Save the Children, a leading international non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children around the world, has launched its first digital innovation challenge in Kenya. The challenge is targeted towards young people aged 18 to 35, as well as students from higher learning institutions in Kenya. It aims to recognize and award innovative solutions to problems facing children and young people in communities across the country.
The challenge offers participants the opportunity to submit a digital solution or prototype addressing any of the following challenges: organizational level feedback mechanisms, scientific or indigenous technology for strengthening community resilience, and access to quality education for children born to nomads, out-of-school children, and children in informal settlements. Save the Children is particularly interested in ideas that are original, creative, viable, and have a significant impact.
Registered students from universities, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and Kenyan youth are encouraged to participate in the challenge. The winners of the challenge will be announced in March 2023 and will be awarded a cash prize of up to 500,000 Kenyan shillings. In addition to the cash prize, the winners will also have the opportunity to collaborate with Save the Children to customize and scale up their digital innovation or participate in a 12-month fellowship program to further develop and implement their solution.
Save the Children has placed a strong emphasis on digital transformation in its efforts to improve the lives of children and communities around the world. Digital technology is seen as an enabler of the organization’s 2022-2024 Global Strategy and its ambition to ensure that all children survive, learn, and are protected by 2030. By leveraging the power of digital technology, Save the Children is able to enhance the quality and reach of its programs, strengthen its ability to measure progress, improve the efficiency of its operations, and better protect children and address inequalities in access to technology.
Yvonne Arunga, Save the Children Kenya and Madagascar Country Director, spoke about the importance of engaging with young people and their innovative ideas to solve global challenges. “We are very passionate about young people and the unique ideas they have, to solve current world challenges,” she said. “This innovation challenge has the potential to tap into innovative solutions for everyday problems that affect our country from young people in Kenya. We understand that the youth have remarkable ideas and want to work with them to bring these ideas to life.”
Hellen Owiti, Director of Program Development and Quality at Save the Children Kenya and Madagascar, added, “I want to urge young people who are interested in joining this challenge to submit their digital solutions or prototypes before the 31st of January.” She emphasized that the evaluation of submissions will be based on indicators such as originality, creativity, viability, impact, and conformity to the principles of digital development.