Innovate Challenges (InChallenges) program is a national invention challenge for youth in Sierra Leone, Kenya and South Africa. The InChallenges program elicits project proposals from youth around the country and offers design workshops, seed funding, and mentorship to select finalists in order for them to develop their conceptual projects into tangible solutions that positively affect their community. The InChallenges program enhances critical and creative thinking, promotes civic engagement, strengthens Science Technology Engineering Arts & Mathematics(STEAM) literacies and develops entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
Innovate Kenya has launched its application cycle for the 2016 InChallenges program. In this month long accelerator program, Kenyan youth will undergo a series of Design Thinking trainings, leadership clinics, community outings and rigorous technical training and exploration in their project of interest. Program dates are set for February to August.
Youth will engage in creative thinking workshops and problem solving workshops to learn design-thinking principles and conduct background research on problems they have themselves identified. Through these workshops, students also get a chance to draft a project proposal to enter the InChallenges competition and receive detailed feedback about their proposals.
Youth will develop pilot projects and prototyping to test their solutions to problems they understand. Based on feasibility, innovation, and social impact, finalists are selected and provided with mentorship and seed-funding to prove their concept over a piloting phase. Based on progress and potential for scale, additional funding is provided to winner team(s) to scale and further develop their prototypes and projects.
Youth will connect with other innovative secondary students as they work on diverse types of projects. Furthermore, the teams are put in touch with GMin’s global and local networks of mentors and professionals, who assist students to further develop their prototypes. Local companies and NGO’s working in similar fields also ensure ongoing support and cooperation to help them scale their projects on the ground.
The winning youths will work as ambassadors for our InChallenges, and demonstrate the enormous potential and high level of ingenuity that is in the youth. GMin assists with media coverage, stories and blogposts to help inspire other young minds in order to promote self-efficacy among youths.