On Friday, 25 September and for 3 continuous days, PeaceHackBEY kicked off in Beirut to create technical solutions increasing access to information and services for women, youth and refugees. This social good hackathon, organized by International Alert and Chayn, is part of the Talking Peace Festival. This is one of the first civic tech hackathon of its kind in Lebanon that brought together NGOs and developers to transform innovative ideas into open source solutions that will support the traditional humanitarian space in Lebanon.
The event was supported by key partners from which Uber, Facebook, UK Lebanon Tech Hub, Berytech and UK government.
Over 50 passionate individuals were gathered over the weekend at UK Leb Hub from developers, designers, NGOs, and charities to build a diverse portfolio of digital tools, ideas and solutions to help tackle problems faced by Lebanon’s residents, such as creating a free educational platform for young people and a way for reporting abuse for women.
The hackathon experience was unique with lot of energy and enthusiasm featuring brainstorming, coding, app or website building, and problem-solving with the ultimate goal of creating innovative and user-friendly technologies to solve challenges.
Berytech was actively involved in the program and supported this initiative, being a strong and continuous believer in youth and talents, for a positive impact in the society, offering as well an incubation prize for the winning team to help in the project development phase.
Judges included Eleanor Stewart, Head of Transparency at UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Georgiy Kassabli, a lead engineer from Facebook; Rebecca Crozier, Head of Emerging Programmes at International Alert; Reine Abbas, one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women (2014); Samuel Cheung, UNHCR Innovation Fellow; Ramy Boujawdeh, Berytech; and Youmna Naufal, News Anchor and Producer at Future TV.
Dan Marsh, Head of Technology at International Alert, said: “Technology can be used to incite, or even perpetrate violence. But it can also bring people together, make voices heard and improve lives.”
Maryam Amjad, Hackathon lead at Chayn, said: “Given strained resources and growing frustration from citizens and refugees in Lebanon, it is a ripe time for citizens to come together and build solutions for their communities. From finding a way to provide education to all, employment to the young, and empowerment for women – peacehackbey aims to innovate the NGO space.”
Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy GM of Berytech added: “ as Berytech we support the PeaceHackBey because we use tech and people to create solutions for peace and prosperity and technology and innovation are key in making the world a better place”
At the end of this exciting adventure, the winning team called “Step Forward” featured an application that facilitates donations between donors, charities and NGOs and will be the lucky one to benefit from further support from Berytech team to build the business proposal and bring the application idea to execution.