Monday 6 April, 2020

Young techies seek sponsorship to represent Jamaica in UN Hackathon

(From left) Joshua Thompson, Juleen K Gentles, Odain Brown and Chinelle Miller.

(From left) Joshua Thompson, Juleen K Gentles, Odain Brown and Chinelle Miller.

Corporations, take heed! A team of young Jamaican tech wizards will be travelling to Switzerland on March 18 to compete in the international round of the United Nation’s hackathon against world hunger, having won the local staging last month. The team will be competing against others from all over the world and have also been formally invited to the UN ITU World Summit on the Information Society on March 20, 2018. However, there may be a glitch in their plans.

ITU is covering the airfare and accommodation costs for three participants, however Team Youth Can Do I.T. (YCDI) – the moniker used by the team of Jamaican university students - consists of four members who are in need of other crucial sponsorships and partnerships to make their trip to Switzerland a reality for all.

"We are seeking US$4,000 additional funding that will cover costs including: airfare, accommodation and food for the 4th team member, expedited visa application fees, expedited passport fees, team apparel and winter apparel," a sponsorship letter from the team said.

"We understand that there is not much time before the competition, but our team believes that partnering with us will not only directly help us to go to Geneva, Switzerland but it would help to put Jamaica on the world stage in tech.

“If successful in Geneva, Team YCDI will partner with the ITU and the United Nations to implement our solution towards ending world hunger on a worldwide scale. Team YCDI is proof that young people can take charge and become major influencers in crafting the digital empowerment and advancement of not only Jamaica but also the world. An investment in us, is an investment in the future," the letter said.

Team YCDI won the local staging of the #HackAgainstHunger Hackathon that was hosted by the Department of Computing at UWI on February 17th through 18th. Teams were asked to develop ICT solutions that helps to improve food security, decrease malnutrition or help to prevent famine, in accordance with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Number 2.

Comprised of second year university students Juleen Gentles, Odain Brown, Joshua Thompson (computing students at the University of Technology) and Chinelle Miller (medical student at the University of the West Indies, Mona), Team YCDI had the youngest entrants in the competition and the team emerged successful from a competitive pool of university students and IT professionals, with their integrated Web Application and Mobile App, ‘A-grow’.

A-grow is a web and mobile platform that makes agricultural data smart by identifying, predicting and visually representing agricultural trends using open data from agricultural agencies to graphically represent crop production and distribution across the country. The application also makes predictive analyses of production growth as well as demand. A-grow send trends, tips, and other useful, location specific information to registered farmers based on data analytics.

Farmers, are in turn able to relay feedback, complaints or suggestions to government agencies, hereby streamlining communication. A-grow facilitate the connectivity of both parties, and supports efficient, smart and easy agricultural processes.

So who will be able to assist Team YCDI to make that vision a reality?

You may contact Team YCDI by:
Telephone: 876-884-2699

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