This lack of open dialogue in Anielka’s home reflects a widespread silence on sexual health across Latin America. Still today, it remains a global issue, denying women essential knowledge for their health and safety. Anielka Medina was moved by the personal tragedy of losing her mother to cervical cancer and set out to break this cycle of ignorance.

In 2015, Anielka co-founded the nonprofit organization  The Lily Project with several others to combat cervical cancer, the leading cause of death among young Nicaraguan women, and to provide sexual health education to rural teenagers. Later, Susan Cotton joined the mission seeking a project dedicated to women’s health rights, and she helped make that dream a reality.

Their mission is to ensure that no one else suffers from a lack of vital health information, especially regarding women’s sexual health. They commit to educating women about their bodies and the importance of regular checkups and screenings. Through their work with The Lily Project and Chava App, they make a significant impact on people’s lives.

From left to right, co-founders Susan Cotton and Anielka Medina.

Over seven years with The Lily Project, Anielka learned about women’s struggles to access quality care and accurate information crucial to their health and lives. She identified a similar unmet need throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

 

How The Lily Project Started their Sexual Health Education Program

Through group education and one-on-one counseling sessions at Lily’s health events and in schools, The Lily Project provides comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, gender roles, and abuse. In-person education has proven extremely effective in changing girls’ attitudes and behaviors. However, the limited reach of in-person education hinders its effectiveness in reaching a broader audience and addressing the widespread need for sexual health education.

Leading up to the development of Chava, The Lily Project had to navigate through several challenges, such as the sociopolitical crisis in Nicaragua in 2018. A dictatorship stripped away rights, hitting women hardest and leading to increased femicide and a lack of contraceptives and sexual health information. Early pregnancies were normalized, and the government cracked down on NGOs, labeling them as coup plotters. Many were expelled or accused of money laundering. The Lily Project requested closure in 2021 but has yet to receive a response.

All of this is changing with the development of Chava App, the first mobile app designed specifically to help young Latinas become informed, confident advocates of their own sexual health, education, and power.

Pro-bono Partnership Between Cloud Primero and The Lily’s Project Vision

We matched The Lily Project team with the software development company Cloud Primero. Based in the Netherlands, Cloud Primero instantly resonated with the cause and engaged a dedicated team to work on the project on a pro-bono basis.

“We were happy to be part of a story that was already making value.” Ali Zaidi, CEO of Cloud Primero

Cloud Primero’s support opened a real opportunity: to use digital technology as a solution to reach wider audiences with sexual health education. In the development process, Cloud Primero considered key details like the type of phone and bandwidth in Nicaragua. The mission was to make Chava accessible to everyone, and the team did an excellent job creating an experience where users can be anonymous based on their personal experiences.

Their shared cultural backgrounds and the problems their various cultures faced regarding sexual health were the driving forces behind the CP team’s motivation and inspiration.

A particularly uplifting aspect of their collaboration was how team members from Pakistan and other underserved countries found inspiration in the project. They saw an opportunity not just to contribute, but to take the learnings and the app itself back to their own countries to make a significant impact.

“The Cloud Primero collaboration was unique!” said Anielka during our interview.

The Chava App’s key features:

  • Health plan
  • Safe community and WhatsApp support
  • Personalized notifications and your toolkit.
  • Resource center with educational content
  • User privacy and GDPR compliance.

 

See how the Chava App works!

 

 

 

 

Saving Lives through Remote Medical Advice 

One of the ongoing successes of the Chava app is its ability to provide users with instant access to health professionals. Anielka recalls the story of a 21-year-old girl who reached out for consultation regarding possible menstrual pain and vaginal bleeding.

This moment underscores the transformative power of technology in healthcare, bridging critical gaps between individuals in remote areas and essential medical advice. After a series of questions and the girl sharing some photos, Anielka’s team discovered she was experiencing a miscarriage. Thanks to the network Anielka built in the area, they were able to send an ambulance immediately to a rural area of Matagalpa. This incident serves as a powerful example of the trust Anielka and her team have established with their users.

Tech for Good Impact

The collaboration between The Lily Project and Cloud Primero continues to demonstrate the profound impact technology businesses can have on global health. Initially, their joint effort in developing the Chava app transformed an ambitious concept into a tangible solution, addressing the significant gap in sexual health education and services across Latin America.

This was not merely a tech collaboration. Connected by the Tech To The Rescue team, both parties engaged in this impactful tech project, experienced a unique and transformative story. The Cloud Primero team can confirm that technology businesses can significantly contribute to social well-being, demonstrating that technology, when used intelligently and collectively, can be a force for good in the world, by engaging in pro-bono projects for nonprofit organizations. 

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