What if you could solve any problem in your community with just a click on your phone? This is exactly what youth participants in the Code for Jordan programme are trying to do!
Code for Jordan, Generations For Peace’s first-ever code-based peacebuilding programme, is an innovative programme that aims to improve Jordanian and Syrian refugee youth’s economic, political, social, and cultural participation within Jordanian society and young graduates to gain practical experience and technical knowledge within their field of expertise while improving their communication, problem solving, and leadership skills – all necessary to flourish in the workplace.
With the support of ProgressSoft Corporation and in close collaboration with the Municipalities of Balqa, Mafraq, and Sahab, youth have successfully identified the biggest problems in their local communities and have developed applications to help solve them. Read on to learn more!
The youth in Balqa came together to identify issues facing their local community and brainstorm potential solutions. They concluded that solving the high unemployment rate, especially amongst young people, was the most troubling to them. So, they asked themselves, “how can we create job opportunities for local citizens?”
The answer can to them shortly after! The youth decided to take advantage of the local tourism sites and attractions and create a way that knowledgeable locals could act as tour guides for visitors and tourists. Local citizens who wanted to serve as tour guides could easily register in their application and describe what types of services they could offer (i.e., languages they could speak, areas they were most familiar with, etc.). Then, when tourists would visit the area, they too could download the application and select a tour guide based on their interests. Everybody wins!
After holding a session with community members, the youth from Mafraq determined two major issues were facing their local community. First, lack of job opportunities and workshops to improve the employability of job seeking youth was resulting in high unemployment rates. Second, community members wanted to see an improvement in the local education sector. So, what did they decide to do?
The creative youth of Mafraq took on the challenge to create an application that simultaneously solved these two issues. They ended up creating an application that offered youth and young graduates the opportunity to register themselves as tutors for those who needed extra support in a certain subject. Then, when a student found themselves struggling in English, for example, they could use the application to connect with someone in their local community to tutor them in the subject, thereby helping to provide community members with a source of income and support students in gaining the knowledge and skills they need to succeed.
The youth in Sahab held a brainstorming session to identify local challenges and ways they could help their community overcome them. In the end, they settled on tackling the need for supporting and improving local infrastructure. Their idea was simple – if a citizen came across an issue in the infrastructure (for example, a pothole in their neighbourhood), they could take a photo of it with their mobile phone with the GPS coordinates of the issue and submit it via an application to the local municipality for action to be taken. They even included a ‘status function’ that allowed citizens to follow-up on their submission – how convenient!
Despite the challenges the team faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included learning to work together and communicate with each other remotely, they successfully overcame the roadblocks they faced and are excited to see their application come to life!
Three creative applications by three incredible groups! Applications will be available for download via the Apple Store and Google Play in late March 2021 (in Jordan only).