Young innovators develop solutions to #ENDViolence against and among children as part of a Generation Unlimited – Youth Challenge

05 December 2018
One of the groups that won the first generation unlimited challenge together with UNICEF representative Benjamin Perks
UNICEF/2018

The Generation Unlimited-Youth Challenge is part of a recently launched global initiative to get every young person into school, learning, training or employment by 2030

Skopje, 19 November 2018 – At a three-day “design thinking” workshop, forty young innovators from around the country, worked with passion to elaborate their design solutions to address violence against and amongst children. Aged between 14 to 24 years, the teams ideas focused on reducing bullying, cyberbullying and violence among young people in and around; ways to make it easier for victims to seek support; and ways to change perceptions and attitudes and encourage meaningful engagement of adolescents and young people in their communities.

The five most promising ideas were selected and each awarded $1000 funding and mentoring support to implement their projects’ over the coming months.  

“The passion and enthusiasm that the young people put into designing, prototyping and team-based problem-solving gives hope and demonstrated the enormous potential that young people have to be drivers of change for some of the pressing challenges facing young lives today,” said Mr. Benjamin Perks, UNICEF Representative.

The Youth Challenge - which this year took place in 16 countries worldwide, including ours, called for applications from young people to create solutions that will support the three key pillars of Generation Unlimited: secondary-age education; skills for learning, employability and decent work; and empowerment. In our country, the focus was on solutions to #EndViolence against and among children.

Around the world up to 1 billion children experience some form of violence. Half of the world's teens experience peer violence in and around school. It’s not different in our country, where half of the children aged 2-14 experience physical punishment in the home and where as many as 42% of thirteen to fifteen-year-old boys and girls report being bullied at school and/or having been involved in a physical fight. 

The five teams selected to receive seed funding and mentoring support to implement their projects include:

  1. "Andrometa" who after the extensive research developed an interactive mobile application for communication, sharing and building a community of support for victims.
  2. The "Spes" team – whose name in Latin means "hope" – developed an initiative to create a movement to end violence against children using street art and meet-ups.
  3. “Interconnecting Solutions” team developed a unique educational game - “SuperPako” – that takes users through an interactive journey to overcome bullying and promote ways to seek support.
  4. "Violence Fighters" team developed an interactive digital game designed to build empathy through taking users through an experience to understand the emotions victims of bullying fell.
  5. “NULA” team developed a primary and secondary school curriculum idea that uses real life short films and testimonies.

The five shortlisted local projects will spend the next few months implementing their projects before being submitted to a global judging process. The winners of the global competition will receive a further USD 20,000 investment, along with a tailored mentorship programme from Generation Unlimited partners to support them to scale. The youth challenge in our country is being implemented with support from UNICEF and SmartUp Innovation Lab.  

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