The first ever virtual ‘Miyaheli’ concludes: Five winning ideas emerge to address COVID-19 challenges facing Maldivian society

 

May 10, 2020: This year’s social innovation camp, ‘Miyaheli’ concluded last night, with top five winners announced at an awards ceremony streamed live. This first virtual Miyaheli held in response to the COVID-19 pandemic brought together over 70 participants from all across the Maldives, who were guided by mentors to create innovative ideas to aid the nation in its response and recovery efforts during the time of the crisis.

Five winning ideas were selected out of proposed 11 ideas, after evaluation by a panel of five judges;

·         Visnun Thari – proposes a local, relevant and educational YouTube channel to engage children in a meaningful way to learn and try new things with their family, while social and physical distancing.

·         Pari Help – proposes a silent solution to alert police to save people from abuse and harassment.

·         Holhuashi – proposes a public chat room for people to visit, premised around the concept of an island’s holhuashi.

·         Binheyo – a concept to provide people with equipment and expertise to farm from the comfort of their own homes and connect farmers to livelihoods opportunities.

·         Ehee – proposes to make a website that allows public to easily access doctors from the comfort of their homes during COVID-19 lockdown.

The winning ideas will receive seed funding and mentorship in accordance with their proposed budget and requirements, to refine and bring the ideas to life.

Ooredoo Maldives and UNDP Maldives teamed up with Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment and the National Youth Council in this 5th cycle of the series, which was held entirely online from May 7-9, 2020. The awards ceremony was presided by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Ahmed Mahloof, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives, Najib Khan and UNDP Maldives Resident Representative Akiko Fujii. 

Ahmed Mahloof, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment joining the virtual closing ceremony of Miyaheli.

“Participants at Miyaheli, especially youth, have proven that they are more than ready for this social innovation challenge. I thank youth for their active contributions to the social sector and development of the country by being at the forefront during this difficult time of COVID-19,” stated Ahmed Mahloof, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Development.

Alluding to the success of the virtual set-up of Miyaheli, Najib Khan, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives said that everyone coming together through technology during this difficult time is evidence that humankind can overcome any difficulty.

Najib Khan, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives at the virtual closing ceremony of Miyaheli.

This year’s Miyaheli was focused on addressing particular challenges arising from the crisis, such as:-

1.       Supporting the most vulnerable and at-risk people (elderly, people with disabilities, migrants and people experiencing any form of violence)

2.       Supporting Business and Industries (particularly MSMEs and informal sector, supporting existing industries adapt and expand, and diversifying the economy)

3.       Enhancing social connectedness and cohesion (coping with social isolation, helping access psychosocial support and initiatives for digital social connectedness)

4.       Innovation for Health (early detection, response and recovery and prevention), and

5.       Improving daily lives through innovation

“As we aim to Build Back Better and emerge stronger from this crisis, it is with such entrepreneurial thinking and innovation that we can create solutions to the development issues in the country, and accelerate our progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” Akiko Fujii, UNDP Resident Representative said thanking partners for the support, and participants for their solutions.

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Akiko Fujii, UNDP Resident Representative at the virtual closing ceremony of Miyaheli.

NOTE:

The Social Innovation Camps, 'Miyaheli' has been organised in the Maldives by UNDP in partnership with Ooredoo for the past four years and with Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment since 2019. The series brings together youth, ideas, mentors and digital and nondigital tools to create innovations on pressing social issues. Close to 160 youth from across the country have been engaged since 2016. This year’s virtual ‘Miyaheli’ is the 5th cycle of the series.

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