Golden 1000 Days Code Camp: IT and youths for mothers and children

A new approach to maternal health.

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Elaine Memorial Foundation (EMFound) in association with UNICEF, Nepal, Nutrition and Food Security Nepal, National Planning Commission, European Union and Ministry of Health (NHEICC), Government of Nepal had organized a residential, 4 days and 3 nights: Golden 1000 Days Code Camp from Nov 15-18, 2016.

Golden 1000 days is a campaign introduced by UNICEF with the primary goal to bring a change in the lifestyle of pregnant mothers and children below two years of age such that there is a visible reduction in child and maternal mortality rate. This initiative strives to increase awareness about the importance of the first 1000 days in a child’s life, ultimately reducing the maternal and child mortality through improved health and nutritional status of pregnant and lactating mothers as well as young children. Understanding the complications, necessities, and requirements of a mother and a child in the 1000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday offers a unique opportunity to shape a healthier and more prosperous future for the entire family.

The Golden 1000 Days Code Camp 2016 offered an array of opportunities to student developers, designers, programmers and tech professionals to team up and put forward innovative ideas to achieve the primary goal of UNICEF’s mission. Designers, developers, strategists, IT Professionals and project managers who want to make a difference through technology gathered and worked in harmony to develop many innovative ideas on how to engage youths in the pre-natal and post-natal process.

With 120 participants, the Code Camp commenced on 15th November. The introduction session began at 10:55 AM with Mr. Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, Executive Chairperson of the Em Found, addressing the participants with a mantra: “Victory is in our veins“. He welcomed and motivated the participants by letting them know about the impact that this project would create upon completion: 400,000 mothers would be benefiting from the webapp that will be developed during the code camp. The app developed by the youth for the welfare of women and children would be owned and implemented by the Government of Nepal. He also focused on the fact that how without the active participation of the youth, this innovative solution would never come to play. The participants were then divided into multiple teams and each team had a mentor from the different fields available – such as Health Expert, Business Technology Expert, Industry Expert.

Mr. Badri Bahadur Khadka, Director of NHEICC, Ministry Of Health(Nepal) put forward his best wishes for the camp and Mr. Rudrajit Das, Chief Communication For Development (UNICEF) also highlighted that innovation shouldn’t be for oneself but it should for the sake of humanity. Mr. Kunj Prasad Joshi, Health Administrative Officer,Nepal, gave a presentation on the Health and Nutrition Status of Nepal. Ms. Bonita Sharma gave a presentation about the major problems faced in child and maternal health in Nepal. 

On day 2, the participants were all invited to be creative and put forward innovative ideas to help develop a better, healthy environment for mothers and children. The participants showed their determination and dedication by designing, creating and coding their ideas. The teams were also provided with guidelines to divide tasks among team members on topics such as User Interface, Application Programming Interface etc.

On day 3, the participants showcased their ideas in front of the jury and 10 teams got selected to continue with their ideas to make “Golden 1000 days” campaign a success. The teams took the suggestions given by the jury and implemented them to their ideas to bring out an excellent result.

On day 4, the final ten teams were divided into 3 different groups: group, WordPress group, and app group. The teams were to integrate the solutions generated the day before according to their respective groups. The solutions discovered during the 4 days Code Camp will be used as a foundation by the IT interns at MIC to create the final product.

The Code Camp did not only brought together innovative ideas to make the “Golden 1000 days” a success but also brought youths with different visions and backgrounds together and made them understand the necessity of maternal and child health care. The camp was a growing platform for the youths that not only let them code their way through the 4 days but also helped them build team spirit; interpersonal, individual skills and personality.

In a nutshell, the Code Camp conducted by EMFound, Nepal was a thoroughly successful event which upon completion,we believe, can obviously help drop maternal and child mortality rate.