The Waste to Gold team from St Thomas Girls Kilifi, emerged the ultimate victors of the Sote Innovation Fair 5th Edition that was held at CIT this year. Bagging the Best Innovative Idea trophy and winning a trip to the Unites States of America to participate in a competition over there, the young ladies showed great prowess in the world of innovation with their project. Voi2day got a hold of the team and had a sit down after their victory and helped get insight on who they were and their future aspirations.
v2d: Who are the waste to gold team?
We are a team of four young ladies who have been brought together with the determination to solve societal problems by using scientific and innovation techniques. Our team leader in Amina Mohammed and we aspire to reach further places through our exploits.
v2d: What is the project waste to gold all about and how did you go about it?
Our startup was about creating work opportunities, we are out to cub the biggest problem in Kenya today, unemployment for the youth. We use available resources plus waste material to make affordable welding machines for the youth. We use sea water and plastic jerricans, through this we are able to use brine welding to step up voltage which will help reduce the cost of welding.
v2d: What was the inspiration behind the start up?
Many youth end up jobless when they finish school, they have nothing to do. We saw the need to create a business opportunity and provide a solution to the menace of unemployment.
The tapping into the blue economy and utilizing of marine resources was an eye opener to us. Apart from the salt we get from sea, there is a need to put the water into a different use.
v2d: How does it feel to be the ultimate victors of the 2019 innovation fair?
Wow…we are humbled to be the victors of the 2019 innovation fair. Thanks to God for the gift of life, we too thank our dear Patron Mr. Bonface Keya for the mentorship. Not to forget the organizers of the event for giving us an opportunity to participate in this year’s exhibitions.
We feel extremely privileged to also be going to the USA courtesy of the Sote Fair, it feels like a dream and not something we actually thought we could have achieved especially being first time participants.
v2d: What was your experience at the event, and how would you rate it?
It was marvelous, well organized. It was one of its class, judges were friendly, what a life experience to have on our first exhibition in such style!
v2d: What are the future plans with the waste to gold project?
We wish to get partnership from investors, patent and register a company in our names so as to have mass production of our product. We believe the waste to gold project can be much bigger than it is currently and it has greater potential. We aspire to help youths around the country grow.
v2d: Major challenges the group encountered while the project was underway?
For sure balancing class work and innovation is a real task to perform. As girls we could try and multitask. A times finances has been a challenge. The big one is determining how much voltage is used or stepped down during electrolysis. We are working on the modification to have a digital voltmeter on our machine to do that.
v2d: What other interests do you have besides innovation?
As a group we have a major concern for our environment, we know it is our duty as citizens to ensure it is conserved. We therefore take a keen interest in the managing and conserving our environment. Ashley Sweddy and Naomi Kerubo who are members of the group are great debaters and they have participated in contests.
v2d: What do you hope to become in future?
We have great aspirations. With passion in innovation and creativity we would like to be investors in the world of technology and business. Ashley however wants to have a career in mass media and communication.
v2d: A word of encouragement to fellows’ students and innovators.
Passion, determination and sacrifice is the spring board to success in innovation. Always have passion and determination in all that you do.
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