The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) organized a hackathon, dubbed “Partnership with youth to achieve the Sustainable Development goals”, the competition sought to explore and develop solution-oriented approaches in tackling pertinent issues around the SDGs and focussing on these SDG areas; 3 (Health), 4 (Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Employment) and 6 (Water and Sanitation).
The program also aimed at bringing to bare how young people are using the tools available at their disposal to solve social problems and achieve sustainable development goals.
The initiative held in Tamale, Ghana provided a platform for young people with relevant technical skills in the fields of computer programming, software developers, website creation, graphic design, engineering, and related fields to create solutions and social interventions.
The UN agency believes that with education, skills, and empowerment, these young people would help transform economies and nations; but a fast-changing global economy demands increasingly specialized and innovative skills at a time when many education systems are struggling, -a challenge the hackathon seeks to solve by inspiring and recognizing innovations developed by young people providing solutions to social problems and helping in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
The 2-day program at HOPin Academy (Tamale-Ghana), groomed young innovators assisting them through utilizing strategic design thinking approaches and enabling them to better understand the SDGs they have chosen. Groups of Participants pitched their innovations to a team of judges, selected teams (Health Maniachs, SaniTech, and Techducation) would later compete in the National Hackathon Challenge held in Accra, Ghana.
SaniTech emerged second in the National Hackathon Challenge with the following innovations:
Bricks made of plastic: The bricks were made from mixing sand and 1500 pieces of melted plastics (mostly water sachets) to form quality solid bricks for building.
Pillows made out of empty water sachets: Plastic materials consisting of empty water sachets shredded to soften and then filled into beautiful wrapped African fabric to make pillowcases.
Smart Bin: An automated bin that opens upon approach saving individuals the efforts of dealing with the inconvenience that comes with opening a bin yourself when your hands are full.
SaniTech’s innovation sought to make the environment cleaner whilst also providing quality services that saved individuals time and efforts.