Zimbabwe Red Cross Society

Climate Change Project Proposal Writing Competition

University Red Cross Youth Clubs

 Project background

The Red Cross Red Crescent movement has been actively involved in the humanitarian consequences of climate change for more than a decade and particularly in recent years young people have been playing an ever growing role in responding to these challenges. In 2009, hundreds of youths of the Red Cross Red Crescent movement met in Solferino, Italy for the World Red Cross Youth meeting which had Climate Change as one of its key focus themes. A Youth Declaration and Call to Action was drafted which confirmed young people’s  commitment to live up to their commitments on climate change and make little moves every day,

using youth peer education to change communities as well as to advocate strongly on climate change adaptation, including the protection of climate migrants. The Youth Declaration also called on National Societies to follow through on existing commitments on climate change and called on the governments of the world and on the international community to: Create active and dynamic partnerships at all levels, to address climate change migration and adaptation. Preparing for and responding to the emerging humanitarian effects of climate change, such as the protection of climate migrants has been strongly advocated for as well. Strategy 2020 of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) re-affirms the Red Cross’ commitment to responding to climate change and its human impact. One of the expected impacts of strategic aim 2 of Strategy 2020 is greater public adoption of environmentally sustainable living. Strategy 2020 also reconfirms the IFRC’s commitment to communities, and volunteering through taking action to build strong National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Part of the expected impact is greater youth leadership and participation in National Society and community affairs.

The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society’s Youth Development programme has as one of its goals, recruitment of youth volunteers from universities and creation of branches at a the universities in the country, and giving the opportunity for university students to actively contributes to the Zimbabwe Red Cross’ efforts towards alleviating human suffering at country level. The national society has since 2009 advanced involvement of students in the Red Cross’ humanitarian activities through the establishment of Red Cross Students clubs and branches, starting with the University of Zimbabwe where the first Red Cross Club was established in 2009. The current initiative is set to see the expansion and spread of the youth clubs to other 5 main universities in the country, thereby giving more university level youths equal opportunity to participate in the Red Cross efforts to mitigate the humanitarian challenges resulting from climate change and other manmade disasters.

Project Goal

  • The project is, first and for most aimed at facilitating formation of Red Cross youth branches through creation of Red Cross clubs at the targeted institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe.
  • Encourage and promote development research in the area of climate change among university youths. Research is expected to ultimately bring about youth driven development in issues related to the environment.
  • The project aims at bringing about positive change in university youth in protecting the environment and facilitates their assumption of “Youth as Agents of Change” role. The assumption is that with knowledge comes change of attitudes, behaviours and practices within the youths and the communities around them.
  • The initiative seeks to capacity build young people through enhancing their research and proposal writing skills. This component is envisioned to go a long way in preparing young people for post university development work.
  • With this kind of empowerment it is assumed that young people will be able to develop various climate change frameworks that can eventually influence the national climate change strategy and policy in Zimbabwe.
  • Provide a platform for university students to profile their research capabilities and potential for contributing to environmental development.
  • The project also has the objective of assisting university students through the various prizes that are lined up for winning. This is a way of rewarding talent to outstanding students.

Project Design

A project proposal Writing Competition shall be run in the 6 universities namely;

  •     University of Zimbabwe (UZ)
  •     Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE)
  •     Africa University (AU)
  •     Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT)
  •     Midlands State University (MSU)
  •     National University of Science and Technology (NUST)

A call for proposals shall be made to registered students at the above stated universities. All students who meet, or are willing to meet the following eligibility criterion shall be free to participate in the project proposal writing competition on “Strengthening Community Preparedness for Climate Change effects in Zimbabwe”.  The competition is designed to give a unique opportunity for Zimbabwean university students to write innovative and practicable project proposals on the above topic and stand a chance to win valuable prizes for show casing their competency in this field.

Submitted proposals shall be handed to a technical team for primary short listing into the final round for adjudication by the panel.  The panel shall analyse the feasibility and capability of the proposal to building resilient communities for climate change preparedness in an identified community in Zimbabwe. The judgement shall seek to analyse the following aspects of the project proposals.

