Youth Addiction Challenge

*USA ONLY - How might we use recreation to combat the issue of youth drug use and addiction in Ethiopia?
Trip to Ethiopia and business incubation support

Challenge Overview

Please note this challenge is for legal residents of the USA only. 

Download the complete challenge technical brief here


Over 19% of the general population in Ethiopia is unemployed, with a higher incidence of unemployment in youths, at 25%. One fifth of the employed population is estimated to work in informal sectors and peripheral economies, providing unregulated or unlicensed services or goods such as shoe shining and petty trade.1 More women than men are unemployed and more likely to engage in informal income generation, suggesting an inequitable job market.

Approximately 3 million Ethiopians enter the job market every year, often migrating from rural areas to urban regional hubs to find work.2 Additionally, it is common for children ages 10 to 19 to migrate to cities in search of work opportunities. 22.7% of female children migrate to escape child marriages, often finding informal and low-wage jobs doing housework for wealthier families, weaving cloth, making coffee, or working in the sex industry. In 2014, Ethiopia’s primary school drop-out rate was 61.8%.



Khat, commonly referred to as ‘Chat’, is a stimulant leaf chewed throughout East Africa and the Middle East. Classified as a Class C drug, Khat is very addictive with similar effects to amphetamines and can lead to depression, psychosis, insomnia, and paranoia. In Ethiopia, the common perception of Khat is that it leads to unemployment, degrades health, and is mostly associated with a lower socio-economic class. Chewing khat is a time-consuming process. After nearly 3-4 hours effects are felt and can be heightened or combined with coffee drinking, causing users to feel energetic, productive, and alert

In youth, khat chewing is increasingly common. 1 in 5 university students participate in khat substance use, and female users are on the rise though male drug users are more prevalent.1 In street children who are particularly vulnerable, the use of khat, alcohol, tobacco, and glue-sniffing to get high are very common. Rehabilitation centers for addicts are available at hospitals and private institutions, but there are limited interventions or educational programs targeting at-risk youth.



IDEATE - NOV 4, 2019

World Vision issues a challenge to solve - and innovators comeup with ideas.

SUBMIT - MAR 6, 2020

Innovators submit their business models.


Five teams are shortlisted and work together with a partner community to iterate their idea and business models.


Final business models are presented to World Vision and expert industry partners.


Winner is selected to visit Kolfe area program. They will visit World Vision staff to focus on implementation in country. 


Challenge Guidelines

Criteria for applying

Only select Schools invited to participate by World Vision, may submit Entries for the Competition and be eligible to win an Award.  Each School is the official Entrant, but it may organize as many student Teams, each with an adult facilitator, as it chooses, submitting one Entry per Team.  Teams may include any number of students, as determined by the School, and be organized at the discretion of the School subject to the following:

  • Each Team member must, at the date of Entry, be:
    • a legal resident of the U.S.A;
    • fourteen (14) years of age or older. Any Team member who is a minor in the jurisdiction which he or she resides, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the minor must (and WVUS assumes that they): a) agree to these Rules and execute and return any related form provided by WVUS, on behalf of the minor, within the time frame that WVUS sets out; and b) consent to participating in the Award as described herein
  • Teams must:
    • appoint a Team leader who will be the point-of-contact with WVUS; and
    • bear the same name as that of such entity and shall not change its name during the course of the Competition;
  • Individuals may only join one Team. Only one Entry per Team.

The Competition is not open to employees of WVUS, its affiliated organizations, advertising or promotional agencies or media partners, or members of the household of such employees.

Please see the official Rules and Regulations for a full description of all terms and conditions of participation.

Criteria around submissions

In order to become an entrant, a School must agree to the Rules and Regulations and fill out the entry form available at the Online Challenge Platform Site. A successfully completed and submitted form is an “Entry“. In the Rules, a School that has submitted an Entry to the Competition is referred to as an “Entrant“.

