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In the sagacious words of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” The Global Alliance of Leading-Edge Schools for Sustainability (GALESS) lives by this quote and, as shown in its mission to unify like-minded 16 to 19-year-old students by ingraining the cognisance of cases that are of global concern, herein giving them the means to make a massive impact to their community. That is why on July 1st 2021, GALESS launched the TiltShift Challenge Med-Call.
Essentially, the challenge encourages four students per school to collaborate in order to write a research paper addressing two topics related to healthcare for the span of seven months (September 1st to March 31st). In total, there are 4 rounds: a round of 32, a round of 16, a quarter-final, a semi-final and the final with successively 32, 16, 8 and 4 teams. Unsurprisingly, due to the immense effect of the pandemic, this year’s theme is COVID-19, the topics being:
- Is the Covid-19 patient more important than the non-Covid-19 patient?
- Releasing patents: Will it save millions of lives or will it kill or destroy the incentive to stop new Covid-19 variants?
For this competition, a total of thirty-two schools were chosen worldwide, in which the prestigious African Leadership Academy (ALA) is not just among them but is the only school in Africa to qualify for this challenge. To ensure equality and diversity (as the academy always does) ALA chose students from different parts of the continent, their names being Audreen Rutendo Murewa from Zimbabwe, Varlee Salia-Makulako Fofana from Liberia, Mahmoud Wael Attia Elawady from Egypt, and Zyonnah Wuraoluwa Isiguzo from Nigeria. To further ensure inclusiveness, the group of four consists of two Year 1 females, two Year 2 males.
Collectively, these students will take the initiative to preside over their future via studious exercises involving rigorous contemplations, explorations, and ingenuity. In the words of Carmen Martinez, “The more we increase the active participation and partnership with young people, the better we serve them. … And the more comprehensively we work with them as service partners, the more we increase our public value to the entire community.” I wish these students the best of luck!