As women who are currently able to get a university education we realized how privileged we are to be learning skills that are easily monetizable regardless of what the future holds in store for us. After some reflection we realized that there are many women across the world who aren't as privileged as we are, specifically widows living in impoverished countries, and realized that there are a multitude of non-profits out there that aim to assist these women, but unfortunately it is difficult to connect the women directly with the non-profit that is right for them. Our project aimed to serve as a channel of communication much like LinkedIn for women in need to connect with these non-profits and also create a data visualization tool to allow non-profits to see where the to direct the majority of their attention.

What it does

Our website is an account only portal into databases of non-profits and women in need and serves to create a channel of communication between the two entities. The women can create profiles equipped with the monetizable skills that they currently have such as painting, sewing, and ceramics. If applicable the women also have an option to enter a profile picture but we understand that this is typically not possible due to restricted access to technology. After creating their profile the women will have an opportunity to see which non-profits are currently working to employ women with their skill sets and will be able to message them to see how they can get involved. Similarly from the non-profit end, the non-profits will be able to register with the skills that they currently are looking for or the vocational skills that they are teaching to women all across the world. On our skills page they will be able to hover over the icons and see which of the women in our database have the skills that they are looking for and be able to reach out to them to see how they can work together. Beyond serving as a communication network our website also functions as a powerful data visualization tool that allows non-profits to assess where to appropriate the majority of their resources. The tool is displayed as a world map on our home page that gets populated with purple circles showing the location of any new woman who signs up on our website. If a non-profit were to see a large cluster of purple dots in any given area they would know to target that area/region. We assume that our project will quickly be criticized for requiring the usage of computers in areas where access to technology is quite scarce, but the reality stands that many widowed women in these areas do have slight access to technology, but they do not have the time with all of the burdens that have been placed on them with their partners passing to learn new skills to monetize. This is why we have focused our project on women who already have vocational skills but just need a direction on what they can do with them.

How we built it

We began by researching various data visualization applications to create the basis of our world map visualization, but the majority of our website was built using Figma's prototyping tools. The images we used were all found through google images and we have an appendix hidden within our frames that cites all of the unoriginal work that we included in our website.

Challenges we ran into

Our team is built of very new coders we initially had a lot of trouble figuring out how we could create a program with the minor coding experience that we all have. Figma seemed like the solution to our problems because it allowed us to visualize and prototype our idea even with our minor coding experience but because nobody in our team had prior experience using the platform we were definitely hit with a learning curve on how to manipulate the various elements and set up the prototyping frames. After scavenging the internet and trying to learn as much as we could in this short window of time we were ultimately able to create a functioning prototype.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Like mentioned before, our team was built up of very new coders so we were initially worried about how we could even contribute to this hackathon. Over the course of this weekend we were able to completely immerse ourselves into a platform that we had no past experience in and create a functioning prototype, which we did not see possible prior to this hackathon. Our team is the most proud of jumping straight into the deep end and trusting that we would be able to create a final product regardless of the experience that we came in with. We also feel like we have achieved our goal of helping women less fortunate than ourselves "bloom" into a better version of themselves.

What we learned

Like mentioned before our team came into this hackathon with very little prior knowledge so this has truly been a very hands on learning experience for all of us. Together we were able to understand the mechanics of Figma and also dipped our toes into the various forms of data visualization, and constructed the version that was the most viable for our project. Before this hackathon we knew a little bit about the living conditions of women all over the world, specifically in impoverished areas, but through this competition we were able to delve deeper the subject and understand their difficulties. This was not something that we had planned to take away from this hackathon but we are glad we did because it genuinely changed the way that we view the world around us.

What's next for Bloom

Our goal with Bloom is to help as many women as possible all across the world and we hope to keep expanding our reach in any way that we can. Speaking wistfully we would love to be partnered with UN Women to bring more attention to our mission and also expand our network of non-profits and women in need. With potential future sponsorships we may even be able to bring more technology to targeted areas and begin offering courses on various vocations right on our website. We hope that Bloom can become an all immersive global helpline for women in need to relieve as any burdens off their shoulders as possible.

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