Youth: UNICEF is asking young people throughout the Asia-Pacific region to share their innovative ideas to improve the lives of children, families and communities.

UNICEF is inviting young people to submit their ideas via an online portal until September 4, 2016. The ideas will be assessed by a panel of experts. The creators of the most promising ideas will be invited to attend a 3-day boot-camp in Malaysia to further develop their projects. Ultimately, the three winners’ projects will be presented to regional leaders at a major international event, and the young innovators will receive seed funding and mentorship to carry the projects forward.

“Young people play a significant role in building a better and brighter future for the Asia-Pacific, including by using their creativity and energy to find innovative solutions to the problems their communities face”, said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF’s regional director for East Asia and the Pacific. “This innovation challenge will provide the inventors and creators of the future with a chance to develop their projects and to showcase them. Government ministers will be introduced to the innovations at a major regional event on child rights, called A Billion Brains – Smart Children: Healthier Economies, to be held in Malaysia later this year.”

The Youth Innovation Challenge is a key initiative that will be showcased at the A Billion Brains – Smarter Children: Healthier Economies event. This major intergovernmental meeting, the 3rd High Level Meeting on Child Rights held in the Asia Pacific region, will be attended by Heads of State and senior ministers from Asia-Pacific governments who will seek to share their knowledge and experience to find ways to improve the lives of children. Priority issues that will be discussed at the meeting, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will include ways to maximize returns on Governments’ social sector expenditures, Universal Health Care and systems to protect children from violence.

Young people aged 24 and under are invited to share, develop and test their ideas to address social challenges in these three priority areas.

Staff reporter