intro     sponsor     timeline     challenges     mentorship session     prizes     profiles  

Congratulations to our winners!

Combat against GBV


Report Matters

A Shadow pandemic

Mandatory quarantine orders necessitated by the spread of COVID-19 have given rise to a dramatic increase in gender-based violence across the globe.

In honour of Women's Month in South Africa, Microsoft is sponsoring an 11-week hackathon, challenging teams of 3-6 people to develop applications to support those experiencing gender-based violence.


Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organisation to achieve more by providing best-in-class platforms, tools and solutions that help drive small business productivity, large business competitiveness, and public-sector efficiency. 

As a proudly South African company with a Level 1 B-BBEE rating, Microsoft SA works with our partners to create local opportunity, growth, and impact by investing in initiatives and programmes that accelerate economic growth, create jobs, enable skills development and drive innovation.


Michal Sela Forum

Michal Sela was brutally murdered in her own home in the presence of her baby daughter. The accused is her husband and her daughter’s father. From within her grief, her sister Lili Ben Ami founded the “Michal Sela Forum” with the goal of saving the next murder victim through creative “out of the box” thinking and the use of advanced technologies in time of crisis as well as in prevention and raising awareness to warning signals. The Michal Sela forum conducted the first-ever Safe@Home hackathon in Israel in May 2020 in collaboration with community and Coda.

Safe@Home logo artwork created by Tamar Dvir.

TEARS Foundation

Founded in 2012, the TEARS Foundation is a Registered NPO and PBO that uses technology innovatively in the scourge against domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. TEARS Foundation is responsible for the sourcing and collating of a data-base comprised of a fully comprehensive network of services; medical, medico-legal, legal and psychological, currently available throughout South Africa, for the assistance and support of survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

1000 Women 1 Voice

Since 2003, the 1000 Women initiative has been creating awareness, organising safe spaces for women and mobilising resources to amplify the voices of women and girls in South Africa. The objectives of the 1000 Women Trust are to mobilise resources and give grants to organisations that support, raise awareness and provide opportunities for women and children who have been affected by violence. We provide solidarity to women, amplify the voices of activists and advocate for change that can end GBV and femicide.We do this through various projects, grants, and training and fundraising initiatives to ensure that women and girls are empowered, inspired, educated, and equipped for daily life. We are their voice when they don’t have one.


Mint Group is a global IT consultancy that is in the top 1% of global CRM provider as well as a member of the prestigious Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics. We enable better business by digitally leading our clients through Customer Centricity and Optimised Operations with Dynamics 365, Modern Minds with Office 365, Smarter Systems with Azure, and Intelligent Insights with Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Services in the digital space.



August 11

Following registration, the hackathon platform will be accessible on September 7th.

Milestone 1 Project Concept

October 5

Submit a completed project page by October 5, and unlock a 1:1 mentor session to evaluate your concept.

Submission Deadline

October 19

This is the final hard deadline to make changes to your submission. 

A webinar series will introduce the challenge and platform in greater detail as well as provide background information.

Onboarding Webinar

September 9

Submit a completed prototype demo by October 12, and unlock a 1:1 mentor session to pitch your demo and receive feedback.

Milestone 2 Demo

October 12

Six finalists will share their pitch and the winners of the hackathon will be announced.

Winner Announcement


challenge considerations

While gender-based violence does not know demographics, the harsh reality in South Africa is that many of its victims do not have access to high-end technology, including smartphones.

In developing your solution, please consider the following:

  • Many victims are using 3rd or 4th generation phones that are obsolete and do not have access to applications like Whatsapp or other one-touch SOS tools or applications
  • Data is expensive and not always readily available – especially in emergency situations
  • Regular load shedding means that cell towers are not operational
  • Limited or no airtime to make calls, or send SMSs
  • No access to transport to find a place of safety

Utilising Microsoft technologies, teams must develop a concept and application that tackles one or more of the following:


(Send assistance victim in danger)

This challenge has two primary options for the solutions that are developed.


(Realise it’s abuse and act)

Solutions in this challenge are about empowering victims of gender-based violence to act – and to make provision for updating of details and databases.


Once victims have made the decision to leave, the challenge for them is to rebuild their lives. 


Mentorship sessions will be awarded to teams who meet pre-determined milestone deadlines.

Milestone 1 - The first milestone deadline is specific to project conception. Teams who submit a completed project concept page on or before October 5 will unlock a 1:1 mentor session with a Microsoft team member. Available dates and times to schedule a mentor session will be provided. 

Milestone 2 - The second milestone deadline is specific to project demos. Teams who submit a completed prototype demo by October 12 will unlock a 1:1 mentor session with a Microsoft team member. Available dates and times to schedule a mentor session will be provided. 


Ahmed Salijee 

Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft

Carmen Dodgson

Cloud Solution Architect Manager,  

Chetan Gordhan

Cloud Solution Architect,  

Dean Erasmus

Azure Technology Lead,  

Donovan White

Cloud Solution Architect,  

Hluma Magodla

Cloud Solution Architect,  

Justin Manning

Prin. Customer Engineer,  

Kivian Johnson

Sr Customer Engineer,  

Nabeel Prior

Cloud Solution Architect,  

Rory Preddy

Sr Cloud Advocate,  

Vince Resente

Sr Cloud Solutions Architect,  

Welan Spogter

Customer Success Manager,  

Wouter Senekal

CUstOmer Engineer,  

Alistair Pugin

Head of Cloud,  
Tangent Solutions

Allan Pead

AD Software Systems

Dawid Van Heerden

Modern Workplace Director,  
Ukuvuma Solutions

Gordon Beeming

Sr Software Developer,  

Jody Roberts

Northern Data (Pty) Ltd

Nicolas Blank

Group CEO, NBConsult

Neil Zeeman

DevOps Solution Architect,
Team Foundation Consulting

Niels Berglund

Software Architect,  

Claire Wood


Lili Ben Ami

Michal Sela Forum

Mara Glennie

Tears Foundation

Tina Thiart

Board Trustee,  
1000 Women


First Place


second Place


third Place


While monetary prizes will only be awarded to the top three teams, all viable concepts with the potential to assist those in need will be considered for further development.


All participants must be based in South Africa 


Back, front, or full-stack – you turn concepts into reality using sharp coding skills.


In your skillful hands, dashboards and applications gain clarity and style.

Idea Generator

In your experienced hands, dashboards and applications gain clarity and style.


You have a unique perspective and valuable insight to share with your team.


Carolyne Akinyi Opinde 

Founder and CEO, The NGO Whisperer™

Lillian Barnard

Managing Director, Microsoft South Africa

Ryan Britton

Vice President of Delivery for Mint USA, Mint Group


Memeburn & Gearburn Editor, Burn Media Group (PTY) Ltd 

Tiana Cline

Writer, Forbes Africa, Brainstorm, Popular Mechanics

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