16 Year Old Sierra Leone Prodigy “DJ” Kelvin Doe Builds Radio Station for Community
West African teen Kelvin Doe awes scientists with his knack for building tech from scrap
Doe, the Sierra Leone teen also known as DJ Focus, built a radio station from discarded parts and constructed a battery to help manage blackouts in his village – and now plans to build a windmill to produce electricity.
A West African science prodigy inspired scientists from top tier U.S. universities by transforming trash into technological solutions to empower his community – and he is only 16.
Paula Aguilera/MIT Media Lab
Clever and resourceful, Doe created a transistor radio, homemade batteries and studio generator with broken equipment he found in the trash.
How can you help?
How do you transform societies where development and innovation are part of an intrinsic cultural fabric? How can you transform individuals from the passive role of users of technological advancements to active makers of the technology and solutions that will impact their nation?
We believe the answer lies in the youth and by instilling in them passion for the ingenuity and the diligence, required for innovation. This is exactly what Innovate Salone has done and is continuing to do. Innovate Salone is about the Now and Future of Sierra Leone. We challenge Sierra Leonean youths to design the solutions to complex problems in their local and national communities.
In the first year of implementation, Innovate Salone supported and mentored over 300 secondary students students that are successfully develop prototypes including a locally fabricated FM radio station from recycled and used electronic and metals. Over 70 applications that proposed technological and educational solutions in areas such as Health, Energy and Education were submitted from seven districts in Sierra Leone.
What Innovate Salone has demonstrated is that the youth are anxious for more ways to be at the forefront of the development of their country – whether that be through designing innovative technology with limited resources or changing educational mediums. There is a supply of bright, motivated and diligent youth ready to accept the challenge of building Sierra Leone into an Innovative Nation.
But these youth need your help and support to meet that challenge. Innovate Salone 2013 wants to empower more youths and support even more innovative solutions. We are looking for funds to support:
- Half-a-day hackathons: to introduce the concept of design thinking and problem solving processes using local and readily available materials;
- Prototype Development: We want to support youths to develop tangible prototypes for solutions relevant to their communities;
- Creating a network of supportive mentors: to assist each team with the development of their prototype;
- Summer Innovation Camp: culminating 3-day event of Innovate Salone, which brings together finalist teams so that they can share their inventions and develop their critical thinking and collaboration skills;
To put your donation into perspective:
- $10 will provide transportation for 1 maker who attends the Summer Innovation Camp
- $50 will pay for feeding for 2 makers at the Summer Innovation Camp
- $250 will be a monthly stipend for 1 Innovate Salone Fellow
- $500 will provide a Finalist Award to support 1 team of makers in developing a prototype of their invention
- $1000 will help support 1 winning team of makers to develop prototypes for a year
Support other Innovate Competitions across the world: Other groups working in collaboration with Innovate Salone have understood the importance of our work. We want to help them start Innovate in their communities from Detroit, to Kingston and Lusaka.
Thank you for your support!
For more information, check out our recent blog post for CNN.
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