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Ideas for Change: Raleigh International launches Youth Hackathon series

From May to July this year, young people in Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania are hacking ideas to forward their Action Not Excuses campaigns.

We know that young people can provide the solutions to some of the world’s biggest issues. Between May and July this year, young people in Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania are taking part in a new series of Youth Hackathons, in partnership with youth employees from the global pharmaceutical sector. Through these hackathons, young people are generating problem-solving ideas as part of the global Action Not Excuses campaign.

Nicaragua Youth Hackathon

Dame Chance is an environmental campaign led by young people in Nicaragua, working to tackle deforestation and unemployment by helping 6,000 local farmers to increase forest cover. Their work focuses on working with young people from rural communities to develop new job opportunities, so they are no longer forced to cut down forests, and connecting with local communities to conserve and protect Nicaragua’s precious natural landscapes.

Through the Youth Hackathon, 11 young people from the Dame Chance wanted to hack the question:

How can the communication channels of the Dame Chance campaign be more compatible for the limited access to social media in rural communities?

They split into six breakout groups and presented their ideas. Through collaboration and brainstorming they came up with a range of solutions to build engagement in rural areas; from implementing a green box scheme within rural communities which would act as an information hub, through to leveraging the influence of local green entrepreneurs who can act as ambassadors for the campaign, they will take their ideas forward to improve the reach of the Dame Chance campaign.

Nepal Youth Hackathons

In June, 15 members of Raleigh Nepal’s Kathmandu Recycles campaign teamed up to generate new ideas to boost their campaign to eradicate single-use plastics in Nepal’s capital city.

On the day of the Youth Hackathon, the young campaigners wanted to hack the question:

How can the Kathmandu Recycles team increase digital engagement with young people in order to increase the campaign’s membership base and Inspire members to take action.

In breakout teams they brought together their various backgrounds and experiences to hack a high number of creative ideas for digital engagement, including social media competitions, a variety of campaign slogans and different digital engagement ideas.

The idea that they are planning to take forward was their concept to launch a digital summer camp. Targeting school children and their parents, a virtual summer camp programme will focus on plastic reduction and aim to educate advocates on environmental issues, while remaining accessible in a lockdown environment.

The Hackathon helped the Kathmandu Recycles members think differently about their existing problems. The participants really came together to develop doable new ideas. I not only saw solutions by the end of the hackathon but new inspiration and motivation for the campaign members to keep moving forward.

Shambhavi, Kathmandu Recycles

The future of the Youth Hackathons

These Youth Hackathon are the first four of a series of six hackathons to take place in Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania. The next hackathon will take place in July and will be led by young people in Tanzania to hack ideas around the development of health enterprises.

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