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Youth Hacking 4 Freedom

If you like programming, tinkering, having fun with software and if you are up for a challenge, we have something exciting for you: "Youth Hacking 4 Freedom" (YH4F), the FSFE's hacking competition for young people from Europe! On top you can up to €4096 and a trip to Brussels for the award ceremony!

Three teenagers standing in a hackerspace

Graphic by Lisa Schmidt, CC-BY-SA 4.0 or later

Join Youth Hacking 4 Freedom 2024

Are you up for hacking on a software project of your choice? Do you want to meet like-minded people of your age from around Europe? What about getting the chance to receive one of our cash awards and to travel to Brussels to meet the other winners and great people from the Free Software movement? Then join the YH4F competition! The fourth round of YH4F will start on 1st of January 2025 and registration is open till the end of the programming period, 30th ofJune. Be part of this year's YH4F!

We have an international jury, with luminaries from various software fields, accompanying you throughout the contest.

We are dedicated to offering an inclusive environment in the YH4F, and we would like to encourage teenagers of all genders to join! We will make sure everyone enjoys the process and leaves this competition with added knowledge and a smile.

Register for Youth Hacking 4 Freedom 2024!


Decide yourself what you code

There is no set challenge or topic for the software you should develop. Embrace your imagination and create what is the most interesting to you. It can address an everyday problem you have, or it can be just fun. It can be a standalone program that you write from scratch, or you can modify and combine existing programs. The possibilities are endless. A vital condition for the competition is that the program should be Free Software, so that others can use, study, share, and improve the code in the future. Do not worry, if you do not have an idea yet! We will be there and help you to come up with an idea. Or you have the chance to meet other participants and to join their team.

Take the time you need

During the programming period you have the chance to develop your project idea and work on the code or hardware. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to meet other participants from across Europe in our monthly calls. You can register from 1st of July till 30th of June, for the upcoming YH4F programming competition. For YH4F 2025 you can now register and we will reach out to you before the competition starts on the 1st of January 2025. If you are not yet sure whether you want to take part, or if you have any questions about registration, you are welcome to contact us at yh4f@fsfe.org.

Present your program to top experts

Your software project will be in good hands, as it will be evaluated by Free Software experts. Our jury members excel in software development and are deeply involved in the Free Software movement. At the same time, they are excellent people to work with. After you submit your program, you will have the chance to present it to them, as part of your evaluation. This is a nice opportunity for you to discuss your idea and your achievement with experienced people in the field.

Do you have more questions before registering?

Frequently Asked Questions

Awesome awards and experiences await

Based on the jury’s grades, the winners will be determined and announced. The first six places will be awarded cash between 4.096€ and 1.024€ each. The Award Ceremony of YH4F takes place in Brussels on one of the October weekends. All the winners will be invited there with covered costs. The Award Ceremony will have top speakers in the field of Free Software and it will be a time of celebration. You made it! Your hard work paid off. Now you can enjoy 2 educative and exciting days in Brussels and socialise with fellow winners.

2023 Winners

Picture of the six winners posing during the Award Ceremony with a FSFE roll up on the background
YH4F 2023 winners: Marlon, Simon, Marius, Davide, Oriol and Matthias at the award ceremony in Brussels

While the second round of the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest has ended, the journey of this years six winners has just begun. We are truly amazed and cannot wait to learn about their future projects. Meet Davide, Marlon, Matthias, Marius, Simon and Oriol. You can find out more about the six inspiring projects here.

2022 Winners

Four winners, Ekaterina, Miquel, Héctor, and Stavros, with their awards. Brussels, Award ceremony, October 2022.

In 2022 it was the first time that the YH4F took place. We had the pleasure to receive many interesting and inspired projects from all around Europe. The six winning projects.

A table with a tray and storage space coming out. On the right,    a wheelchair fits closely in front of the table, as the table has a    gap on the feet level. On the left, a young person holds the    controller of the table

"This contest for me is a real wonder. I think that giving young people the opportunity to show others what they have thought, created and suffered doing is very nice. I have been very comfortable throughout the process, the mentors have been very kind and understood all the effort."

Miquel, creator of the Smart Table Assistant. Interview with participants.


If you are interested in supporting the Youth Hacking 4 Freedom contest financially, you can become one of our esteemed sponsors. For this please send us an email to yh4f@fsfe.org. And of course we are always happy to receive donations ♥.

Special thanks

Forty years ago, Reinhard Wiesemann won a hacking competition for young people. He used the money from his cash prize to advance his professional development. Now Youth Hacking 4 Freedom is financially supported with donations by Reinhard Wiesemann, Linuxhotel, and Vielrespektzentrum.

Do you want to support the FSFE's work in inspiring young Free Software hackers in Europe?

Become a supporter now

Would you like to feature YH4F? Open our media kit and feel free to use the illustrations found inside.

Media Kit