Chifundo online store wins Opportunity Hackathon 2.0 top prize

ayPal Opportunity Hackathon
Pictured: Guy Thompson Fingal Chamber; Alison Pryce, Castleknock Hotel; Kristina Fernandes, Cian Delaney, Francesca Placido, Paypal; and Anthony Cooney, Fingal Chamber

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20 November 2017 | 0

An online shop for selling crafts from Malawi took the top prize at PayPal’s second Opportunity Hackathon last weekend.

The event, which took place at the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin, brought together 30 PayPal teammates to create and develop digital resources and systems for Irish charities over a 24-hour period.

Chifundo is a charity dedicated to the education underprivileged children in the villages of Zomba in Malawi. The team helped to develop an online shop for the organisation for selling Malawi crafts brought back to Ireland by volunteers, the proceeds of which will be donated directly to the school.

Second place went to suicide and self-harm charity Pieta House for an app allowing community centres to streamline the registration and payment system for its Darkness Into Light event, saving up to 5,000 volunteer hours and eliminating the handling of more than €1.5 million.

Junior Achievement Ireland and Outreach Moldova took joint third for their CRM system to digitise materials used in the classroom, and an online ticketing service.

“At PayPal, we are committed to giving back to the local community where we do business,” said vice president of merchant operations for EMEA and judging panel member Maeve Dornan.

“It’s been fantastic to see our team joining forces with local charities to tackle their digital challenges, and come up with solutions that can make a tangible difference to their work.

“It is a tremendous event for all involved. Not only do the charities benefit but PayPal teammates get a great sense of achievement out of applying their expertise to new challenges. Now in its second year, the Opportunity Hack 2.0 has made a significant impact already and helps to address important issues such as social inclusion, education and wellness.”

Kieran Brady, director of funding & advocacy, Pieta House, said: “The app created for us at PayPal’s Opportunity Hack 2.0 streamlines the registration and payment processes, saving us countless hours, and protects both staff and volunteers by reducing cash handling. It will also help us adhere to tightening data protection legislation and maintain transparency, which is so important to us in remaining accountable to the many people who support us in doing our work.”

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