Youth from North Macedonia win global recognition for their digital inclusion innovation
The second time that young people from North Macedonia received this global recognition. The team will receive further funding of $15,000, along with a tailored global incubation programme from Generation Unlimited partners to support them to scale
SKOPJE, 11 December – Today in New York, UNICEF and partners announced the eight winners of the global Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge 2019/2020. The team from North Macedonia, eBionics were the winners of the category overall winners under 18 with their solution to expand access to prosthetic care with Venus Arm, an open-source 3D printed bionic arm for people with upper limb deficiency.
“We are extremely happy and grateful for the recognition, and trust in our team and in the potential of our idea. We are excited that this challenge gives us the opportunity to turn our idea into reality and reach as many people around the world as possible,” said Orhan Bagashov, eBionic Team Leader. “Our main goal is to make the bionic arm available to those who need it most. We hope to have many users who will be offered new opportunities. We call out to other young people to believe in their ideas, even though it may seem unattainable at first - there are initiatives, organizations and people who believe in and support young people.”
This year’s global Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge 2019/20 took place in 36 countries worldwide with over 180 teams involved. It is the second time that young people from North Macedonia received this global recognition. In 2019, team Andromeda were among the global winners for their Speak Out mobile app to support youth with mental health and peer violence.
“This country should be extremely proud to have yet another global winner, second year in a row. This is proof that this country has youth with enormous potential and highlights the importance of investing in them to create opportunities for innovation and social entrepreneurship,” said Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Representative. “I am truly inspired by eBonics and the talent of young people in this country. There is no doubt that they only need to be given the space and opportunities to use their drive, creativity and ability to take the lead on finding solutions that bring positive change in their lives, but also for their communities.”
At a national Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge supported by Foundation Makedonski Telekom, earlier this year team eBionics together with team “Mind Benders” with their digital inclusive restaurant menu were selected to be part of the global challenge judging process.
“We are really pleased to have been able to support an initiative that creates space for young people to use technology as a tool to serve people and society. In the digital society we are building, the biggest challenge is how to get everyone involved, without exception. Technology is a really powerful tool, and when given the chance, young people have the potential to use technology for good, as our winning team e-Bionic showed us.” said Nikola Ljusev, Chief Executive Officer, Makedonski Telekom.
The ideas of the winning teams will contribute to the success of Generation Unlimited, an ambitious multi-sector public-private global partnership meant to meet the urgent needs for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people on an unprecedented scale.
More information about the eBonics winning teams and their ideas:
The eBionics team includes Orhan Bagashov (team leader), Boris Nocheski, Anamaria Ilieva and Teo Kitanovski with mentorship support from prof. Ivan Chorbev, Ph.D. Their solution aims to improve access to prosthetic care with Venus Arm, an open-source 3D printed bionic arm for people with upper limb deficiency. They offer guidelines and instructions to help individuals build their own prosthetic bionic arm. Their research found that currently, the market offers solutions that exceed tens of thousands of euros, while their solution can be made for as little as 100 to 200 euros. Learn more about them and the other global winners https://uni.cf/GenUYC2winners.
About Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge in North Macedonia:
In North Macedonia, the national youth challenge is part of a UNICEF and Foundation Telekom for Macedonia partnership, implemented by Smart Up Social Innovation Lab with local support by the Macedonian Scouts Association. Through a public call, young people were invited to offer innovative answers to the question “How can digital technology contribute towards a more active inclusion of children and youth in education and everyday life?”. Successful applicants were invited to take part in design workshops and the five most promising ideas were awarded USD 1,000 each in funding and provided with mentoring to support the projects’ implementation. Two teams were then selected to participate in the global challenge. To find out more about Generation Unlimited in North Macedonia visit https://www.genunlimited.mk/
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, visit www.unicef.mk.