“Doesn’t matter if we did not win this competition. What matters is that we have made people aware of this problem and sooner or later people will move together to solve it. – Team Dok Champa (Alouny Senduangdeth and Chanthakone Rattanavong)
Meet Alouny Senduangdeth, a member of team Dok Champa from Lao DPR. Together with her teammate, Chanthakone Rattanavong, she joined the ASEAN Data Science Explorer 2018 and became one of the 10 regional finalists in the competition. Being an economics student, Alouny admitted that she had no idea what data analytics is when she signed up. However, when she found out that data analytics can be harnessed to provide data-driven solutions to create a better society, she made a decision to join the competition then and there.
Alouny and Chanthakone decided to focus on Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which revolves around health. Entitled “Saving our Next Generation,” team Dok Champa has decided to specifically touch on the maternal health issue in ASEAN countries. Even though this issue might not be the most popular one, she believes that “big problems in the future come from small problems that we overlook now” and therefore she felt encouraged to ensure that people, not just the educated ones, are aware of this issue and find ways to eradicate this problem.
When asked how this competition impacted her, Alouny impetuously admitted that the competition motivates her to start seeing the bigger picture when solving problems and encourages her to have a more dynamic thought process. She also felt privileged to get to know great and kind-hearted people who care for development issues that are happening around ASEAN and are willing to spend their time trying to make people aware of these problems.
Having claimed a seat in the regional final of ASEAN Data Science Explorers 2018 didn’t make them satisfied. Right after their participation in the regional final, Alouny saw her teammate Chanthakone initiating a workshop to inspire other youths in Lao PDR to participate in the programme. Through this workshop, he shared his experience in the programme and tips on how to create an impactful storyboard.
Article by Alvin Benjamin Haryono, Communication Intern, University of Birmingham - Business Management Undergraduate.