaningful measures we can take to protect those who are most vulnerable.
They organized educational programs to teach students what to do if they find themselves in a problematic situation, actions to protect themselves, and who to contact for help. Their efforts helped children from underprivileged schools to understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching and how they can say no. They also taught lessons on feminine hygiene, how to avoid UTIs and other vaginal infections, in addition to navigating menstruation. They shared their knowledge with other organizations to receive support and strengthen the impact of their project.
Hande Yesilkaya, IBDP CAS Coordinator, ranked Defend Our Youth number one, saying,
“It was also great to see the young people working in teams and planning towards a better version of the world we live in.”Hande Yesilkaya, IBDP CAS Coordinator
These are just a handful of the exceptional CAS Projects that were submitted as part of last year’s CAS Project Challenge. You can view and learn more about the other entries we received here and find the details of how to participate in the 2022 CAS Project Challenge on this page.