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Cameroon: Mobile App connecting blood donors wins 2018 STEM Prize

Winner of the 2018 Stem Prize (c)Journalducameroun.com

A mobile application aimed at connecting blood donors in communities in Cameroon has won the 2018 Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics(STEM) Prize.

The application designed by a group students of the Quality International School in Yaounde came top out of a series five projects that were retained for the final of the competition that held on Saturday December 8 in at the Muna Foundation in the nation’s capital.

The app called Hemo connects blood donors on na platform for mutual help and assistance and solve the issue of blood donation in most hospitals in Cameroon, the brains behind the project said.

“Blood donors register on our platform with the requested information and those who need blood can easily access the platform on the list of donors,” Ekinde Mekolle, a member of the team said.

Mekolle and her team mates are just under 13 years old and have been working all year long to develop the application before they entered the competition that was launched by the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in May.

“It is not just about winning the prize, the excitement also comes from the fact that none of these children are above 13. These are children who came as novice and you look at them and realise they have the potential to do great things so we decided to be entrepreneural and try to be creative so as to solve problems,” Aneibu Mbanwei, Principal of the Quality International School said.

Going home with a 1.5 million FCFA cash prize as well as several other prizes the students look forward to develop their innovation into a feasible nationwide project.

As the Hemo project, the other four finalists are looking forward to pursue their dreams of seeing their projects become a reality in Cameroon.

This is the case with the runner up of the competition-a group of youngs girls from the Government Bilingual High School in Kumbo- who braved the odds and travelled from the North West region to present their biogas project aimed at fighting deforestation by replacing wood with biogas.

In total, five projects were shortlisted for the finals out of the over 45 projects that entered this year’s competition with the winner bagging home 1.5 million FCFA, the runner up 1 million and 750 thousand FCFA for the third position. The other two finalists returned home with 500 thousand francs CFA each.

“This year’s competition was so exceptional because despite the difficulties in the North West and South West regions, we had some beautiful projects from that part of the country,” Dr. Vera Fuein of the Denis and Lenora Foundation said while praising the organisation of this year’s competition and looking forward to the next edition.

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