Vodafone Americas Foundation Awards Three MIT Solver Teams the Innovation for Women Prize

The Vodafone Americas Foundation has been committed to fostering change in global and local communities through connected solutions, and as a result, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of technology in tackling some of the world’s biggest issues. We’ve further leveraged this knowledge over the last year to embark on a journey focused on empowering women and girls through technology. By taking this focused approach and making the crucial investment in both women and technology, we believe we are helping to create real global change.

That’s why for the second year in a row, we’ve partnered with MIT Solve, because we know that by using the right tools to amplify and broaden our reach, we can enrich lives beyond a single woman and girl.

This partnership between Vodafone Americas Foundation and MIT Solve has helped to create the Vodafone Americas Foundation Innovation for Women Prize, combining the legacy of our Wireless Innovation Projects with MIT’s distinguished Solver teams awards for Global Challenges.

Announced yesterday at the MIT virtual Solve Challenge Finals, I had the pleasure of awarding three Solver teams with the Vodafone Americas Foundation Innovation for Women Prize. This prize was awarded to three organizations and entrepreneurs with technology solutions that empower and enrich the lives of women and girls: Maisha, Cascade of Learning and D2.


  • Maisha, based in Nairobi, Kenya, is improving postpartum depression treatment in Africa through standardized screening practices. Postpartum depression (PPD) has been estimated as 100‒150 per 1000 births. The disorder often remains undiagnosed and untreated. The situation is especially worse in Africa where mental health needs are largely ignored. Maisha’s solution seeks to solve PPD by introducing mental health screening as part of the already established maternal health structure. Using their system, mothers get tested and continuously monitored. Those at need get assigned help both at the clinic and at home.
  • Cascade of Learning is transforming learning for women and girls with the power of technology and social capital. Asia Initiatives, headquartered in New York City, has developed “Cascades of Learning” for crowdsourcing education and creativity for all women and girls. The solution serves girls in urban slums and remote villages where the girls and women face extraordinary challenges in getting an education, fulfilling their potential, and climbing out of poverty.
  • D2, headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is creating opportunities for unemployed Bangladeshi youth by providing access to meaningful work online. Bangladesh has a population the size of Chile below the age of 24 and without a job. Diving into the reasons behind this youth unemployment has allowed the organization to identify lack of female participation in the workforce, the lack of access to finance, and lack of rural and peri-urban jobs, as certain key determinants. Addressing this, D2 has devised Shujog, a mobile application that connects unemployed young people from low-income backgrounds to meaningful work online.

It’s always a thrill to hear from so many creative and passionate innovators. I’m in awe of their work and commitment to global impact and it gives me hope for our world today. Our Foundation strives to support initiatives that open doors to opportunities and promotes a world where women’s voices are celebrated.

Through partnerships like MIT Solve, as well as partnerships with nonprofits and NGO’s, we are proud to continue our work for women in and through technology to elevate women’s voices and create positive and sustainable change within their communities around the world.

Congratulations to the Solver teams!