At 12 years old, most of us were playing on a playground or watching Saturday morning cartoons on a boxy old television. Our internet connection was dial-toned, and the time we spent on it limited.
It is no secret that times have changed, and most 12-year-old children today are as tech savvy as they can get. However, not a lot of them are already stepping into their careers in technology development.
Thanks to technology, a group of girls travelled from a country where many citizens live on $1 a day to the shiny Silicon Valley in California.
You see, these girls are only 11 and 12 years old, and they have spent their spare time creating an app.
“Don’t find customers for your product, find products for your customers”
This was the tagline touted by 12-year-old Lorna Dara Soucheng, who led the team that created Cambodian Identity Product – one of the apps presented at the Technovation Challenge World Pitch Summit competition earlier this month. To take part, girls across the world had to develop both an app and business plan that addressed one of the U.N. development goals. Out of the eight goals, they chose one close to home – poverty.
The app is a tool that they hope will promote their culture on a worldwide scale. The app also aims to provide charity to local Cambodians and give artisans a place to sell their work.
Image source: VOA News
Although they were there to showcase their work, the girls also raised awareness for a different issue. They come from a country where only 14% of all students in information technology are women. This figure is something that is attributed to lack of equal education and female role models.
These girls may be shaping the future of their country a different way than they thought, not only showing aspiration, but inspiration.
How Technovation panned out
The Cambodian-made app was one of the few presented in the Junior Division of the competition, which was hosted at Google Headquarters.
Other noteworthy apps that featured in the contest included:
- ‘Lakshyashala’ from India: An app aiming to help students achieve career ambitions by finding schools and alumni mentors in their area;
- ‘4Refugee’ from California: Developed to help the millions of refugees in America find basic information on jobs, food, transport and culture in the area. It aims to help them both assimilate and promote peace;
- ‘Dementia Care Companion’ from Hong Kong: Aimed at helping those who suffer dementia to maintain their skills and interact easier with loved ones. This app was named the Junior Division winner.
Technovation is one of the only worldwide competitions of its kind. It was created to invite girls from across the world to learn about technology and apply their skills to help address pressing world issues.
If you were looking for your daily dose of inspiration, the apps created by these girls are a good place to start.