Welcome to May 2018!
Our Young Person of the Month is Aya Albitar from Syria! Aya Albitar is a passionate biomedical engineer, a volunteer, a fresh entrepreneur and the founder of SiVo; a software which translates sign language into speech and vice versa. Aya prioritizes helping the deaf people and she presently volunteers as a researcher and scholarly article translator at Emaa, a charity that has an educational project for deaf people.
She and her colleagues designed a software which translates sign language into speech and vice versa. She later turned this graduation project into SiVo, that later became an award-winning startup which further developed the software and made it available in the most important places where the deaf people most extremely need it for example in hospitals and banks.
Read her story below and be inspired!
Aya Albitar is a passionate Biomedical Engineer, a volunteer and a fresh entrepreneur trying to improve herself and the world around her starting from her country Syria. Aya believes that biomedical engineering could change the life of people with disabilities and she is working hard to take the main role in achieving that goal.
In the summer of 2016, she was stunned and influenced by a video about a great inspiring deaf woman who is working so hard to improve deaf life in the USA. Her work touched Aya to the level that made her take the decision of making it a life priority to help deaf people. She started by taking a course in sign language at Emaa (A charity that has an educational project for deaf people where she currently volunteers as a researcher and scholar articles translator).
As a result, she and her colleagues designed a software that translates sign language into speech and vice versa. She later turned this graduation project to SiVo, an award-winning startup and has further developed the software and has made it available in the most important places where deaf people extremely need it such as in hospitals, banks and airports.
During her five years study at the university, Aya Albitar tried her hands in robotics, electronics, microcontrollers and machine learning. She finally found herself in machine learning and artificial intelligence when she learnt them in her senior year and applied them in her graduation project SiVo.
SiVo is a startup which aims to find smart solutions to translate Arabic sign language to speech and vice versa. Developing SiVo after her graduation was not easy for Aya and her team because they lacked business experience and the difficulties of making an end user product which is very different from making a scientific project or a research.
When Damascus ICT Incubator in partnership with UNFPA started an entrepreneurship program, Aya attended and she was educated in marketing, research, financing and managing. They then pitched their startup and their idea won the second place which gave them an office to work at and a seed funding to start. They later participated in IECD entrepreneurship program, pitched their idea and won another fund.
SiVo has not been officially launched yet and there are so many obstacles they need to overcome before launching it. Aya hopes SiVo would soon be made available in smartphones in order to help deaf individuals in their daily lives.
Her advice to the youth
Whenever you believe in something and work hard for it by gaining the required education, attending courses, volunteering, and connecting with people effectively by giving and receiving, nothing will stop you from achieving. Do not be afraid of making mistakes and keep moving forward.
Learn more about her project SiVo!
Who will be the Next Young Person of the Month?
You can be the next Opportunity Desk Young Person of the Month! All you have to do is get a friend to recommend your work or fill out the nomination form here. We want to use the platform to recognize and celebrate the efforts of amazing young people around the world. O! And you must be an active Opportunity Desk member, either as a fan, reader or subscriber!
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