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BYU–Hawaii Enactus Captures Its Fifth National Title in Eight Years by Winning the 2022 Enactus U.S. Championship

BYU–Hawaii will represent the United States at the Enactus World Cup for the fifth time in program history after a convincing win in New York City on Friday.

Brigham Young University–Hawaii’s Enactus team was named the 2022 Enactus U.S. National Champion Friday, April 22, for the fifth time over the past eight years (2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022). Triumphing over 51 higher education institutions across the nation, the team of college students from BYU–Hawaii will now compete against 30 countries at the Enactus World Cup in Puerto Rico this October.

Group of students on stage holding enactus trophy and BYU–Hawaii flag.

Enactus social entrepreneurship competitions are challenging, team-oriented events that motivate and hold students accountable for continually improving the quality of their projects. BYU–Hawaii’s award-winning presentation features Re-Earth, a student social enterprise business. Re-Earth works closely in helping the island nation of Kiribati with its food security problems.

“Being from Kiribati, I am sad that I have to see these issues in my country but I am happy and proud to be part of a solution that will help my people and country be self-sustainable.” shares Kimberly T Tokanang, BYU–Hawaii student and native to Kiribati.

The 2022 BYU–Hawaii Enactus team started Re-Earth with the intent to change the sterile Kiribati sand into fertile soil that will sustain commercial farming. Over time, and with the help of over 20 BYU–Hawaii students and several faculty advisors, it has developed into a program that empowers farmers in Kiribati to restore national health and build self-reliance through agriculture initiatives.

At the heart of Re-Earth’s innovation is education. The team quickly learned that technology can help, but it is their training program that generates impactful and sustainable results. Over several months, the team has developed manuals, both in English and the Kiribati language, which are focused on empowering farmers to successfully continue this initiative in Kiribati.

With the help of Eretai Kateibwi, 2017 UN Environment Young Champion of the Earth and native to Kiribati, these manuals will be updated and distributed to locals across several major islands as the program expands. Re-Earth has also received direct support from the Kiribati government, confirming that the problem Re-Earth addresses is of great national significance.

PJ Rogers, BYU–Hawaii faculty and advisor over the BYU–Hawaii Enactus team, praises, “While this project was student-started, it also continues to be student-lead. We have some of the most ingenious students who are consistently figuring out better ways to innovate with Kiribati's soil, water, and livestock. The students are out finding the resources, making the contacts, and pushing for things to happen. In the next 6 to 12 or 18 months, I believe you will see phenomenal growth in this project. They are literally transforming the agriculture industry of a nation.”

Still in their early efforts, Re-Earth has already begun disrupting the farming industry and building the economy through education, technology, third-party partnerships, and government alliances, which is expected to scale their organization significantly.

Re-Earth reports:

  • The success of 23 agricultural trainers through its train-the-trainers educational program.
  • 17,000 meals will be supplied in the first year of production by Kiribati’s first commercial farm.
  • 28,760 gallons of water will be provided to the community due to the use of advanced drip irrigation systems that save 70% more water than traditional irrigation systems.
  • 16 local partnerships that will help bring produce prices down on average by 33%.

Brigham Young University–Hawaii is the preeminent international center of learning in the Pacific. Its small campus is a unique laboratory of intercultural leadership development, where a diverse population of 3,200 students representing over 70 countries live, study, and work together.

Enactus United States is part of an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic, and business leaders committed to improving the world through entrepreneurial action. Guided by business experts and academic advisors at 1,700 universities in 36 countries, the 70,500 student leaders of Enactus create and implement entrepreneurial projects each year, impacting more than 1,950,000 people. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.

To learn more about BYU–Hawaii’s Enactus Re-Earth Project, please visit re-earthproject.com.

Additionally, to learn more about Enactus USA, please visit enactusunitedstates.org.