Wild card participant, James Thuch Madhier, won the Nudge Global Impact Challenge in 2015. He is on the road to becoming a true leader in sustainability. After his ‘Nudge experience’, James’ impact plan on Solar Energy began to transform into a more comprehensive and long-term social venture – The Rainmaker Enterprise.
The Rainmaker Enterprise will address the issue of water scarcity in rural areas of South Sudan – it provides an inclusive solution to issues like high prices, water scarcity, food shortages and economic security. More precisely, solar energy is used to pump water from underground, which is then channeled through drip irrigation onto fields. The intention is to grow food crops that will be harvested and sold at subsidized prices at local markets. Simultaneously, these pumps will provide drinking water for livestock and people. There are over 12 million cows in South Sudan that compete with people for drinking water. Most inter-communal conflicts occur between the livestock keepers and the farmers. Hence, solar-powered water pumps will provide an innovative intervention on this issue.
The launch event on March 24, in Toronto, Canada, was a great success. This evening garnered a worldwide support which will help in avoiding, or overcoming, setbacks to the social venture. At present, James is gaining support from several South Sudanese foreign missions. Most recently, he has started contacting foreign agencies which will be able to provide resources through grants. On a more tangible level, James and his team have already acquired local land on which they will install the solar-powered water pump and the irrigation system. In addition to grants, they launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise part of the total financial goal to enable them to install the system on this plot of land.
How did it all start?
James’ impact plan, one of the Nudge Global Impact Challenge assignments, was the beginning of his current social venture. Using surveys and questionnaires, administered to the local population in South Sudan, James enquired about the viability and necessity of his project. The answers he received clearly pointed at more pressing needs including water, food security, joblessness and empowerment. Accordingly, James took steps to develop an enhanced project.
First, he worked on an idea – a possible solution to these issues – with an enthusiastic team of friends and colleagues. His team consists of people with diverse skills, including engineering and business, to create a solid base for action. Next was funding. Since August 2016 James has made significant progress, receiving fellowships and seed funds from social entrepreneurship competitions and the One Young World summit.
James, in the middle, and his friends Sixbert Himbaza (Left) and Remy Byiringiro (right) during the Toronto launch event.
All these achievements can be attributed to excellent teamwork, global support, and valuable skills. James emphasizes, recurrently, the central role of his ‘Nudge experience’ in these three success factors. The Nudge Global Impact Challenge encouraged creativity and provided an opportunity to network. However, James expresses that collaboration is the most impactful message. For James, the solutions his team proposed during the Challenge were a collaborative achievement. His own social venture is the same – it is mutual effort and support that has led to its creation and execution.
According to James, Nudge has been a source of skills and support, even in the post-Challenge period. Nudge supports its alumni in their social ventures and impact creation through promotion, access to diverse networks of like-minded professionals, and connection of entrepreneurs to relevant companies and agencies. James stresses that he would not have come this far without all his trainings – they prepared him for his present leadership role. For all these reasons, James advises young professionals who wish to become future leaders and a force for change, to apply for a wild card for the Nudge Global Impact Challenge 2017.
To learn more about James’ venture, visit their website at www.rainmakerenterprise.org or connect with him on LinkedIn, https://ca.linkedin.com/in/thuchmadhier or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JamesThuch