Aged between 10 and 11, Pandora Onyedire, Ayomikun Ariyo, Ivana Mordi, Jadesola Kassim and Munachiso Chigbo have built a mobile phone app that aims basically to raise funds to support children who are brilliant but needy.
The innovative app, ‘Hands Out’, by these 5 Nigerian girls, who go by the name the ‘Brain Squad’, has won them a place in the finals of the 2019 Technovation World Pitch Summit being held at Silicon Valley in California, U.S.A.
In March this year, at least 10 people died while many more were trapped after under a school building that had collapsed in the Nigerian city of Lagos.
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The school, which was on the top floor of the four-storey building in Ita Faji on Lagos Island, had more than 100 pupils, a rescue official told the BBC.
This situation inspired these girls to develop the app as a form of support for children in similar circumstances. The app makes it easy for people to make financial donations to support brilliant but needy children who are unable to pay their school fees, as well as afford basic things like food, shoes, books, stationery, medication and more.
The girls, who are currently in Silicon Valley at the global finals, had earlier won the State, Regional & National Level competitions for innovation with their App before making it to the USA, reports Punch Nigeria.
Already, some children have started benefiting from the Hands Out App but their overall goal is for this app to be an avenue for donors to help those in need and help more children access education. The funds raised will be handled by the team’s alumni group and Stanbic IBTC Fund managers.
Brain Squad is the last African team standing in the competition and will be competing against their fellow junior division finalists from Canada, the United States and other teams.
Technovation was born out of an idea CEO Tara Chklovski had gotten hooked on as an engineer at USC. Looking around at her fellow grad students, Tara realized how few women and people of color were in the room. Determined to change that – not just in her cohort, but everywhere – she left and started Technovation to reach young people and get them excited about science, technology, and innovation.