The Edition


Five ‘Miyaheli’ winners aim to solve COVID-19 challenges

Mariyam Malsa
11 May 2020, MVT 10:13
Minister Mahloof participating in the closing ceremony. PHOTO: UNDP MALDIVES
Mariyam Malsa
11 May 2020, MVT 10:13

The social innovation camp ‘Miyaheli’, on Saturday, concluded its fifth iteration, with five winners announced at a livestreamed award ceremony.

Held virtually from May 7 to 9, Miyaheli brought together more than 70 participants, expert guidance and tools to innovate ideas to aid Maldives' COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

Ooredoo Maldives and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Maldives collaborated with the National Youth Council and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment to host the online camp.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives, Najib Khan and UNDP Maldives Resident Representative Akiko Fujii presided over the award ceremony.

The logo's of the five winners of Miyaheli social innovation camp. PHOTO: UNDP MALDIVES

The following five winning ideas were selected from 11 proposals after evaluation by a panel of five judges:

- Visnun Thari: a local and educational YouTube channel designed to engage children, encouraging them to learn and try new things with their family, amid social and physical distancing measures

- Pari Help: a silent solution for victims of abuse and harrasment to alert the police

- Holhuashi: a public chat room for people to visit, based on the concept of an island’s holhuashi.

- Binheyo: a concept to provide people with equipment and expertise to farm from their homes as well as connecting farmers to livelihood opportunities.

- Ehee: a website that allows the public to easily access doctors during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The winners will receive seed funding and mentorship in accordance with their proposed budget and requirements, to refine and actualize their ideas.

Youth Minister Mahloof stated that "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".

Referring to the success of the camp's virtual set-up, CEO of Ooredoo Maldives Najib Khan said that everyone coming together through technology during this difficult time attested to humankind's capacity to overcome any difficulty.

This year’s Miyaheli is focused on achieving the following goals:

- Supporting the most vulnerable and at-risk people including the elderly, people with disabilities, migrants and individuals experiencing any form of violence

- Supporting business and industries, particularly small and medium enterprises and businesses in the informal sector, by supporting adaptation, expansion and economic diversification

- Enhancing social connectedness and cohesion by increasing access to psychosocial support and initiatives for digital social connectedness

- Assisting early detection, prevention response and recovery and prevention

- Improving daily lives through innovation

Expressing gratitude to partners and participants, UNDP Resident Representative Akiko Fujii stated that "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".

UNDP Maldives and Ooredoo Maldives have collboratively held the Miyaheli social innovation camps since 2016, with the youth ministry joining efforts in 2019.

The camp, intended to create innovations on pressing social issues, has garnered the participation of almost 160 young people from across the country since its inception.