Washington—The Millennium Challenge Corporation honored a coffee company, the person overseeing the implementation of the agency’s Lesotho projects and two college students who invented a soccer ball that brings light to people living off electrical grids during the 2013 Forum on Global Development.
The Forum, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington today, provided an opportunity for some of international development’s top leaders and practitioners to meet and exchange ideas. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice provided the keynote address, and Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman and Senator Patrick Leahy each delivered remarks.
At the event, the Millennium Challenge Corporation presented three awards:
- MCC’s Corporate Award was presented to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) for its commitment to partnering with local nongovernmental organizations for sustainable community development.
- MCC’s Country Commitment Award was presented to Sophia Mohapi, the CEO of Millennium Challenge Account-Lesotho, for facilitating large-scale partnerships to promote economic growth in Lesotho.
- MCC’s Next Generation Award—presented in partnership with the United Nations Foundation—was presented to Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, the co-founders of Uncharted Play, for advancing youth leadership and innovation in international development.
“Today’s Forum is a celebration of the power of partnerships to achieve sustainable development,” MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes said at the event. “Mutual accountability and shared responsibility at the heart of genuine partnerships deliver results for the world’s poor. The recipients of MCC’s Country Commitment Award, Corporate Award and Next Generation Award demonstrate what is possible when we partner.”
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. is a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers. The company, based in Waterbury, Vt., is known for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology and socially responsible business practices. GMCR supports local and global communities, investing in sustainably grown coffee and allocating a portion of its pre-tax profits to socially and environmentally responsible initiatives.
The company’s projects have focused on diversifying the incomes of coffee farmers, helping to advance food security in the communities where it works. Further, GMCR advances social and environmental initiatives while placing a strong emphasis on monitoring and evaluation. The company partners with local suppliers and with organizations like Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services, Heifer International, and the Jane Goodall Foundation.
Sophia Mohapi is CEO of Millennium Challenge Account-Lesotho, which is implementing MCC’s five-year, $363 million compact with the Government of Lesotho. The compact aims to increase the availability of water for households and industrial use, test watershed management and conservation methods, rehabilitate health infrastructure and strengthen health systems, and remove barriers to foreign and local private sector investment. It also played a key role in the Government of Lesotho reforming its laws to give women equal rights, and one of the compact’s programs helps educate the people of Lesotho about the new rights being afforded to women.
Mohapi helped facilitate the Government of Lesotho’s commitment to contribute approximately $100 million for unanticipated costs related to the compact, as well as an additional $52.7 million for project completion occurring beyond the compact end date.
Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman are the co-founders of Uncharted Play, a social enterprise that aims to address real-world issues with products, services and events that are grounded in the fun of life. By amplifying existing play behavior, Uncharted Play invites the world to rethink the function of play as both a tool for change and a way to keep joy at the forefront of our lives.
Uncharted Play’s flagship product, the SOCCKET, is a soccer ball that generates electricity through play. Just 30 minutes of play can power the accompanying LED light for three hours.
Jessica Matthews is co-founder and chief executive officer of Uncharted Play. She has more than seven years of start-up and small business experience in the software and technology industry, as well as international business experience with sound relationships in Nigeria, Angola and Italy. President Barack Obama invited Matthews to the White House to represent small companies at the signing of the America Invents Act.
Julia Silverman is co-founder and chief social officer of Uncharted Play. Her work has received global recognition including awards from the Harvard Foundation, TED, the Women in the World Foundation, and McKinsey Consulting. She has lived and worked all over Africa with notable field initiatives in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.