Every Big Change Starts with a Small Step"
A few years back, we started a campaign "Code for a Cause” as our way to give back to the community.
In 2017 we gathered a group of developers whose aim was to come up with solutions to some social problems in Novi Sad and develop them in 48 hours. One of the first projects we were working on was a Base of Rare Diseases for "Life" association.
Why Is the Website ”Base of Rare Diseases” so Important?
“Life” association approached us with the request to help them solve a problem they were facing. Namely, there was a lack of information on rare diseases available in the Serbian language. One database called Orphanet existed in Europe at the time, but it was available only in English. This was a big problem because most of our doctors, as well as children’s parents, do not speak English well or at all.
We wanted to create a website where all of the translated information from Orphanet database could be stored. his kind of website would allow all visitors to find valuable information about specific diseases, symptoms, therapies, etc.
What Was Our Role During the Project?
The initial idea was to create a website where the translated information about the diseases would be added one by one. Our team expanded this idea by creating a scraper that collected information about 20.000+ rare diseases from the Orphanet website for eight hours.
The team also worked on creating a panel for the translators to speed up the translation process and automate it. Since one of the goals was to create a website where people could get in touch with the doctors and get some of the answers, forum page was created to connect these two sides.
Just a little reminder:
This was all done in 48 hours! :)
What Happened After?
After the website was developed, it took translators a lot of time to translate all of the information, and the site finally went LIVE in July this year.
All of the team members felt a strong connection with the story and the project itself. Some of them continued to work on the website long after the Hackathon ended. Our colleague Andrea was one of them, and she shared some of her impressions with us.
“At the beginning of the project, I was asked to help out, and pretty soon I realised how significant the project was. My work on the website continued long after Hackathon because I wanted to create some starting point where people could get valuable information about rare diseases.”
Bojana Mirosavljević, the president of the “Life” association, shared her impressions, and emphasised the importance of the project for both the association and the people.
“Our work on the project Base of rare diseases has been going on for two years now, and we are well aware that this is just the beginning. We are excited that everyone will finally be able to use the base. In the meantime, the National Organization for Rare Diseases of Macedonia joined our cause, which means our website will be available in Serbian and Macedonian language.”
Today, the website is live and available to all visitors to search the database for the information they need.
This project is extremely important to us because it represents our mission - to make the world a better place through our work.
Code For a Cause was organized for the third time and it broke all the records in terms of the number of participants, companies and projects. Now, we are off to our next adventure, making Novi Sad a greener place with our GreenIT campaign. We hope that more companies will join this or similar kinds of initiatives in the future.