A 24-hour break poverty hackathon between Kenyans and Canadians aims to develop a solution to tackle rural poverty and to improve lives of Kenyans.
Developers Without Borders, a Canadian non-profit organization, hosted the hackathon. The non-profit runs an online platform connecting software developers worldwide with international development projects.
The hackathon took place in Nairobi and Toronto over Skype and provided an opportunity for more than 200 Canadian and Kenyan software developers to work together. The hackathon trained software developers to build SMS, hardware and mobile web solutions, which will improve health, education and agriculture to the people of rural Kenya.
Danielle Thé, founder of Developers Without Borders, said, “The core of Break Poverty Hackathons are to build cross-continental relationships between software developers in different countries. By listening to others before we build, hackathon attendees at Break Poverty will create technology that aren’t just cool, but immensely life changing for people living in poverty.”
Participants in Toronto spent part of the event learning about real issues on the ground in Kenya, then coming up with ideas that could improve conditions and issues people face on a daily basis. The developers worked together to create realistic solutions to education, business and farming problems. Some of the apps created could help residents in areas such as measuring the market prices of their agriculture or monitoring maternal health.
“The number one goal is increasing access to information,” Thé said.
The winning solutions from the Break Poverty hackathon will be implemented by Free the Children in some of Kenya’s most remote areas. Free the Children is an international charity and educational partner that works to free children and their families from poverty and exploitation.
Developers Without Borders believes that solutions to international development issues will not come about if people work in isolation. The non-profit wants to continue to tackle rural poverty around the world.
– Jordan Connell