The Restorers team from Kenya, composed of five girls from Kisumu Girls High School in Kisumu County, have been selected as the winners of Daily Trust’s 2018 African of the Year award.
The Selection Committee of the award headed by former Botswana president, Festus Mogae, made the announcement on Thursday December 6, 2018. The Committee said the team will be honoured at a ceremony in Abuja, Nigeria in January 2019 were they will get the US $25,000 (Kshs 2.5 million) prize money in addition to a specially made plaque.
(TOP: The five members of Restorers team pose for a photo at Kisumu Girls High School in Kisumu County. Photo: Facebook).
“StacyOwino, Purity Achieng, Ivy Akinyi, Synthia Otieno and Macrine Atieno, from the western Kenyan city of Kisumu, were selected out of several dozen nominees, for developing a mobile application called i-Cut. The application has become a very useful tool in the war against Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM). Although FGM is illegal in Kenya, it is still widely practiced in the country and many other countries in Africa and around the world,” a statement from the committee read.
“The five girls, aged 15 to 17, call themselves “the Restorers”. As one of them, Synthia Otieno, said they adopted the name because they want to “restore hope to hopeless girls,” the statement added.
I-Cut is a mobile application that connects girls at risk of circumcision with rescue centres. It also gives legal and medical help to those who have been subjected to FGM.
“The Restorers” are partnering with several NGOs in their mission to eradicate FGM. They were Africa’s only representatives at Google’s 2017 Technovation Challenge which took place in Silicon Valley, California, USA,” the statement added.
Inmid last year, Restorers emerged top among the 10 teams that had initially made it to the semi-finals of the Google contest from Kenya. The other semi-finalists and their respective projects were Bentley (ASAP), Dynasty(NearJobs), Fiwana (Rstar4), Mad Scientists(SMART-KUZA), Scorpion (ITTACH APP), Team Bloom(Educracy), Techknockouts (ProReporter), Techno Royals (Hostel Plus)and The Elites (DOMS APP).