Startup Social Venture Workshop: The Kindness Within, Episodes 2 and 3

“A stitch in time saves nine” is as it goes. Here at ICK, the symbol of excellence is grafted with 9 pieces; our social startups.

There’s something for everyone amidst our peppy social venture teams and on the 2nd day we decided to sink down with our figurative submarine and take a look in the deep of it; the ideas behind the team.

We’ve got the backbone of every good Samaritan’s goals; aiding those with disabilities for a better tomorrow. “Shape it Up” is a team of young girls from Kaçanik developing products designed by children with Down Syndrome and other disadvantages for them to use in their education and even integration in society. They get to create magnetic shapes that they can arrange to sharpen motor and cognitive skills while having fun and appreciating their own art! With a board game for growing youngsters to widen their scope and stretch their capabilities, this dandy game makes colors and shapes a key to a child’s best world.

As the submarine scope swooshes around, we spot “Tote Bags”, a team implementing tote bag production and driving plastic bags and other harmful sources to extinction!

A bossy kit was never something you thought you’d come across, right? How about an informative and constructive First Aid kit for people who have no idea how to use it? That is what “Survival Kit” is all about! With animation and audio demonstration of how to help out the fallen, one can assess the injury, the requirement and opening the box automatically triggers the call for operators of emergency cases to drive to the location where the box was opened. Chopping the statistics of fatalities due to misinformation and turning society into trained helpers in times of need. Anybody can be somebody’s best hope.

Isn’t it sometimes frustrating when you’re a med student and can’t show you mad skills because there aren’t enough if any resources to do your magic with? “Techdummy” has got all of your backs (the med students and their future patients).By having a mannequin that shows you the do’s and don’ts of how a human body should be aided and simulates all the processes necessary for medical practice, it enables people to become fully fluent in saving life in and out of the office any day of the week!

Amongst the communal support and ice-breaking innovation, we tend to forget the silent heroes that keep us healthy or worse; we forget to eat! Roll on a good breakfast with some freshly bio-hatched eggs thanks to the “Veza Bio” team. A group of young entrepreneurs from the farming community hoping to maximize the conditions and environment for their livestock of hens to distribute the absolutely best eggs imaginable and improve the country’s diet and way of life by tackling the most basic need of a human being. Change can be as useful as a pen and as light as a feather.

“Për ty” rivals beauty in honest work from all origins like no other. Employing people with disabilities all who are members of HandiKos Centre, to functionalize society and make beautiful gifts, decorations and souvenirs for loved ones and sell them with profits shared with supporting organizations of fellow disadvantaged individuals. A good gift will always be ready “Për ty”.

We all like breathing, right? Or is it just me? The “Filtrimi i Ajrit” team had developed a product that filters the air through natural processes like photosynthesis and is self-watering while stabilizing humidity in the atmosphere, minimizing harmful air particles like smog and smoke, etc. A treat for the lungs and a treat for all public outings. Have fun and stay healthy at the same time!

With all this support and happy thoughts towards the community, there’s not just love in the air; music is everywhere. The “MusicLAB” gang had designed the concept of creating an informal music institution for both kids and adults to, through professional courses, achieve cognitive sharpening, socialize and delve into the professional currents that music can offer a dreamer and a musician. With genres other than classical, people with a passion for modern music, there will also be involvement with autistic children who have a wide range of talents in the artistic fields where music is always overlooked. The hills and hearts of people are alive with the sound of music, innovation at its sweetest.

And the submarine cannot park at just what it sees for the innovative abilities of young minds stretch to places we cannot even see. The “Wolf Marketing” team of international origin seeks to open an agency where they offer marketing services for small businesses and other areas of the world where a great idea can fall flat without proper representation or showcasing at its best. With an increase in employability and connection on a global scale, not only success but also bonds meet people in a better place to be and a better place to do.

After hectic preparation and honing with tireless guidance from mentors Miranda Avdullahu, Nektar Qarri, Naim Haxhaj, Mimoza Shala, Dijon Vula, Tyhran Bunjaku, Zana Baja, Valdon Peci, Galdon Reçica and Genevi Schindehutte, the team pitched their ideas in all sorts of creative ways in front of judges Head of the Training and Events Department Shpend Lila , United Nations Meeting staff Besa Domi and Laurat Raça from UNICEF.

Wonder and admiration in every participant’s face, no decision was harder to make than to choose between the incredible teams but alas a choice had to be made and with much weighing of options under the criteria of most socially innovative concept and financially realistic, the choices were made.

The winners include “Veza Bio” with 5000€, “Për ty” with 3000€, “Shape it Up” with 3000€ and “Wolf Marketing” with 4000€.

Tears of joy were shed, congratulations of success and excellence towards all teams and their dedication to their causes were exchanged as well as networking for many areas of opportunity.

The Workshop concluded with a spirit of its own inception; social connecting with each other for social connection projects.

The whole ICK and UNICEF staff went through heaven and earth to make the experience unforgettable for everyone and did so with absolute precision and care.
A smile doesn’t cost a dime. Three days days full of hard work cost nothing more than each other’s ability to pay our kindness forward. Kindness above all.

By: Dora Tarani (ICK)