The Dopper Changemaker Challenge started in 2017 in the Netherlands. However, its overwhelming success in previous experiences made it go global. This year, it took place in Kathmandu along with other popular European cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, and London. The final of this international competition was held on 15th June Saturday not only in Kathmandu but also in Amsterdam, London, and Berlin. In total 445 students from all over the world applied to get a chance to win the title of Changemaker 2019.
The Kathmandu finals took place at the symbolic location of the Traditional Water Spout Hiti at Patan Durbar Square where the top 10 finalists pitched their innovative ideas to solve plastic and water pollution problems. The event was also joined by Deputy Mayor of Lalitpur Municipality Ms. Gita Satyal.
The students’ pitches were judged by jury members: Mr. Anil Chitrakar, Co-founder of HCI; Ms. Lenny Houwaart, Marketing Manager at Dopper; Ms. Roos Spekman, Project Manager at Dopper, Mr. Roshan Man Bajracharya, Soil and Water expert; Ms. Shilshila Acharya CEO of HCI and Mr. Suman Shakya, Co-founder of Smart Paani. These ideas were judged on various aspects such as impact, innovation, feasibility, and presentation.
After careful evaluation, Anisha Maharjan won the title of ‘Dopper Changemaker 2019’, 2 Lakh Rupees research fund, network introductions, and PR to bring her graduating research idea into action. Amrita Sigdel and Ashraf Pradhananga and team secured the second and third place respectively, winning 125,000 in research fund to make their ideas to produce alternatives to plastic come true.
Together with the jury and partners Blinc Ventures, Smart Paani, and CERAD, Dopper and HCI will guide all top 10 finalists to give their ideas a kickstart to turn them into solutions in the ground.
2.7 tons of plastic waste is produced in Nepal every day out of which 80% ends up in landfills, causing irreversible damage by polluting our soil and water bodies. Innovative solutions, especially the ones led by youth, must be encouraged to solve such pressing environmental problems. In alignment with this, Dopper has successfully planted the seed of awareness within the Nepali youth this year and years to come with this challenge.
Dopper is a social enterprise from the Netherlands with a mission to create crystal clear water in all our waters. It focuses on creating awareness and change through education and mostly to reduce single-use plastic and water pollution. Dopper founder Merijn Everaarts says that “We believe that the solutions of the young minds of today can surprise us the most. With this challenge, we want to give them the opportunity to actually make a positive change.” Dopper joined hands with the Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI) to conduct this challenge in Nepal. HCI is a youth-driven Nepali Non-Profit Organization committed to building Social Inclusion and Climate Resilience.
Dopper wants to create crystal clear water. In all the waters, and from every tap. But our world’s water sources are threatened. Every year 8 million tons of plastic make their way to our oceans. Not helped by the 1 million single-use water bottles being purchased worldwide every minute. Not cool. We can do better. That’s why Dopper provides and promote (clean) tap water and challenge the throwaway lifestyle. All of our projects, from awareness campaigns to partnerships, are 100% focused on our mission. But we don't stop there. At Dopper, we make reusable water bottles. Unique design – a bottle and a cup in one – and silver Cradle-to-Cradle certificate for our Dopper Originals.
For more information about this challenge, please visit the Dopper Changemaker Challenge.