1. Merit of the project proposal which will basically be shown by the persuasion of the ideas and methodology put down by the writer.

2. Originality of the project idea.  

3. The relevance of the identified climate change situation or effects in the selected community.

4. The potential of the intervention strategy to enhance community preparedness for the consequences of climate change making use of locally available resources and skills.

5. Chronological presentation of ideas in the project document and how they all contribute to the overall argument.

Three outstanding proposals shall be shortlisted at each university to enter into the final round of the competition. Results of the shortlisted proposals shall be conveyed to the writers through the Red Cross club and the Deans of Student’s office at the university. The best 3 proposals from each university shall then be put into a pool of a total of 18 proposals form all the participating universities. The 18 proposals shall then be analysed further by a national adjudication committee, the process of which will result in the best 6 proposals being selected for winning of the national prizes. The 6 winning proposals will then be awarded with prizes in the following order:

  •     Best Project Proposal:                                                       HP Probook Laptop                                                        
  •     Second best project proposal:                                           Acer Laptop                                                                         
  •     Third prize                                                                         University tuition fees for two semesters                            
  •     Fourth prize                                                                       Hp note book laptop                                                       
  •     Fifth prize                                                                           University tuition fees for one semesters            
  •     Sixth prize                                                                          Nokia 5233                                                                                        

An award giving ceremony shall be held at one central university where all 6 winners from across the universities will come to receive their prizes. The prize giving occasion shall be preceded by an inter-universities climate change debate to be participated by the best 3 from each of the universities. The purpose of the debate will be among other things, to assess the students’ intellect levels and knowledge of climate change issues in a global context, apart from the researched material in the proposals.

On the prize giving day all the 6 winners shall have an opportunity to make a 5 minute power point presentation of their proposals before a panel of the judges. The presentations are meant to authenticate the proposals and prove ownership of the ideas by the writers. Apart from the project ideas put on paper, this process will also give the students the opportunity to showcase their presentation skills, confidence levels and clarity of presentation.

Requirements for the project proposals:

The Project Proposal should contain a two page concept note covering project summary. It should

Include the justification, project objectives should be clearly defined with measurable indicators

Within a logical framework, implementation area, relevance, methodology, outcomes, M& E plan

and sustainability model.

Eligibility Criteria:

1. Interested students must first and foremost join the local Red Cross club and become members of the university youth branch. Becoming a member of the Red Cross youth entails payment of an annual subscription fee of USD 5.00, which goes towards supporting the Zimbabwe Red Cross’ humanitarian work. All members shall be issued with membership cards which will act as their passport for entry into the competition

2. Competitors must be 30 years of age and below. This is in line with the Zimbabwe Red Cross youth policy’s definition of youth.

3. Only one Proposal will be entertained from one participant.

4. All Project Proposals should be submitted on or before 18 November 2011. Proposals submitted after this dead line shall not be  accepted.

Post-Competition Clubs’ sustainability

After the competitions, members of the Red Cross Youth clubs are expected to maintain vibrant youth branches and clubs at their local universities. Members must meet regularly and plan activities that can be supported by the local provincial ZRCS office or by the Headquarters. Student members must be proactive and innovative in coming up with on and off-campus activities and sustainability strategies for their branches,being guided by the ZRCS Youth policy and the Red Cross fundamental principles. Some of the activities that are in line with the work of the Zimbabwe Red Cross, which youth members can carry out include;

  •     Clean up campaigns on campus and off-campus.
  •     Tree planting and gully re-clamations in neglected but dangerous areas.
  •     First Aid training and practice for coverage during on campus sporting events and emergencies.
  •     Edutainment and theatre activities
  •     Resource mobilisation activities for supporting vulnerable people who may include Orphans, the elderly and child headed families.

Formation a branch means that the members will have to constitute the branch executive through holding of branch elections, being guided by the ZRCS Youth by-Laws.