Nigerian youths are one of the most industrious and creative sets of people in the world, they know how to think, take initiative and make a difference. For this purpose, the 4 Youth By Youth (4YBY) initiative was a platform for 30 Nigerian youths to not only showcase their intellectual and creative sides but to also provide a solution to increasing HIV self-testing among young people.
The 4YBY initiative was led by researchers at Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Saint Louis University (SLU), New York University (NYU), University of North Carolina and Chapel-Hill (UNC). The Initiative’s journey started with crowdsourcing of ideas between October to November 2018 with winning ideas selected on Saturday, December 1, 2018.
To further strengthen the initiative, the 4YBY group organized the first ever designathon in Nigeria between March 29 and 31st, 2019; where each team collaborated, brainstormed, designed, and pitched solutions to the social and health issues. Each group was exposed to speakers and coaches, entrepreneurs, tech experts, design gurus, and others, who helped refine their ideas. At the end of designathon, three winners were chosen again and each received 50, 000, 150,000 and 200,000 Naira respectively based on what positions they had. They also received automatic tickets to the next stage.
Eventually, seven of the teams that had the best ideas from the Designathon moved on to the Boot Camp. The teams spent 4 weeks designing, developing, improving and refining their ideas on how to help increase HIV self-testing among youths in Nigeria. At the end of the Bootcamp, the best 3 teams were rewarded with cash prizes and start-up packages to launch their entrepreneurial journey.