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Gutsy Go wins 1.5m prize for youth community work

A company named Gutsy Go has won the first-ever 'Builders of the Century' award in Finland. Gutsy Go aims to give young people living in neighbourhoods with bad reputations the tools they need to improve their communities. The firm will receive a cash prize of 1.5 million euros to develop its operations.

Gutsy Go asks teens to make a video record of their community projects. Image: Vuosisadan rakentajat

Gutsy Go has won the new Builders of the Century award, established to reward companies working to improve young people's wellbeing in Finland. The company nets 1.5 million euros with the win, a sizeable pot that was collected from 44 different Finnish foundations and trusts.

The company says it provides students with toolkits and a platform to build peace in their local communities. The team mentors travel from city to city instructing and assisting ninth-grade pupils to develop projects that are of benefit to others. The kids record their work process on video and the resulting videos are saved as "gutsy deeds" in an idea bank.

The Gutsy Go team is composed of Aram Aflatuni, Marika Makaroff, Veera Ikonen and Ida Immonen. Mentors that work for the programme are all under 30 and have overcome challenges of their own when they were young.  The instructional part of the programme has been developed with experts in the field, among others, the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab.

App for dealing with hate speech wins second prize

Second place winner in the Builders of the Century challenge is the social media company Someturva, which received a half-million-euro prize. This company has developed a mobile phone app that provides legal assistance in the face of online hate speech and harassment.

The Someturva App gives young people a concrete way to tackle online offenses, even making it possible to contact the author of the offensive statements via the app. If the incident is determined not to meet the criteria of a hate crime in Finland, the victim is given the opportunity to talk about what happened on a dedicated Someturva chat forum.

Third place in the challenge was shared by several entries, each of whom walked away with 150,000 euros. These included Integrify, a supplier of coding training as a means for integrating immigrants, the RT Lit writer's school for girls of colour, and Elämän Peili, a game developed by top bioscientists to foster young people's health and welfare.

Marking Finland's centennial

More than 40 Finnish foundations and trusts joined together to establish the Builders of the Century award to mark Finland's 100-year anniversary of independence. The challenge was designed to reward groups that work to promote the wellbeing and civic engagement of people aged 10 to 26.

There were 15 entries competing for the title. The winners were announced on Sunday at the Narinkka square in the Helsinki city centre.