The two developers were among 60 programmers, designers and developers who converged at 88mph’s Startup Garage in Nairobi for a hackathon hosted by Refugees United and Ericsson that involved a weekend of networking, innovating and competing.
The hackathon was aimed at connecting refugee families separated by war, conflict and disaster.
The two winning projects were “DKK”, which enables volunteers to collect data offline and synchronize it with an online server.
The other as “Team Acid” which developed an application called RefUnite Plus, an online web registration system that makes it easier to locate a refugee.
“Family members lose track of each other mainly during war or famine and we must continue to invent technical solutions to put them back in touch,” said Margaret Kositany, director of sustainability and corporate responsibility at Ericsson, Kenya.
“With more than 43 million forcibly displaced people of the world, there is an urgent need to reconnect families to their missing loved ones,” said Richard Ngamita, data analyst manager of Refugees United. “Everyone has the right to know where their family is.”
Partnering since 2010, Ericsson and Refugees United seek to help separated families reconnect via mobile technology. Ericsson supports www.refunite.org – a mobile and web platform that empowers refugees to take the search for long lost family into their own hands.
The hack in Nairobi was the last in a series of three which also took place in Cairo and Silicon Valley.
Refugees United and Ericsson will announce the three global winners via Google Hangout on World Refugee Day, June 20.
The three winners from Cairo, Nairobi and Silicon Valley will be invited to test their prototypes at a refugee camp in late 2013.