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National Volunteers Hackathon 2021 is an annual-national social hackathon organised on International Volunteers Day as a part of Social Volunteers Awards 2021.


National Volunteers Hackathon is a platform for youth (13 to 25 years) to ideate, design, execute and lead social initiatives that address injustice in their community through compassion, courage and collaborative leadership. Through this 24 hour hackathon, youth will be guided through a 5-stage journey and provided with resources and community support; including training, 3 month mentorship and initial startup funding of $250 to launch a social change project in their community; along with stories that celebrate their social change journey and impact.


National Volunteers Hackathon 2021 is the sixth edition of The Social Hackathon, an initiative of CAPTAINS Social Solution in collaboration with Peace First, Global Incubator of Youth-led Social Change and Good Deeds Day, Global Movement of Doing Good.

It is organised by National Service Scheme, Unit 174 & 262 and United Nations Academic Impact (ASPIRE) of TKM College of Engineering (Kollam, Kerala) with the support of The Gulmohar Foundation and Institute of Social Volunteering

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  • Participants should be a young citizen of India

  • Participants should be of age group 13 to 25 years

  • Participants should be representing their own or teams ideas

  • Participants idea should be addressing a social injustice in the community

  • Participants can join individually or as a team 



  • Incubate ideas, evaluate solutions & act as a support system to enhance the growth and impact of youth-led social initiatives.

  • Enhance the capacity, potential and creativity of youth to address social issues and to create sustainable impact in the society.

  • Invest in youth by providing tools, resources and skills; and connecting them with like-minded volunteers & organisations and sharing their stories and impact to the world.

  • Creating an inclusive sustainable ecosystem for social volunteers and organisations, through practising and promoting initiatives addressing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

  • To develop a Social Incubation Center - a creative space for youth to meet, learn and work together to create and promote social projects that drive sustainable changes in the community.



  • Access to grant of $250 to put your ideas into action.

  • Three month mentorship to develop the social initiative.

  • A guided, self-paced learning journey that supports young people to create and launch a social change project, built on 20+ years of successful school-based work and developed in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

  • Tools and resources developed over Peace First’s 30 years of supporting young people, to build a just and peaceful world, to deepen your learning and support your project planning 

  • Personalized feedback and mentorship to help your project succeed, including multiple rounds of written feedback and a coaching video call 

  • Opportunities to gain exposure for your work, including being featured publicly through a public project page, participation in storytelling  campaign  and  networking opportunities with partners and grant communities at Peace First. 

  • A community of other youth leaders to connect with. Become part of changemakers in your region and around the world.

  • Mentorship, skills training, community-building, and leadership development opportunities.

  • Access to further funding opportunities and network with our partner organisations.


  • Identify injustices in the communities.

  • Understand systems of power and root causes of injustice.

  • Develop compassionate solutions to address injustice.

  • Turn the ideas and thoughts into actions through a specific and measurable action plan.

  • Access to continuous support and personalized mentorship.

We provide guidelines for the criteria a project must meet, but we trust young people to tell us what the problems in their community are that need urgent solutions, and to work with the community to figure out what these solutions can look like.

You can join The Social Hackathon with a project you’ve already created, or use this to create a new project. Either way, you’ll have access to the same tools and support to help make your project a success, and you’ll be required to submit the same information about your project to receive a mini-grant. Whatever stage you’re at in your journey as a social change leader, we’re ready to meet you where you are.


  • A 24-hour continuous hackathon with the involvement of 100 youth participants

  • The project pitching on hackathon can be of general social initiatives 

  • Participants should register on the application form with the basic abstract of the project. The organizing team will be screening and evaluating the abstract of the project provided by the participant. The primary selected participants will undergo an interview, before selecting the finalist.

  • The participant can attend the hackathon individually or as a team of 4 participants

  • The  Ambassadors of Peace First will be facilitating the hackathon

  • Maximum 25 teams will be selected for the hackathon

  • A total of 5 mentors will be guiding the 25 teams (one mentor for 5 teams) throughout the hackathon.

  • During the hackathon, the participant team will undergo training and discussion to Choose, Understand, Plan, Act, and Reflect on the injustice they need to address in their community. They will be solving the worksheet and updating their progress on our digital platform.

  • Each mentor will select one of the best teams in his cohort with the support of other teams and will provide them an opportunity to present their project during the hackathon. All these 5 teams will receive a Certificate of Appreciation. (for offline edition)

  • Out of these 5 teams, one team will be selected as the CHAMPION of The Social Hackathon by all other teams. They will receive a Certificate of Excellence (for offline edition)

  • All teams will have to undergo the procedures of The Mini-Grant Challenge to receive the fund.

