International hackfest in Bishkek: digital solutions for children of Central Asia

26 March 2018
press conference on hackfest results

BISHKEK, 26 March 2018 -

The Central Asian Hackfest 2018 “Generation Z: wellbeing of children” took place in Bishkek. During 48 hours, the teams of IT developers from different countries were looking for innovative solutions to address challenges faced by children and identified the most promising digital services to be implemented in the region. Among 18 international projects 3 top solutions have been identified that will help to improve quality of services ensuring safety of children on the roads, supporting vulnerable teenagers, helping children with disabilities and others.

This initiative was organized by the Central Asia Coalition for Promotion of Women and Children Rights, Foundation “League of Defenders of Children Rights”, NEOBIS IT company in partnership with UNICEF, Embassy of the Netherlands, AKIpress, State Committee for Information Technologies and Communications, American University in Central Asia and others.

The 1st prize (US$2,000): the team “New World” developed a mobile application to improve communication and adaption of children with autism that replaces the paper visual cards used to express emotions and needs. It allows any child to express his/her thoughts through the mobile application without Internet access, which is especially important for rural communities.

The 2nd prize (US$1,500): the team “Test name” designed an innovative electronic service identifying children at risk of economic exploitation and allowing such state agencies as the Ministry of Labour and Social Development and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to collect information and develop recommendations on further social measures to support vulnerable children.

The 3rd prize (US$1,000): an interactive 3D game teaching safe behaviour, road safety and fire safety rules presented by the “X – Plain” team.

The professional jury including children from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan jointly identified the winners. Also, there was a real time online poll among the guests of the hackfest. Zulfiya Baysakova, mentor from Kazakhstan, chairwoman of the Union of Crisis Centers of Kazakhstan, noted that participants distinguished themselves by “creative approach, non-standard solution and great desire to change the world for the better”.

“All products presented at the hackfest are needed by children in Central Asia. We will bring these startups to the logical finalization, so that they bring real benefits to people throughout the region. We will involve both IT companies and state bodies, for example, through the national project “Taza Koom” and children's NGOs that can ensure sustainability of new services,” said Mrs. Nazgul Turdubekova, executive secretary of the Central Asian Coalition for Promoting Women's and Children Rights.

This hackfest will be followed by the TECHFEST 2018 in May, where more opportunities to address challenges faced by communities through innovative approaches based on science and technology will be presented.

Media Contacts

Veronika Vashchenko

Chief of Communication

UNICEF Kyrgyzstan

Tel: +996 777 919 142

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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Kyrgyzstan, please visit www.unicef.org/kyrgyzstan

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