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SIMagination Challenge

Niños en Xela is happy to introduce this year’s student support team from the University of St. Gallen!

Projektteam SIMagination

As part of the HSG Strategy and International Management Master’s program, 8 highly motivated students (from left to right: Nick, Markha, Nicolas, Amanda, Finn, Florian, Sever and Kiki) are tasked with the ambitious goal of creating a sustainable social impact in Guatemala over the course of the year. Joined by the project team of Niños en Xela, both locally in St. Gallen and in Quetzaltenango, the students will plan and implement a project that has a positive and lasting impact for the people in the region. We are also happy to have these students visit Guatemala in early 2017 to meet and interact with the project families as they see their hard work come into realization.

The SIMagination Challenge course has a unique approach of targeting the student’s advanced business ability toward addressing social problems. As part of this course, students embark upon projects all around the globe, offering their help in areas where they find unmet needs. By applying a strong business mindset in helping to solve these problems, the students hope to create something that has a lasting and measurable effect, even once they have handed the project down to future student generations.

Travel report SIMagination Challenge

In early February the student group from HSG, which has been supporting the organization since September, was able to visit Quetzaltenango and directly implement their project.
Given the poor and basic living conditions of the NeX families, many do not have proper cooking stoves and have resorted to cooking over open flames inside their homes. The resulting smoke which gets trapped inside the house, referred to as Household Air Pollution, is the cause of many illnesses and premature deaths among Guatemalans, and is especially harmful to children. The student group has made it their mission to eliminate this harmful, yet avoidable, Household Air Pollution by installing clean cook stoves in the family homes. In doing so, the group hopes to directly improve the health and well-being of the families and children.
During their time in Guatemala, the students and NeX team visited 22 families and installed new stoves, with a functional chimney, to remove the smoke from the household. In addition to being smoke-free, these stoves also reduce the wood consumption by 50%, which greatly reduces the financial burden of purchasing expensive wood or resorting to burning plastics. Additionally, the students held three workshop sessions with the entire NeX community to educate the families about the harmful effects of smoke and provide them with tips and recommendations on things they can do to minimize smoke inhalation.

Projektteam SIMagination
Projektteam SIMagination
Projektteam SIMagination
Projektteam SIMagination
Projektteam SIMagination

Follow our progress!

For more information regarding the SIMagination Challenge, please visit:

To contact the student team directly, regarding proposed projects or any other questions, please message them at: sim @ They look forward to every email.

Logo SIMagination Challenge
Logo University of St.Gallen