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Rainbow, a chatbot that addresses gender-based violence in SA, has been named the winner of the Southern African regional finals of The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law’s (HiiL) Innovating Justice Challenge.
The event was held last Thursday (7 November) in Johannesburg.
Using non-judgemental conversation, Rainbow, which was developed by AI for Good UK, guides women who believe that they may be in an abusive relationship to better understand their situation and lead them to help.
Since its launch a year ago, more than 350 000 conversations have taken place on the platform.
Rainbow and LawBasket will be invited to the Justice Entrepreneurship School and Innovating Justice Forum
AI for Good founder Kriti Sharma said in a statement on Monday (11 November) that winning the regional final of the challenge “means so much” to the team.
“Rainbow is one year old and this strategic partnership opportunity has come at the perfect time, we’re ready for our next growth phase and will continue to work hard to make the chatbot smarter and to provide victims of domestic violence with a solution that they actually want,” said Sharma.
Zimbabwean startup LawBasket was placed second in recognition for its potential to grow not just in Zimbabwe, but throughout Africa.
LawBasket provides affordable legal cover for small businesses by integrating with existing insurance policies. Businesses can also easily find a lawyer in LawBasket’s database if they need legal help.
Cape Town-based For the Children’s Sake, which offers pro bono mediation services for families at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court in the city, came in third. The startup intends to expand its model for providing mediation for free to other courts around the country.
‘Finalists were outstanding’
HiiL hub and franchise manager Conor Sattely said all nine Southern African finalists were “outstanding”.
“HiiL would be delighted to work with any one of them in the future.
“Every year we see the ambition and achievements of innovators in the region get better and better, and we’re confident that the impact these organisations have is changing real people’s lives and making justice more user friendly,” said Sattely.
Rainbow, LawBasket and For the Children’s Sake will now enter HiiL’s Justice Accelerator programme and receive funding and support to grow their work and impact.
Furthermore, Rainbow and LawBasket will be invited to the Justice Entrepreneurship School and Innovating Justice Forum, which take place in The Hague next February.
Featured image, left to right: Rainbow representatives including founding partner Joanne Van Der Walt and Nanda Munhoz (Supplied)