Henri Nyakarundi and Elizabeth Kperrun are the winners of the first edition of the “ICT for Social Good”, financed by Innovazione per lo Sviluppo Program and Fondazione Mission Bambini Onlus. They will be officially awarded during the Open Days of Innovation, scheduled in Milan, on November 6th and 7th.
By Viviana Brun
The first edition of the “ICT for Social Good” Grant started in March 2017, when Ong2.0 opened a call to invite social innovators to apply for a prize of 12.000 euros – offered by Fondazione Cariplo and Compagnia di San Paolo within the Programme “Innovazione per lo sviluppo” – to sustain and support innovative ideas created with a bottom-up approach in low-income countries. Fondazione Mission Bambini added a special grant named “ICT 4 Children” equals to 10.000€, to the project focused on children more aligned with the Foundation’s mission. The aim of both Grants was to sustain, as much as possible, local entrepreneurs but also to inform the development sector – too often still based on traditional intervention models – about local innovations. In the Global South, many amazing projects, realities and innovative ideas are created daily with a bottom-up approach. Unfortunately, often these ideas are not fully recognised and they face difficulties in being involved in international development projects. However, they represent a good starting point to build a new approach to the international cooperation and local development.
In two months, 233 applications were received from 57 countries in the world. The Scientific Committee of the Grant – composed of representatives from SocialFare, Fundacion Paraguaya, Moxoff, E4impact and Nesta – worked hard to evaluate the projects, paying close attention to innovation, both from the point of view of technology and of the methodologies and approaches that have been adopted. The main focus was on the positive impact the projects could generate at the local level.
Let’s take a closer look at the two winners.
Henri Nyakarundi and his mobile solar kiosk
The Rwandan social entrepreneur, Henri Nyakarundi is the founder of Ared -African Renewable Energy Distributor- a hardware, technology and service company who developed Shiriki Hub, a mobile solar kiosk, which offers customers a convenient low-cost solution to charge their phones, to browse the web and to have free offline access to digital content such as news and information on health and education. The Scientific Committee of the Grant evaluated Nyakarundi’s project as the best one among the 233 applications received.
Elizabeth Kperrun and her mobile apps for children
Elizabeth Kperrun is the co-founder of Lizzie’s Creations, an initiative that aims to revive the African traditional culture and storytelling through digital tools. She creates fun educational mobile apps that teach kids using Africa’s native languages. Elizabeth startup has been evaluated as the second best project among all the applications received and the best proposal for childhood, so she wins the category dedicated to the use of ICT for children.
- Read more about the mobile apps realised by Lizzie’s Creations
- Get to know Elizabeth better. Read the interview.
The winners will be officially awarded during the Open Days of Innovation, scheduled in Milan, on November 6th and 7th 2017.