Erica Kochi, co-founder of UNICEF Innovation, talked at Made with Code launch party two weeks ago about how she was inspired to use code to empower young people to speak out about what affect their lives.

Building from her own experiences growing up in different countries and comparing her own life to the lives of other children her age who didn’t have the same access to information, opportunities and choice she had, Erica has always wanted to change the situation and help those other children be heard. That’s what got her into technology.

Erica’s journey with technology started in Senegal in 2007, working for UNICEF, when she saw that many people, even in the most rural villages, used mobile phones for two-way communication and realized the value of this little device. Since then, she has worked in technology. UNICEF Innovation has developed systems that uses basic mobile phones and SMS messages to communicate with front-line workers and improve the speed and quality of data collection and health and education services. Since 2007, UNICEF Innovation has worked with partners to develop technologies that have registered 7 million births in Nigeria over 15 months and provided antenatal care to thousands of pregnant women across Rwanda.

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