#Hack4Youth Hackathon in Uganda: Veni, Vidi, Vici

Taking participation in a hackathon organized by UNFPA, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Reach a Hand and SANA in such an amazing place as Kampala (Uganda) is exciting experience that everyone would like to have, but when your team wins the first place by the judges selection, the people choice award and above all take a selfie with Miss Uganda 2015… well that is something that only few can be proud of. 🙂

#Hack4Youth winning selfie

Uganda impressions

The organizers definitely made the right choice for selecting Kampala as the host city for this hackathon, bringing UNFPA experts and young people from around the world, along with innovators and developers to develop mobile app solutions to promote young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health. People in Uganda are inspiring, always with a smile on their faces, always kind and always positive. The surrounding nature is just breathtaking and when you bring that on the table with the variety of smart people from all around the world, then you know that there will be many high quality ideas produced from such a mix. Coming from Macedonia and 40+°C to Africa I was “disappointed” that temperatures were not something like 50°C or 60°C J, actually in Uganda the climate is nearly perfect with temperatures  between 15°C – 28°C and that is the reason why it’s called “The Pearl Of Africa”.

#Hack4Youth Hackathon and “Put it on” team

You never know what to expect from a team that you haven’t meet before, with a little time to get to know each other, to define what problem do we want to solve, to think of an app that will make impact and at the end pack all those things into five minutes presentations in which we had to impress the jury and the public that were following the event in live.

At the end WE DID IT, we are the CHAMPIONS of the #Hack4Youth Hackathon! Our team with young people from Macedonia, Moldova, South Korea, Canada, Palestine and Uganda managed to make a prototype of an application that will impact not just the jury but the audience as well. The idea of our team “Put it on” is to create an incentive quiz/game with points to inform young people about SRH and to break through myths/misinformation, specifically targeting the EECA region. It will have a free internet incentive every time one completes the quiz. We called ‘TriGivia’.

* Me receiving the certification of participation in the name of the team “Put it on” from the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Youth, Ahmad Alhewandi

and the moment of truth…

* Announsment of the “Most Innovative Application” selection by the judges and “Peoples Choice” award. Both of them goes to my team “Put it on”

UNFPA Innovation Fund will provide a budget for the teams that will continue to develop applications started on Hackathon in Kampala.

The event was attended by over 80 people from all continents, to create prototypes of applications to be used to educate young people. The event is organized in the context of the world most young people now exist since there is Earth – 1.8 billion. Only in Uganda, 70% of the population are people under 25 years.

The event is supported by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the organization in Uganda: Reach a Hand, Sana and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

And for those who didn’t believe me, here is the selfie with Miss Uganda. I bet you all wanna go to hackathons now? 🙂

Me and miss uganda

At the end I want to thank everyone from ARNO, UNFPAY-PEER  and of course team “Put It On” without who this achievement would not be possible.

More info about the event at following links:

My first appearance on The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariel-smilowitz/investing-in-the-transfor_b_7913890.html

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