2nd from left: Ms Faiza Effendi, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Sri Lanka

*Check against delivery*

I would like to start off by congratulating the team behind Cyber Care, and as the Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP in Sri Lanka, I am pleased to be present, and speak a few words at the launch of the enterprise and application – Cyber Care.

I am happy to witness the progress of another enterprise that has been part of the HackaDev 2019/20 Incubation Programme

The past year, and now moving into 2021, the COVID-19 global pandemic has challenged everyone in society in an unprecedented way, where the health and the economy of all people have been under severe stress and has impacted all of our lives.

Within this context, venturing into entrepreneurship can be a daunting task when the risks involved with it are highHence, I applaud and appreciate the determined efforts of the young founders of the Cyber Care application for persevering to build their venture to this stage, where today it will be launched publicly.

It is imperative that young people take leadership in coming up with innovative solutions to development challenges, not only in this ‘new normal’ but also in this Decade of Action that we are in, as we take greater strides to realize the SDGs here in Sri Lanka and the world over.

I would also like to show my appreciation to all partners and incubation providers of the HackaDev Incubation programme 2019/20 for providing the necessary support system for the enterprises such as Cyber Care to be incubated effectively. UNDP is grateful for all your contributions as we continue to strive to build a better ecosystem for young early-stage entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka.

I wish to also highlight the support from the Government of Norway, a longstanding core development partner of UNDP, who through its financial support to seed funding, as well as the partnership and priority shown towards supporting young entrepreneurs over the years is notable. 

As heard before, your journey within this programme began in 2019 when UNDP decided to ask young people in Sri Lanka to present innovative and sustainable solutions to the extremely pertinent issue of ‘cyber violence’, through the HackaDev National Youth Social Innovation Challenge programme.

Having gone through a competitive application process, numerous rounds of idea auditions, an extensive social innovation camp, I am happy to see the progress you have made, and I am excited to see how your solution can tackle this issue of cyber violence.

Speaking to the importance of tackling cyber violence, as Bimali also mentioned earlier, it is a key issue that all of us need to take leadership in addressing. Especially looking at how societies are transforming digitally, cyber violence needs to be understood and acted upon as a matter of critical importance. Cyber violence also affects women and young people severely and I am heartened to see a group of young people like yourselves that have come forward in seeking a solution to this challenge.

Working together, UNDP and the rest of the UN family would like to assure you that we will continue to create opportunities, take a chance on young people, and provide meaningful platforms of engagement, where your innovative and entrepreneurial talents can be harnessed to the fullest.

Special mention of all the UNDP colleagues involved. I wish to thank you all for the support and hard work provided to the HackaDev incubatees over this time period

In closing, your journey within UNDPs incubation programme may have ended, however, your entrepreneurial journey is just beginning with your application now launching, and we eagerly look forward to how you can create meaningful impacts in addressing cyber violence in Sri Lanka. I wish you all the very best.

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