PINOY  TEEN  BAGS  INTERNATIONAL  I.T.  AWARD

MANILA, May 10, 2005
 (STAR) Another Filipino teenager displayed his world-class talent in a recently concluded international information technology competition in London, England.

Eighteen-year-old Angelicum Oda was the first Filipino and one of two Asians among the 13 winners chosen from 250 entries from 49 countries, who were given due recognition at the Cable and Wirelessí Childnet Academy Awards held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on March 31.

Oda set up a website advocating young peopleís awareness of the United Nationsí Millennium Development Goals, the Young MDG, which he entered as a project in one of the three categories, New to the Net; the two others were Individual, and Schools.

To develop his project, Oda received a share from the 30,000 pounds from the web development fund of Cable and Wirelessí Childnet Academy, an international non-profit organization working to help make the Internet a great and safe place for children and young people.

With his project, Young MDG, Oda intends to inform young people and interpret for them the importance of the UNís Millennium Development Goals, and in what possible ways they can help achieve them.

In September 2000, the United Nations drafted an international blueprint called the Millennium Development Goals to combat some of the pressing issues facing the worldís poor, including poverty, hunger, inequality, lack of education, poor health, and environmental degradation.

"So far, existing websites and resources about the MDG are somewhat not child-friendly, and are not written for young peopleís understanding and interest, thatís why I thought of making one that is intended for young people like me," says Oda.

Little did he know that his simple back-bedroom idea could grab international attention, since it involves the UNís Millennium Development Declaration, not to mention an all-expense paid trip for two to the Caribbean to attend the Academy Week for ICT-related seminars and workshops and the awarding ceremony itself.

One of the highlights of the Academy Week was a conference entitled "Releasing Potential, Minimizing Risk, Download the Future," where Oda and the other winners interacted with Jamaican students.

During a five-week period, the Childnet staff, a special young peopleís panel, and a team of international judges, meticulously scrutinized all entries and project ideas from many countries, including Canada, the United States, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

This is the first time in its eight years of existence that the Childnet Academy awarded an entry from the Philippines in its international ICT competition.

On his way back home, Oda paid a stop-over visit to the Taking IT Global headquarters in Ontario, Canada for a meeting about potential collaboration with his projects. Taking IT Global (www.takingitglobal.org) is the largest and most informative online community.

The full list of the winning entries and all information are available at www.childnetacademy.org. The Young MDG website is still under development and can be seen at www.youngmdg.com.

Oda, home-schooled at the Angelicum College in Quezon City, has been designing and developing personal and community websites since age 14. Some of his websites tackled personal interests like literature, geography and pet care.

In 2003, his literary site (www.theministryofmagic.org.uk) was cited by the official Harry Potter website of Warner Brothers. In 2003-2004, the same website was short-listed from among 1,000 entries by the Stockholm Challenge, said to be the Nobel Prize equivalent of the IT world.

Oda is also working for the United Nations Volunteers Country office as website editor and developer. He also serves as ICT director for the Voice of the Youth Network.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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