Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge - 5 Winning Innovative Ideas by Armenia’s Youth
It’s their time and turn to act – check out the exciting ideas and solutions proposed by Armenian youth
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Smart agriculture and eco-tourism, volunteering for social good, innovative education, creative arts and production, social inclusion and the list goes on and on! On May 24, 50 young people from Shirak, Vayots Dzor, Kotayk, Tavush, Gegharkunik and Yerevan joined in an online youth challenge to pitch these and other entrepreneurial ideas to the jury team, led by UNICEF, UNDP, and joined by UWC Dilijan and Ayb Foundation.
The teams went through a 10-day learning processes with mentors, refining their solutions to turn them into projects and actionable steps. The final pitching session was led by Liv Elin Indreiten, UNICEF Deputy Representative, Marina Mkhitaryan, UNDP Kobla Lab Lead, Naira Manukyan, Head of Fundraising and Communications at UWC Dilijan, Hakob Hakobyan, Founder of Startup Armenia, Anna Mikayelyan, Founder and Director of Nexus Center for the Arts, Timothy Straight, President of Homeland Development Initiative Foundation, and Araksya Martirosyan, Director of IAB International Business Academy. In addition to jury votes, children could also cast their vote for a favorite idea by another team.
Here are the winning ideas that will soon receive 1000 US$ to implement their projects along with continued mentorship to further develop their ideas. In September, we will convene again to select the final two that will participate in the World Competition in the US for the chance to win 20,000 US$ seed funding, as well as benefit from the Idea Incubator Program.
From Speechless to Speechful
This young team aims to tackle a fundamental issue that touches children with hearing impairment and their families in Armenia. One of the main difficulties that both children and parents face is that there is no unified package that would help children develop their speech in Armenian, from a young age to adolescence, while proper rehabilitation services are too scattered throughout Armenia with no equal access to all children. Families that face this issue are in a worse-off situation now due to COVID-19 pandemic as this has negatively influenced their access to rehabilitation services.
Aram, the captain of the team, has spent a lifetime dealing with these issues and, with the dedicated support of his family and speech therapists, is now able to speak fluently. Together with this team, Aram is determined to help out other children who experience speech difficulties.
The team will develop a package of various materials - didactic materials, cards, situational pictures or pictures of objectives, together with a guide for parents to working with children, a diary for them and a number of other items that will help families feel equipped and hence more confident to deal with speech difficulties in parallel to professional support.
VR Chemistry Lab for Equitable Access to Science Education
Saten, Karen, Lusine and Hasmik are concerned about the lack of science education in public schools that are poorly equipped at all to teach chemistry and other subjects in an engaging, experimentative way. Children are hence stuck to learning about experiments from text and at best from their own imagination or Youtube videos.
The team would like to develop special VR glasses, equipped with 7-9 grade Chemistry syllabus that will allow students to see and perform chemistry experiments in a virtual manner. The project is aimed to raise children’s interest in natural sciences and promote the development of science in Armenia.
David, Mariam and Albert are concerned about efficient use of water resources in agriculture and would like to establish greenhouses that will be irrigated through processed water from fish farming. The water used in fish farms is simply wasted afterwards, can have a harmful influence on the nature as it causes deterioration of fertile soil. The team will work on creating a multiple-level filtration system that will treat the water and divert back to the fish farm, thus creating a closed chain and promoting a more efficient usage of water resources in fish farms around the country. Once the chain is established, renewed water resources can be used for micro-farming.
CreActive by young people for young people
All, Mary, Arman, Evelina and Ani would like to establish an online country-wide students’ network where young people can collaborate, co-create and mentor each other not only in education but also in carrying out community projects, thus promoting civic activism and inclusion.
The network will help students to catch up with their classes, get needed guidance from others, while it will allow others to practice their leadership, mentorship skills and volunteer for social good. The platform will enable young people to gather around ideas, form teams and tackle local issues.
Pottery Village for a unique cultural experience
Anahit, Hasmik, and Hovhannes are determined to put all their efforts to revitalizing Armenia’s villages and restoring the withering tradition in local craftsmanship that can serve as a source of sustainability and entice visitors by showing the unique sides of each village, their pride and uniqueness.
This young team has already identified one such village, met and discussed opportunities with the head of the community, obtained his consent and led a townhall with school children and young people of the village to brainstorm over ideas.
The team plans to establish a pottery center in the village, that will deliver relevant courses to young people and produce various materials from clay. These items will then be marketed to restaurants, cafes, production companies and farmers, such as beekeepers, who can sell their honey in these clay pots. Tourists will also get a chance to participate in master classes.
Now it’s your turn - help these young teams by sharing their ideas with your friends on Facebook and join UNICEF to support more young people in Armenia