One of the most frightening things as a child is being lost, but Tomisin Ogunnubi, a 15 year-old student in Lagos, Nigeria, might've created a solution. At 12 years-old, Ogunnubi learned how to develop apps and made My Locator (Android). The app is designed to help lost children find their way home.
"It was in that process that I came up with the idea of safety or tracking app for young kids like me," Ogunnubi told Tech Economy.
The app is free and divided into three sections for easy use:
- Current location
- Remembered location
- Alert button
The app finds the user's current location and shows nearby streets for reference. Users can save frequently visited places like school or home, and get directions to go there. The app has an alert button feature that, when pressed, calls Lagos state emergency services and pinpoints the child's location.
The alert feature can also send a text to an emergency contact, like a family member.
"It's basically your choice. So in case of an emergency, when you need an urgent response, it sends your current address to that number so somebody can easily locate where you are," Ogunnubi told the BBC.
While Ogunnubi has made an app made useful for adolescents, her creation could help many others.
The insurgency in Boko Haram has separated more than 30,000 children from their parents. Boko Haram fighters fled Chad and Nigerian forces with hundreds of abducted women and children from Damask in Borno State in March 2015. Despite Boko Haram's expulsion from the area, Nigerian authorities lagged on reuniting families.
Ogunnubi's app could be used by children like those caught up in the unrest from Boko Haram to find a refugee camp or possibly a relative. Her app garnered massive praise from her teachers at her school as well as Google program manager, Aniedi Udo-Obong.
Obong said there is a lack of Nigerian role models in the tech industry and that Ogunnubi has made an important step. Ogunnubi's computer teacher, Kofoworola Cole, told the BBC that the 15 year-old's dedication to coding has changed the way the subject is taught at her school.
"It gave us more courage to be able to start from junior students, normally we focused on seniors. But when Tomisin was able to achieve that, we knew that, yes, there are talents in the junior school," Cole said.
Ogunnubi's robotics team represented her school at an international competition as of late and they took the gold, according to Tech Economy.
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- Fifteen year-old Tomisin Ogunnubi developed the My Locator app at age 12 to help lost children find their way to safe place.
- The app made a strong impression on Google and successfully helped displaced children after the unrest from Boko Haram.
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