Ayoung student was groped and raped at night in her home in Uganda in 2017. Too ashamed to leave her house and face her neighbors who knew about the assault, she stayed in her home for several weeks until her friends took her to a hospital. There she discovered that she had contracted HIV and was pregnant. The young student had a smartphone and several mobile applications yet was unsure, like many other victims of gender-based violence (GBV), of where to go for assistance and which providers offer free services.

Terrydon Wamboga, who counseled the victim when he worked as a youth counselor at Naguru Youth Health Network, was inspired by that experience to create a mobile phone app with fellow social worker, Arafat Kabugo. Arafat and Terrydon decided to bring together all the providers that offer free services on one mobile app to make it easier for victims and survivors of GBV in Uganda to determine where to go for help. And they had help from USAID to make it happen.

The ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), a development lab established by USAID and based at Makerere University in Uganda, held a hackathon with UN Women in 2018 focused on gathering digital solutions to gender-based violence. RAN encourages and supports locally led innovative solutions to development challenges and regularly hosts events — including hackathons, pitch sessions, and innovation “garages” — that provide space and mentoring for innovators to help them refine and scale-up their ideas. Read More