Cambodia Investment Review

Smart Axiata and Tech for Kids Academy unite for Kid-KATHON National Event

Smart Axiata and Tech for Kids Academy unite for Kid-KATHON National Event

Cambodia Investment Review

The newly expanded Kid-KATHON, which Smart Axiata sponsored and co-organized alongside Tech for Kids Academy, concluded on December 3 at Paragon International University, continuing the organizations’ drive to advance STEM education and empower young Cambodian innovators.

Smart Axiata has been a proud supporter of Tech for Kids Academy since 2020. This year’s event saw a departure from the previous Kid-KATHON events: cash prizes were introduced for the first time, and the duration was increased to two days from one and a half days. The number of total participants was also expanded from 60 to 120.

Read more: Smart Axiata and UNESCO renew strategic partnership to support out-of-school youths

The fast-paced, two-day sprint challenged the young minds and enabled them to create propositions that can positively impact society. The participants gained hands-on experience with various technologies and developed real-world solutions.

The Pioneer Award was won by Eagle Team for their “Emergency Bracelet”, which focused on the United Nations SDG 3 – “Good Health and Well-being”. They won 2 million Riel for their innovation that allows users to contact the police, medical centers and fire stations with a single click.

Bear Team, meanwhile, won the Popular Vote Award for their “Forest Ranger”, a robot that helps people plant trees, monitor deforestation and report unauthorized activities. The team took home 1.6 million Riel for their creation, which was built around SDG 13 – “Climate Action”.

Moul Henry Mony, a 12-year-old participant from Bear Team said: “Participating in the Kid-KATHON program has been an incredible journey. I feel inspired, challenged and grateful for the opportunity to develop my creativity and problem-solving skills. It’s more than just a competition; it’s an experience that has helped me realize my strengths and weaknesses. I’m thrilled and overwhelmed with joy winning an award at the Kid-KATHON National Event. All the hard work that my team and I put in paid off, and I’m truly grateful to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey in Kid-KATHON.”

Reflecting on the program, Ziad Shatara, CEO of Smart Axiata, spoke of his belief in the potential of young Cambodian innovators.

“Children are the future of our country, and as a leading telecom company, we are committed to nurturing talent and developing world-class individuals. Through our partnership with Tech for Kids Academy, we aim to attract even more talented students to the event and elevate the standards of innovation. We believe in embracing talents from various backgrounds, and Kid-KATHON provides an ideal platform to encourage young Cambodians to harness their creativity, technologies and problem-solving skills for a positive impact,” he said.

The CEO of Tech for Kids Academy, Lydet Pidor, expressed his gratitude for the partnership with Smart Axiata and the joint commitment to continue building the future of innovators and tech talents in Cambodia.

“We are grateful to have Smart Axiata as the exclusive sponsor of the program. They have offered continuous support throughout. It is vital to have such cooperative efforts to shape the future of human capital in Cambodia and realize the future of our digital economy and societies. If we don’t start building the young generation of problem-solvers, innovators and tech talents today, the future of Cambodia won’t be on our side. We welcome and appreciate partners like Smart Axiata, who share our vision and continuously contribute to enhancing such talents for the future of Cambodia,” Pidor said.

Through its innovative approach and exciting enhancements, the Kid-KATHON program continues to provide a unique platform for young Cambodian minds to unleash their creativity, develop critical skills and cultivate a passion for innovation, ultimately fostering a future generation of empowered individuals driving positive change in society.

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