The AHEAD Hackathon, which our brand Youth against AIDS hosted in July 2021, revealed itself as a tremendous success and in its very nature as a catalyst for awesome upcoming projects. Our participants have created promising solutions for global sexual health issues and challenges. All attendees have contributed their respective valuable individual insights, proved highly innovative problem-solving abilities, and most of all demonstrated the powerful potential of working together closely in diverse teams. 

All in all, 15 groups with four to eight people each participated in our Hackathon. The team members came from over 30 different countries spread across all continents. What a great working base, right? We are so happy to conclude, that if anything, the past few days have illustrated that diversity goes hand in hand with commitment: No time zones could stop our participants from developing innovative ideas together in their teams. Some got up at 3am to join our first Q&A session at 10am European time - their dedication to the project knew no bounds!

And we can continue with this line: At the point of their first pitch of projects, our participants knew each other for 50 hours. Nonetheless, each team gave a highly engaging and well structured presentation of three to five minutes on their idea, their motivational driving force as well as their vision, and plan for the price fund. We were highly impressed by the level of detail given despite the short time frame. A few teams had even come up with logos, creative layouts as well as sophisticated and realistic budget plans. 

Following an elaborate discussion of their impressions, our jury, consisting of our management team, Prof. Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Linda-Gail Bekker, Dr. José M. Zuniga and Meg Doherty, announced the eight finalist teams in a Facebook live event on Sunday evening. 

The finalists of the AHEAD Hackathon were Global Rural Partnership and Youth for Action for Pillar 1, Access and Condomized for Pillar 2, Red Light Team and Team Blue Blood for Pillar 3 and Jamsa Scora and Latin ends Aids for Pillar 4. 

But since each pillar can only have one winner, our jury announced their final decision on monday evening: 

PILLAR 1: Advocate for Action / Youth for Action

PILLAR 2: Sports for Action / Access

PILLAR 3: Digital means for the Youth / RedLight Team 

PILLAR 4: Jamsa Scora / Mickle Jamaica

However, only the most promising project receives the grant of US $3000 provided by IAPAC and Youth against AIDS. 

Despite the competitive nature of this event, all participants have demonstrated extraordinary and genuine support for each other, thus creating an atmosphere of radiating positivity. During the weekend many posts were shared under #hackathonbestmoments and the teams eventually self-organized an after party to celebrate their doing. Well deserved!

We are amazed by the outcomes our Hackathon has prompted and are very excited to see them come to life in the near future. In uniting their resources, our open-minded, curious and committed participants have truly helped us to significantly move AHEAD in the global fight against sexual health related challenges. We would like to thank everyone who took part in our AHEAD Hackathon and helped in creating such a special and meaningful event.