Healthcare for Children in Rural Areas

Interview with Global Design for UNICEF Challenge Winner HealthConnect

UNICEF Innovation
Girls stand in floodwaters in Primavera, a rural community in Cura Mori District, Peru
09 March 2015

1. What inspired you to enter this UNICEF Challenge?

Our team got inspired by Nicaragua itself. We are a very beautiful, culturally rich country with magnificent spots all over the country. But sadly, few of us (Nicaraguans) know those spots, and that really becomes a problem when don’t know the Nicaraguans from those beautiful places. The North Atlantic Autonomous Region is a perfect example. Full of wonders and amazing people, it is sadly disconnected with the rest of the Country… and we want to change that by integrating its youth and make it our youth, Nicaragua’s youth.

2. Why did you chose this particular topic? 

There is a quote from an unknown author that says: “What if the cure for cancer is trapped in the mind of someone who can’t afford an education?” We took this quote by heart and reshaped it to the reality of the RAAN (North Atlantic Autonomous Region) and it read something like this:

“What if the cure for (insert problem) is in the mind of a child that passed away due to an ineffective healthcare system?”

That’s our reason.

3. What Challenges did you have to overcome while working on your project?

Our biggest challenge was to focus on an immediate solution for providing children in rural areas with appropriate healthcare services. We first had in mind methods that would lead to policies that would facilitate the change to a more efficient system… but all that would take time. So after careful thought we aimed for a method that would be so simple yet disruptive and yield the results we were looking forward to.


4. What did you learn from participating in the whole process?

We learn a lot in matters of team work and strategies but also we learned that knowing the place is half the challenge. UNICEF Nicaragua provide us with insights that we could’ve never imagined. Having this information and applying a human-design approach to the project help us think of a general idea that could be tailored to each rural community in the RAAN (The North Atlantic Autonomous Region)

5. How would you apply the learning from this initiative in your life?

Our team was made of University students from different faculties, backgrounds, beliefs and gender. When we brainstormed for solutions we had a multilateral approach to finding one, in that way our solution was becoming wholesome while tackling the specific issue we want to solve.

This framework should be applied to any major (and minor) challenges we face in life, our community, and society as a whole. Different perspectives help find solutions in places a single perspective wouldn’t pay attention to.

6. What do you see on the innovation horizon for Nicaragua?

Nicaragua is a country with a lot of challenges but also it’s full of very entrepreneurial individuals. We see in Nicaragua a time were these entrepreneurs will form an infrastructure in which innovation will burst like magma out of one of our many volcanoes. Our culture is our biggest asset and with a vision and discipline Nicaragua will be the next innovation hub in Latin America.

7. What’s next for you?

Besides the project each of us wants to keep on participating on projects that will enable the connection of Nicaraguans with Nicaragua and Nicaragua with the world. We want to be part of an ecosystem in which we produce locally and share globally with a sense of responsibility and vision.