Enactus World Cup: KPMG Bursary Winner Experience: Jeff Otengo, DIT

Jeff Otengo, a second year Business and Management student from DIT and chairperson of Enactus DIT shares with us his experience at this years Enactus World Cup in San Jose!

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‘When it was announced at National Competition that I had received a KPMG bursary to travel to the World Cup I was over the moon!

Fast forward to October 9th and an estimated 3,000 delegates from 35 countries had descended into the San Jose McEnery Convention Centre, California. After watching videos over the years it’s safe to say the World Cup is one of the best experiences one can have. On the opening day everyone from Team Ireland wore their green jerseys and wore the Irish flags with pride! After the opening speeches, it was time for competition. The standard at World Cup is mind-blowing. I was fortunate enough to watch presentations from the UK, India, Morocco, and of course Ireland. Highlighting one of the teams (UK), their aiding change project is providing access to solar-powered hearing aids to hearing impaired individuals in Ghana.

Day 2 at the World Cup was the highlight for me. Former US Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice made a keynote address, giving a very inspiring message to the young leaders of tomorrow. There was also a collaboration session on how we can work together to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, with select students speaking on each, Enactus UCD Chairperson Andrea Whelton spoke on Justice and Equality. It was then time for the semi-final and I got to see teams who I hadn’t seen on the first day such as USA and Singapore. Just as the first day, the standard of projects was extremely high with teams having perfected their presentations. The best thing about Enactus is seeing students from across the world who are passionate about creating and implementing projects that have such huge empowerment. I must commend Enactus DCU who were outstanding, they put in a lot of effort into their projects and presentation over the months and doing Ireland proud by going all the way to the Semi-Final.

Jeff Otengo with Enactus DIT members Lia Joe and Martin McGrane-Smith at this years Enactus World Cup

In the evening it was time for the World Cultural Experience! With 35 countries participating at this year’s World Cup, at Enactus it’s not all about competition it’s also a celebration of diversity. Hall 1, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Centre was filled with colour, dance and joy. At our stand, the Instagram sign was the most popular thing at the fair with everyone asking for a photo! I got to walk around other stands too, from learning how to write my name in Chinese, dancing with the Tunisians and bagging myself an Italian wristband.

Final Round of Competition was quite impressive! Morocco, India, Egypt and Canada made up the final four. After brilliant presentations, the judges were faced with a very difficult choice, Canada were crowned world champions with their project titled “One-Seed” which works with people living in Zambia to achieve their goals: food security, health care, clean water, education, alternative energies and to build a local economy.

I have come back to Ireland full of energy and hope and the belief that when students come together with a vision we can truly take significant steps in making a positive impact in society. The Enactus World Cup afforded me with an opportunity to learn about the various success and challenges from other Enactus students from around the globe but also in Ireland. This experience will help shape my year as Enactus DIT Chairperson and I can’t wait to share all my learnings with my team mates so we can create a positive impact on our community.

If you missed out on being in San José for the World Cup, you can catch up on photos here and watch Ireland in the Opening & Semi-Final Round of Competition here!

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Liam Redmond