IMPACT 0505: MAKING BOLD CHANGES FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.
Samantha Gedalya, 21, is a full-time university student and on the side, She provides tuition, content-writes, and volunteers at various places!
Her personal impact is focused on sharing the environment and sustainability content that she knows with her friends and family. The impact of the project, EzCompostr, is certainly one to look out for in the future. They want to create a more sustainable and conscious Singapore, one that wants to make bold changes and better itself.
Today she shares more about EzCompostr!
What was your role within your YAC project?
My role is mainly handling the partnerships and communications. Right now, I handle some of the social media management side of things as well.
What motivated you to join YAC?
One of my teammates sent us information about YAC, and this was right at the start of the project. We didn’t have much structure yet and so we thought the workshops and experience would be good for all of us to get more knowledge. Besides, this competition was a very good chance for us to get funding for our future development too.
Can you share with us your experience with your YAC project?
I joined the team a few months before the challenge. The project itself has been brought to competitions in the past, but the team members didn’t continue. When I joined the team, I was certainly very passionate and involved. Doing market validation and publicity to little effect is certainly hard to bear and things were challenging, considering the need to juggle other commitments as well, but we managed to push through. However, now with more members now involved and after a recent webinar, our team is at full speed and excited for the coming events to come.
What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?
Challenges are part and parcel of literally anything you do. We were newly acquainted and from very different backgrounds. With that, it does bring great diversity and different perspectives to the team. However, that also caused us to have a lot of conflicting schedules. It was hard to find a common time and work on the project. To be very honest, my time management, which is still not the best, has certainly at least seen improvement from this. I am very guilty of “ghosting” my teammates and being very unresponsive. However, I am still very grateful for the patience and guidance my teammates have shown me.
Apart from this, I faced a lot of doubts regarding our project. Before market validation, in your head it’s like. “Yeah, the problem definitely exists.”, but then I wondered whether this problem was one that really needed solving at all. This created a lot of anxiety within me, but I didn’t share this at first with my teammates. However, upon sharing my concerns, one of my teammates advised and assured me that this is very common especially when wanting to make big long-term changes. This was my first time being involved in a project from the ground up without much guidance, but from this, I have really learnt to keep more open communication and ask for help and clarification when needed.
Could you share more on how your project has a positive impact?
EzCompostr sets out to grow a wave of passionate people to repurpose their household waste through composting and other sustainable actions. We have deliverables and plans for the coming year, but our focus and impact is for the long run.
Singapore faces a huge waste problem, particularly food waste, and coupled with the scarcity of land, that just spells trouble and doom. By encouraging the reduction and repurposing of household waste, we essentially try to minimise the impact of the problem on the system. Furthermore, by encouraging more sustainable actions, we really want to contribute to the building of a greener and more sustainable Singapore—a Singapore we can be proud to show our children.
The positive impact of our project in the short-term would be raising awareness and consciousness of the food waste problem in Singapore and encouraging the community to take a more active stance in reducing their waste. In the long-term, we hope that the community will have greater interest and participation in sustainability efforts, with composting being one of them.
Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?
Throughout the workshops and the duration of YAC, I have certainly learnt so much regarding market validation, social enterprise models, and finding unique value propositions. Previously, I thought I knew the basics of research and that starting a social enterprise would be simple. However, I did not realise the importance of market validation. Without a problem to solve, the product or solution would simply be useless.
YAC’s workshops have provided a lot of foundational knowledge and structure for starting a social enterprise. The structure has certainly allowed me to have a clearer idea and greater appreciation for small businesses working for the good of society.