ACS Egham Student Innovator Selected For International Social Impact Award
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ACS Egham Student Innovator Selected For International Social Impact Award

Daniel, a Grade 11 student from ACS International School Egham, is the only student in the UK to receive a prestigious global award that will support his incredible efforts to help address the hunger crisis in Rio de Janeiro. 

Students at ACS Egham

Since March 2020, Daniel, who is just 17-years-old, has been working with his family to fundraise and distribute food and hygiene baskets to communities throughout Rio de Janeiro. To date, the initiative, called Project Cestou, has supported over 5,700 families in 43 communities and is currently distributing around 100 parcels per month. 

The Dr Siva Kumari MYP Student Innovators’ Grant is awarded to up to 30 students studying the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) every year to help them start or continue a social impact project. It is a highly competitive process, with student applicants from around the world. 

With the support of the grant, Daniel is now expanding Project Cestou to initiate long-term structural changes that will help address the root causes of poverty in Rio de Janeiro: health, education and employment.

Having identified a serious unemployment problem in Monte Castelo (a neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro), Project Cestou is working with partners to run a number of two-to-five-month professionalisation courses with 10 students in the region. The goal is to not only help these individuals into employment but to give them the skills they need to support their local community too. 

In addition, Daniel is working with the IB to use the grant to set up an official website for Project Cestou which will enable him to more easily fundraise for the food and hygiene baskets, while he focuses on the longer-term aims of the project. He is also establishing the project as an official NGO, which will further support fundraising efforts and the sustainability of the initiative. 

Speaking about the grant and his goals for Project Cestou, Daniel comments: ‘The project so far has been really emotional, as we know how hard the pandemic has hit Brazil. At the same time, it’s been an incredible experience as we have helped and connected with so many people. 

‘While the food and hygiene baskets are critical for helping people in crisis, we don’t want them to become reliant on them and so being able to expand Project Cestou to the next stage – to actually address the root causes of poverty – is so important. The support from the IB will allow us to work at the source of the hunger issue in Rio, so we can hopefully provide long-term food support and, most importantly, help disconnect people from this confining cycle of poverty. 

Project Cestou
Project Cestou

‘When I found out that I had received the Dr Siva Kumari MYP Student Innovators’ Grant, I was in complete shock. As part of the application, you set out your suggested budget and what you will use it for. The IB has provided exactly what I asked for and has been supportive of all of our goals, so this affirmation that we’re doing the right thing and going in the right direction is incredibly rewarding.’

Project Cestou is currently recruiting more volunteers in both the UK and Brazil to help drive its objectives forward. More information on the Project can be found via the Instagram account: @projeto.cestou

ACS Egham is the first and only school in the UK fully authorised to offer all four of the IB programmes, including the MYP, providing its students with a rigorous education that fosters a sense of international-mindedness, as well as personal responsibility.

See ACS Egham’s listing here.