A Solar Charging Hearing Aid and More Amazing Inventions to Help Kids!


November 24, 2014


Last week marked the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that sets out the rights of children to be treated human beings, and not simply as property or objects.  UNICEF honored this moment with the release of 2015’s The State of the World’s Children Report – Reimagine the Future: Innovation for Every Child.

The report highlights innovative solutions that are improving the lives of millions of children, and calls for urgent action for more products, processes, and partnerships to reach every child. “Inequity is as old as humanity, but so is innovation – and it has always driven humanity’s progress,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “For innovation to benefit every child, we have to be… rethinking the way we foster and fuel new ideas to solve our oldest problems.”

Check out these great ideas that are helping kids around the world:

  • Solar Ear, the world’s first rechargeable hearing aid battery charger, for communities with limited electricity. Charge it using the sun, household light, or a cell phone plug.
  • U-report, a mobile phone-based system to get Liberian youth involved in gathering and reporting real-time information on things like the Ebola crisis and other important issues.
  • Floating schools, providing year-round access to education for children living in flood-prone regions of Bangladesh.
  • Vibrasor, a device to help people with hearing impairments navigate safely through busy urban areas. This was invented by two teenage girls in Colombia.
  • To find a new solution to help those without regular access to electricity in Nigeria, four teenage girls invented a urine-powered generator.


“Every nation has different problems and every person has different solutions,” said Bisman Deu, a 16-year old from India who invented a building material made from rice waste. “We need to learn from one another’s experiences, come together as a global community of innovation and keep producing ideas that can make a real difference.”


AfricaOur partner UNICEF has prioritized innovation across 190 countries to foster new ways of thinking, working, and collaborating with partners to nurture local talent.

Take Action Challenge

You can check out the interactive report and join the movement to advance the rights of every child. Also, UNICEF wants to hear from YOU! Share your ideas and inventions at unicef.org/innovation. You can map your idea on this interactive record of where great ideas are happening!


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