Google have recently announced that thousands of hackers gathered in more than 19 different global locations from Berlin to Nairobi, and Sydney to Sao Paulo. The Hackers for Good (as they are known) have participated in Google’s Random Acts of Kindness #3 by working with NGOs and government advisors to finish their applications for humanity.

Group Photo of the participants (Image Credit: Google)

Group Photo of the participants (Image Credit: Google)

This Google event has taken place in partnership with Microsoft, Yahoo!, Hewlett-Packard, NASA and the World Bank to form the Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) program that was started in 2009. The RHoK was started to build and support a community creating open source technology for crisis response and at RHoK #3, they expanded the mandate to include climate change. With RHoK #3 they announced that they are broadening the scope in the future to tackle any development challenges.

Google says that of the more than 75 solutions submitted for judging at this year’s global events and many are already on their way to making a difference around the world. They go on to say that the UN in association with the Columbian government is considering adopting the shelter management system developed at RHoK Bogota to aid the 3 million victims of winter flooding in South America. Of the nine hacks submitted for judging at RHoK Sao Paulo, two are already in use and two others may be further developed and incorporated into the restructuring of the National Weather Service. The document submitted by Google says that the winning application at RHoK Philadelphia, which was developed in response to a problem proposed by the World Bank Water group, is set for further development at the WaterHackathon, RHoK's first community-sponsored event, later this year.

The RHoK community

The RHoK community

Three winners were selected at the RHoK Silicon Valley event at Google’s Mountain View campus. The first one was for SMS Person Finder which enables anyone with a phone to interact with Person Finder, a software application that Google built to help people connect with their loved ones following a disaster. The second one was the Hey Cycle which helps in making it easier for people to reuse and recycle items by setting up email alerts when free items that they’re looking for are entered on freecycle.org. And, the third one was for FoodMovr which helps in connecting people with excess food to others who need it through a simple live application.

Google says that they were proud to be one of the founding partners and ongoing sponsors of Random Hacks of Kindness and look forward to seeing these applications make a difference. To know more about Random Hacks of Kindness, log on to RHoK.org.

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