The crisis in Ukraine is still at large. In August, the United Nations reported 13,212 civilian casualties, with 5,514 people killed – but even this monumental number is thought to be an undercount.
With roughly 30 percent of Ukrainians (12 million people) displaced from their homes, the issue is ongoing, which means that the Ukrainian people need ongoing support.
We’re so thrilled to see how people with diverse skill sets from around the world are banding together to provide humanitarian aid, financial assistance, and tech solutions to help Ukrainian people on the ground. And we’re incredibly proud of our Girls in Tech community for being a part of the efforts.
In partnership with McKinsey and Nike, we held a Virtual Hackathon for Ukraine, asking our community to develop innovative tech support solutions for the crisis. Over 149 participants submitted incredible MVPs and prototypes, showing their willingness to step up and offer help as this crisis unfolds and expands. What hearts you all have!
Here, we’ll share the three winning entries with you. Please take the time to read about them, and be inspired to create meaningful tech solutions of your own.
1st Place – UGrant Ukraine
Georgia Chan, creator of UGrant Ukraine, dove straight into user research when deciding what sort of app to design for the hackathon. She spoke to a local Ukrainian nonprofit to understand their pain points, and from these discussions, UGrant Ukraine was born.
UGrant Ukraine is a platform that enables local NGOs to more effectively prioritize their time, and spend more of it on the provision of humanitarian resources. It offers an elegant solution to accelerate the funding application process in order to enable nonprofits to serve their unique visions and support Ukraine civilians’ human rights and livelihoods.
In a nutshell, it’s a platform that allows nonprofits to easily find and apply for relevant grants, cutting out the time spent on paperwork.
Georgia said this of her experience working on the app:
“Understanding more about current events and learning about people have given me an opportunity to self-reflect and grow. Knowing Irene and her team (research participants), who are inside Ukraine, yet keep trying their best to help those in need is really inspiring. I learnt to appreciate what I have, and to think about how to give.”
Check out the UGrant Ukraine Devpost page to learn more about it.
2nd Place – Heart’s Bazaar
The team behind the Heart’s Bazaar app wanted to create a way for everyday Ukrainian people to access much-needed basics like accommodation, food and water, and hygiene supplies, as well as professional services like Legal Aid.
The platform they developed allows people offering, and those needing assistance, to easily connect. This cuts out the need for a middleman, like a nonprofit service, enabling citizens to help each other out quickly and efficiently. People outside Ukraine can also provide help through the platform, contributing financial assistance or professional support.
Importantly, Heart’s Bazaar was designed with UX in mind and the team conducted plenty of research to ensure it would meet the needs of real Ukrainians.
The team said of their work:
“We are all very proud of the work that we accomplished and are hopeful that our application project can help inspire new ways to help those in incredible need find the help they deserve in a quicker and more empathetic way.”
Check out the Heart’s Bazaar Devpost page to learn more about it, and to see a video demonstration of the app in action.
3rd Place – Robota
Our third place winning team wanted to specifically address the need for successful economic readjustment for Ukrainians needing long-term financial solutions. Cleverly, they tied Ukraine’s talented workforce to the skilled worker deficit in the US – particularly in the tech industry.
The Robota platform is designed to connect skilled Ukrainians with long-term employment opportunities, thereby boosting their financial security. Robota aims to give more Ukranians a source of stable income, enabling them to develop independence and leverage their skills to contribute to the global economy.
An in-built algorithm matches candidates and jobs based on skills and experience, simplifying the recruitment process for employers. The team has focused on platform security, promoting ethical wages, and user experience.
The Robota team now plans to bring on sponsors and get the platform off the ground to help Ukrainians.
Check out the Robota Devpost page to learn more about it, and see how it works.
More ways to help
If you don’t have tech skills to contribute to the Ukrainian cause like these winning teams did (and the others, which you can view on Devpost), remember there are other ways to help too. Perhaps you could donate money or advocate online. Get some tips on how to support Ukraine in our blog Ukraine is in Crisis: Can Tech Help Out?
And if the crisis has you feeling anxious and in need of support yourself, view these tips on how to manage war-related anxiety.
If you ARE technically inclined, and you’d like to participate in our next hackathon event, keep an eye on our Events page!
Or, if you’re an organization looking for a way to give back to the community, while empowering women in technology to learn new skills and gain confidence, please get in touch to discuss partnering with Girls in Tech on our next program. We’d love to have your support!