If selected as a Finalist for the Final Round Pitch, each Finalist must submit 1 business plan of 15 to 20 PowerPoint slides in ppt. And PDF format (“Business Plan“). All members of each Finalist must attend the Final Round Pitch.

Individuals may only join one Team. Only one Entry per Team. Multiple Entries will be disqualified. Fraudulent Entries will be declared invalid. All Entries must be submitted online; no paper Entries will be accepted.

Preliminary Round

After the Preliminary Round Close Date, WVUS and a team of industry experts (each a “Judge“, collectively “Judges” or “Judging Panel“) will assess the Entries and select up to 5 Finalists per challenge. The Judges shall be experienced entrepreneurs, investors and academics appointed by WVUS in its sole discretion.

The core assessment of the Entries will focus on the innovativeness, feasibility and viability of the proposed solution.

All Entries will be evaluated by the Chair and co-Chairs of the Competition by using the common “Executive Summary Judging Criteria”.

The Chair and co-Chairs will hold a joint session where up to a maximum of 5 Entries will be identified as Finalists per challenge.

WVUS will attempt to contact each of the Finalists by telephone within two weeks after the Preliminary Round Close Date. In the event that a Finalist cannot be contacted within two (2) weeks after the selections have been made, that Finalist will be disqualified and an alternate Finalist will be selected.

Final Round

At the Final Round Pitch, Finalists will be provided an opportunity to present their Business Plans, which should explain the practicability of the plan execution and fundability potential.

Each Finalist will conduct a 5-minute, uninterrupted Business Plan presentation in English followed by up to 3-5 minutes of question and answer. It is not compulsory for all Team members to address the Judges Panel in the presentation.

The Judges will make their evaluations and give their scores by using a common “Business Plan Judging Criteria”.

The four winning teams will be decided by the highest score after a joint deliberation of the Judging Panel.

WVUS and Judges’ Discretion

The decisions of the Judging Panel are final and binding.

WVUS and/or the Judging Panel reserves the right to disqualify any Entry that in its judgment violates the Eligibility or these Rules of the Competition.

WVUS reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Winner who (i) may have a barrier to entry into the country of potential testing/prototyping, (ii) has a criminal record or pending criminal charges that may interfere with their ability to travel freely across international borders for the Award, or (iii) does not otherwise meet WVUS’s requirements with respect to participation in a WVUS program of this nature.

If a Winner is disqualified, he or she forfeits their right to take part in the Award and WVUS will be fully absolved of any and all liability in that regard. WVUS reserves the right to select an alternate winner who is able to meet the requirements as set out in these Rules.

Before being confirmed as a Finalist or Winner, each such Finalist or Winner will be required to sign and return, within the time stipulated by WVUS, a full release and indemnity form stating that the Finalist or Winner has read and understood the Rules, grants all consents required, authorizes WVUS to broadcast, publish and disseminate Team members’ name, city of residence, photograph, likeness, and voice, in connection with the Competition and their participation in either of the Prizes at no additional compensation to the Finalist or Winner, accepts the Prizes as offered, and releases WVUS and related parties from any and all liability of any kind arising out of the Winner’s participation in the Competition and the Prizes, including any related travel. Proof of identification must be provided upon request.

Criteria around deadlines Preliminary Round

For the Preliminary Round of the Competition, WVUS will post on: http://challenge.worldvision.ca (“Online Challenge Platform Site“), an online challenge statement explaining a development challenge that will need to be addressed in over the next 5 to 10 years.

The Preliminary Round starts at 12:00 a.m. EST on November 4, 2019 and closes at 8:00 p.m. EST on March 6th, 2020 (“Preliminary Round Close Date“). After the Preliminary Round Close Date, up to 5 Teams per challenge will be identified as finalists (“Finalists“).

Final Round

The Final Round will be a one day face-to-face pitch event and will be held in June, 2020 in Seattle Final Round Pitch“). Due to the expansion of the competition, the exact date and venue is to be determined. After the Final Round Pitch, 1 Finalist per challenge will be selected as the winner (“Winner“).

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