The Social Innovation Camp Kosovo (SI Camp Kosovo) is a 48-hour social innovation competition that brings together enthusiastic young people and a team of international and local experts to build solutions to social problems. We blogged about the 2nd Social Innovation Camp Kosovo in September and now, it’s time to reveal the great ideas the 3rd edition participants developed.
The third Social Innovation Camp Kosovo was better than ever (really!). During the month of November, we received 37 project ideas and over 70 applications from young people to participate in the event. For two weeks the judges reviewed back-of-the-envelope ideas that will use web and mobile-based technologies to solve some of the most pressing social challenges here in Kosovo. They faced a challenging task of narrowing down the number of creative ideas to just six to help prototype during the SI Camp in December, 2013.
Meet the Ideas
Alfa: The Alfa team will develop a mobile phone app for young children to learn the Albanian alphabet. The Alpha app will enable children to learn letters while making learning fun with interactive games and quizzes. The team expects the app will be widely successful among the Albanian diaspora who are always eager to teach young children the Albanian language.
Zgjate doren: There are many families and individuals in Kosovo who go to bed at night without having a good meal. Instead of throwing extra food away, many caterers, restaurants, and hotels have leftover food that could feed the hungry and homeless. This team wants to develop a website where businesses can enter information for collection of leftover food, the food would then be made available to the needy and homeless persons. The model will be piloted in Prishtina and, once proven successful, it will be scaled Kosovo-wide. Having team participants come from various municipalities will also facilitate the process of replicating the project in other regions.
Shoku me bisht: Stray animals pose a big problem for people in Kosovo as their number has reached hundreds of thousands and keeps increasing by the day. Currently, stray dogs are sterilized and are either left to go back on the streets or sent to a shelter home, which has already reached its full capacity. To address this problem, the team proposes the systemization of stray animals in several ways, including: (1) identifying animal adoption options, (2) providing pet care information (i.e. feeding, vaccination, veterinary clinics), and (3) the creation of a pet owners community to share information and interests.
TechPrindi: The team will develop a mobile phone application in Albanian for new users, and for elder people who find it challenging to use a smartphone. The app will feature videos teaching users in simple steps how to use smartphones at beginner and intermediate levels. The app will enable better communication channels between new users and those that already have a good grasp of smartphones.
Lokalizo: Just recently the local elections were held in Kosovo from which the outcome produced 20 new mayors and showed the increased civic awareness on the quality of governance. In this regard, our platform comes at a moment when motivation and momentum is gaining traction to get locals engaged in community building. The problem we want to solve is the fact that citizens do not actively take part in the decision-making process or in activities that lead towards community improvement . Presently inactive citizens constitute the majority of Kosovo’s population. Lokalizo.net provides a solution that will encourage a culture of civic activism and participation by using the tools made available through technology. Lokalizo is a platform that will serve the initial purpose we came here with. The idea was a bit different in the beginning but now we shaped it to meet the needs at the local level thus enabling citizens of Prishtina to partake in the everyday policy and decision-making processes by identifying local issues around the place and informing the municipality administration immediately about them, localizing the issues on a digital map of the city. The name and branding has evolved with the original idea.
Unë Guxoj: Bullying among children and youth in schools and online is a growing concern. To address this issue, the team is developing a platform that includes resources for children and young people aged 8-18 to: (1) understand what bullying is, (2) how they can prevent it, and (3) report anonymous cases when they were bullied either physically, verbally, covertly or online. The platform will help principals recognize bullying as a problem in their schools, and will inform them on actions needed to eliminate all the prevalent types of bullying.
Stay tuned for a story of team Lokalizo and follow their journey from SI Camp Kosovo to developing their awarded concept towards a working real life solution.
Rrezarta Veseli – Youth Advocacy Platform Coordinator, UNICEF Kosovo
Ron Salaj – Social Media Officer, UNICEF Kosovo