Thursday, October 15, 2015

UP grad students win Geneva Challenge 2015 with pro-OFW project

A team of graduate students from the University of the Philippines bested 45 others to place first in the prestigious Geneva Challenge 2015 at the Graduate Institute in Geneva on Monday.

Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace prize winner and High Patron of the Advancing Development Goals (ADG) Contest, presented team leader Prof. Frances Antoinette Cruz, Janina Clare Tan, and Yvan Ysmael Yonaha with a certificate and CHF10,000 in monetary prizes.

Based on this year's theme of return migration, the students presented a project named the Integrated Return Migrant Mobile Assistant (IRMMA).

The mobile-based database allows returning OFWs to learn of training and employment opportunities offered by the government, non-government organizations, or private companies around the country.

It also links OFWs to free call services that offer psychological help regardless of their preferred language.

The group states that the application will allow migrants to find entrepreneurial, employment, or educational opportunities regardless of their geographical location.

IRMMA will also allow the government and private researchers to collect data integral in creating programs for returning migrants.

"Local government units have expressed and so has a senator in the Philippines, so we're going to try to pilot it and have discussions with the various stakeholders involved so that we're informed of their needs and they can tell the government more clearly what it is they want," Cruz said.

The Geneva Challenge by ADG is an international competition for graduate students who may contribute ideas that are "both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a relevant international development problem." —KBK, GMA News 

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