  • All 25 teams will receive Certificate of Participation and mentorship to receive fundig to scaleup their project.

  • Online Edition of The Social Hackathon will be through Google Meet and Google Classroom.


Young people will go through five phases as they create their peacemaking projects:

Choose, Understand, Plan, Act, and Reflect.

Each stage has a touchpoint -- a point at which young people submit evidence of their work to us to get feedback from their community of peacemakers -- and a series of tools to help young people create and implement their projects.

Choose: Young people will learn about The Social Hackathon and the essential traits of peacemakers, identify issues in their community, differentiate between injustices and inconveniences, and choose an injustice to focus their peacemaking project on.

Touchpoint: Young people create a project page identifying their injustice


  • Introduction to The Social Hackathon

  • Personal Development

  • Creating an Effective Team

  • Positives and Negatives

  • Injustice or Inconvenience

  • Choosing an Injustice

Understand: Young people will dive deeper into their chosen injustice, interviewing members of the community to learn about their experiences and perspective, mapping the root causes and potential solutions to problems, envisioning a better future, and using the data they’ve collected and ideas they’ve generated to create a “Compassionate Insight” -- a big idea for how they’ll improve their community.

Touchpoint: Young people will submit a Compassionate Insight on their project page.


  • Talking to Others

  • Problem and Solution Trees

  • Imagining the Future

  • Compassionate Insights

Plan: Young people will create a concrete plan to bring their idea to life, setting specific goals, mapping out the resources and partnerships they will need, creating mechanisms for tracking their progress, designing a detailed plan and budget, and assessing risks.

Touchpoint: Young people will submit their plan, and can request a mini-grant of up to $250, on their project page


  • SMART Goals

  • Head, Heart, Hands, and Feet

  • Planning and Budgeting

  • Reducing Risk

Act: Young people will put the project into action, collecting feedback from community members to improve their work and using a tool to track their progress.

Touchpoint: Young people will create updates on their project page, featuring photos, video, and stories from their project in action.


  • Getting Feedback

  • Tracking Your Progress

Reflect: Young people will reflect on how they have changed their community -- and changed themselves -- over the course of the project, thank those who supported them, work to tell their story to the world, and submit a final reflection as evidence of their hard work and lasting impact.

Touchpoint: Young people will submit a reflection on their project page


  • Individual Reflection

  • Team Reflection

  • Celebration and Thanks

  • Telling Your Story

  • Final Reflection



When you begin the Hackathon, you’ll start by choosing an injustice (a social problem that causes harm or creates inequity, such as violence, poverty, or racism) that you want to address in your community. You’ll also enter information about your location and choose a title for your project. When you finish this stage, you’ll have your very own project page; which you’ll add to throughout the Hackathon and can share with others to showcase your work.


Once you’ve chosen the injustice you want to address, you’ll be guided through a series of activities to help you better understand the injustice. You’ll talk to others in your community, working to identify root causes and potential solutions. You’ll then create a Compassionate Insight - a mission statement for your project, similar to a Theory of Change, identifying the injustice you want to solve, its root cause, and the solution you plan to put into action. After you create your Compassionate Insight, a member of our team will review it and give you feedback. You may be asked to make some clarifications before you move forward.


Once your Compassionate Insight has been approved by one of our experienced youth social change leaders, we’ll give you the tools to create a strategic plan and budget of up to $250 for your project. Once you complete your plan and budget, a member of our team will review it and provide personalized feedback. When your plan is approved, you’ll be asked to submit some documentation (to show us that you’re a real person and meet our age eligibility guidelines). You’ll also participate in a one-on-one video call with a Fellow-in-Residence from your region to talk through the implementation of your project. They’ll be able to offer advice on key challenges you might have. . After these steps, we’ll be able to approve your mini-grant application.


Our team will send your mini-grant directly to you - really, to you! - or to a trusted adult if you prefer. Then it’s time to put your plan into action! We require you to implement the project within three months of receiving the funds. As you implement your project in the real world, our team will be available for questions and feedback, and you can share updates on your progress on your project page. You might even be featured on our social media!


Every leader who receives a grant is required to submit a reflection to within three months. In your reflection, you’ll share data and feedback about how your project impacted others in your community, and what you’ve learned from the work. This reflection helps us understand the impact of our programs and helps us to improve, and it’s an opportunity for you to take stock of your progress and practice telling your story! After submitting your reflection, you’ll be eligible for future opportunities, including additional mini-grants and our Accelerator Program. Your project page will remain active as long as you like, and you can continue using the planning tools and accessing mentorship from our team.



We are always open for partnerhip and collaboration to organise The Social Hackathon in disticts of India. If any organisations are interested to host The Social Hackathon, they can connect us on




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