Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Suriname Robotics

Sweef Teki model 2.0
Performed at Mexico City International Games

Project Management Team

Soraya  Ramsukul - Jhagroe


Shivani Jhagroe



The future of work cannot be seen as separate from the Innovation and Knowledge intensive industry. Foundation Young Help Suriname (YHS), believes that Innovation and Technology are unmissable keys to enabling sustainable economic development and we believe in the Innovative Power of young STEM minds.


This is why YHS has a focus on empowering Surinamese youth through practical project based skills building, leading to exposure to an inspirational personal experience in the field of STEM and Innovation. We believe that this triggers an inner passion for achieving great things and builds self-confidence for believing in oneself to change the world for the better. This is also our strategic approach for ensuring continuity of our STEM skills building initiatives. Peer-to-peer mentoring is a coherent part of our training method.

In Suriname, YHS,  trains a group of students with Design, Mechanical Engineering, Programming, Wiring and Assembly skills to build a robotic device, which takes part in the International FIRST Global Robotics game challenge. Each year a Senior Technical Team mentor is engaged as well as supporting mentors to prepare a team of students for the competition. We start with a trainee group from which the representing team is selected and prepared.

"The FGC games are not only a competition, but also to empower and build collaboration and friendship among young STEM interested minds in more than 150 countries across the globe. Being part of this network and having access to this rich resource is important for Suriname, if we also want to contribute with the talent we have and enable our young people to make use of this global platform to emerge as STEM and Innovation future leaders.'' - Ashna Mahepal (CEO Foundation YHS)


The Project Team

A group of Young Helpers (YHS members) led by a Projectmanagement Team work in the background to prepare all the required logitics to make it happen. This International level preparation and participation requires dedicated individuals with a passion for Technology and Innovation, who work fast and precise (doing it right the first time).


The project engages at the minimum individuals for:

  • Project management 

  • Project Operations (daily team related operations) 

  • Training (Senior Mentor and support mentors)

  • FG Administration (FG Team registartion, Team profiles)

  • Logistics (training, video shooting, interviews, teach-ins, teambuilding etc.)

  • Fundraising

  • Travel Logistics (visa, passports, vaccinations, medical documents, roundtrip Airfare, accomodation, transportation)

  • Legal Administration (Participation Agreements, Parent Travel Authorizations for minors, Health documents etc.)

  • Game country preparedness 

  • Social Media management

  • FG Team PR requirements (video production, photo's, team interviews etc.)













The story behind Suriname and FIRST GLOBAL

YHS was connected by Meridian International Center from our YLAI-Obama Program network to former Navy Admiral & US congressman Joe Sestak who was leading the  inauguration of a global STEaM network for Robotics, FIRST GLOBAL.


For us, Suriname’s participation in the Robotics games is important, because it connects Suriname (especially its future generation) to knowledge, experience and resources across the globe. It enables us to work towards building competitive STEM skills in the present, to develop innovative robotics engineering solutions in partnerships with various country teams, while various young local capacity is built through the process. It's a perfect combination of building skills within a certain time, applying it and testing it's capabilities at nothing less than a high level international collaborative and competitive event.


FIRST Global launched the international Robotics games (FIRST Global Challenge - FGC) in 2017. Their mission is to inspire science and technology leadership and innovation in young people from all nations in order to increase understanding, impress the importance of cooperation, address the world’s most pressing issues, and improve quality of life for all. The games in general aim to stimulate STEM, innovation and its application in robotics for solving the most pressing challenges of our planet, especially those related to water, energy, security, medicine, food, and education. FIRST stands for 'For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology'.

Ashna Headshot.jpg

Ashna Mahepal, MPA, B.Sc

Project Management/Mentor

Reita Weewee - Madhuban



Team 2017: L- R:  Dr. Daniel Lachman; Shayant Sital; Ayan Jhagroe; Ivana Codrington

In 2017 Suriname participated in the inaugural games in Washington DC and was ranked on the list of 163 teams from 157 countries as rank 49 with a total of 480 cumulative points (4 games won from 6). Landing in the top 50 was a result of hard work and dedication of a team of three young students with no prior robotics experience. Mentored and supported by a group of 8 volunteers, the team prepared and all the hard work paid of at the games.


The robot they designed and built called Sweef-teki (meaning 'slide and own') performed to the expectations of the team. The most difficult part of the game challenge, which delivered the most points (20 points) was the element Sweef-teki did seamlessly and so added to the total score of its alliance in almost each game round it played. 


Team 2018: L - R: Ayan Jhagroe (alternate); Lesley Uiterloo,  Dr. D. Lachman; Seth Tjokrodimedjo; Joel Naarendorp

For the 2018 games 161 teams from across the world travelled to Mexico city for the Energy Impact game challenge. 


While in 2017 team ranking was done based on cumulative points, the ranking in 2018 was done based on number of games won from a total of 8 games. For cumulative points Suriname's robot scored 5148 points in just 3 won matches. This placed us in the top 53 countries scoring more than 5000 points translating in 'most effective robots'. On the ranking based on won games we ended op spot 103 on the list of 161 teams.
Click to see:  
National Teams attending

  The full 2017 Team Ranking list can be found here.

  The full 2018 Team Ranking list can be found here.