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8 December 2015

Stories continue for WorldSkills Digital Challenge

The momentum of the first ever WorldSkills Digital Challenge - which took place alongside the WorldSkills São Paulo 2015 - did not stop in August. The true impact is reflected by how the participants make use of the experience and solutions from this exciting event. We have followed up with the five Brazilian NGOs to bring you the stories of their development.  

The NGOs have been working on the IT solutions presented to them at the Challenge in different directions based on their own circumstances and how their organizations develop. However, the common feedback from the NGOs after the Challenge is how this participation has greatly inspired them and opened new doors for their initiatives. Here is an overview of their progress: 

  • Ahimsa (Team Blue) – games for people with multiple disabilities

Ahimsa is setting up a website with the cash award from WorldSkills Foundation to tell their story in order to raise funding for further development of the solution. Though the prototype created at the Challenge is a good demonstration of how the solution could work, it still requires some more technical adjustment in order to use it for the children with multiple disabilities. The NGO hopes to find the right investors from the beginning of 2016.

Instituto S.O.S is not using the code that was developed at the Challenge because its technology is rarely used and expensive to maintain. However, the NGO has further developed the solution based on its original concept and design. The beta version will be launched before the end of 2015. The cash award from WorldSkills Foundation will be used for the solution’s hardware. Additionally, they have promoted their experience with WorldSkills to potential investors and greatly benefited from it.

After receiving the wining solution developed by Team Red, SobreVivência met with the Secretary of State for Health in Brazil after the Challenge. The government is keen to help the NGO further develop the solution along with other potential partners. In addition to the cash award from WorldSkills Foundation, the NGO is running a fundraising campaign for app maintenance and its landing page. Like the other NGOs, their credibility and networking opportunities have been increased by promoting their participation in the Challenge.  

Project Reggate stepped outside their comfort zone during the Challenge, and the result of thinking differently in their organization has become the biggest benefit for them. They are now able to design their projects with innovation, creativity, and technology that can help them achieve better results. To further develop the solution, there is a company that will help finalize the design on a pro-bono basis. The cash award from WorldSkills Foundation will be used to build a website and for the disclosure of technology. Inspired by the Challenge, Project Reggate also organized a one-month hackathon which involved ten university students to work on four social issues related to poverty, mobility, education, and health in mid-November.

The biggest benefit for the NGO is that they were able to establish a new partnership with FIAP Technical University in São Paulo, who was one of the project partners for the Challenge. The university will help further develop the app with a different algorithm as part of their training programme. The NGO hopes to attract more volunteers and potential partnerships through this experience.

The founder of Dream’NGO – Leandro Proença – joined the project as one of the mentors, and he has been instrumental in following up with the NGOs on their progress. “Many of them didn’t know how to proceed after the event and struggled at the beginning. But everyone has been so inspired and learned a lot from this experience," says Leandro. To ensure the sustainability of these excellent outcomes, Leandro has been providing mentoring and guidance to the NGOs which is essential for moving their dreams a huge step towards reality.