Vodafone Foundation to provide free education to five million children in Africa

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India CSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the World Refugee Day on June 20th, The Vodafone Foundation has announced that its ongoing education programmes in sub-Saharan Africa will expand to benefit more than five million children who are marginalised and excluded from traditional education.

Vodafone’s charitable arm is launching Instant Schools For Africa across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania to provide free access to quality online educational materials. Children, young people and educators will benefit from free and unlimited access to the Instant Schools for Africa online learning materials with zero mobile data charges in order to encourage widespread access to, and use of, the curricula on offer. The content will also be made available offline to support pupils and educators without access to the internet. A similar Vodafone Foundation initiative in South Africa – Vodacom e-School – is already benefiting 215,000 children.

The announcement comes as the Vodafone Foundation has published its Connected Education report, which found that the online educational resources made available through the Instant Schools For Africa programme could benefit more than 50 million children across Africa, India and Egypt by 2025, as the Vodafone Foundation increases its focus on these activities.

Kakuma INS: A Case Studies

 Sasha is 17 years old

At the age of 14, Sasha’s mother left the Kakuma camp to move back to Burundi. Her mother had accepted a dowry for her daughter’s marriage to a man Sascha did not know which terrified Sacha. Her mother said she needed the money to educate her brothers. Sasha made the decision to run away and escaped back to Kakuma. After six months on the road, Sasha finally made it back to Kakuma.  In 2016, she resumed her education and says that the tablets have really helped improve her grades.

In her own words

“This school has saved my life. When I am here, I am just learning. I build my future life. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I come here in school to get more knowledge so that I can make my life improve.”

Fugia’s parents are Somalian, but Fugia is from Kakuma camp. She says the community in the camp are not supportive of girls pursuing an education saying that they do not have a right to an education, with some people even calling those girls who go to school ‘prostitutes’.
Fugia’s parents are Somalian, but Fugia is from Kakuma camp. She says the community in the camp are not supportive of girls pursuing an education saying that they do not have a right to an education, with some people even calling those girls who go to school ‘prostitutes’.

FUGIA, is 15 years old

Fugia’s parents are Somalian, but Fugia is from Kakuama camp.  In the camp – she says the community can be very unsupportive of girls pursuing an education- saying that they do not have a right to an education with some people even calling those girls who go to school ‘prostitutes’!  Fugia’s mum was worried about what others were saying and suggested Fugia drop out of school. Fugia has a heart condition.  When she and her sister used the tablets to show her mother how the circulatory system works – her mother was convinced and even supports the idea of her daughter one day becoming a doctor to help herself and others. She calls the tablets her ‘best friends’.

In her own words

“Not every human being gets a chance of going to school. Whenever a person gets that opportunity, he or she should make very best use of that opportunity because opportunity knocks once at every man’s door. … This opportunity is very rare to many people, especially to us here in the camp …. It’s a right. It’s like oxygen for us. A person can never live without oxygen.”

“As I said earlier, I have a heart problem. I want to become a doctor whenever a person gets sick and that person doesn’t have money I’ll help that person. Also, that person knows the reason as to why I have become a doctor that day. That person also gets the passion of saying, “I’ll be like her”.

David

David was born in Sudan in a small village called Kichama. Constant bombings of schools, hospitals and public places during the civil war forced David to flee, leaving his family behind as he feared for his life. He travelled by himself and eventually arrived in Kakuma where he was enrolled into Kakuma Refugee Secondary School.  David’s incredibly grateful for being given a place at the school and credits the education he received for making him a better person.

David is now one of the tiny percentage of refugees in Kakuma accessing a university education.
David is now one of the tiny percentage of refugees in Kakuma accessing a university education.

He first learnt about the internet after Vodafone installed a wifi network and introduced the use of tablets at the school. He had dreams of becoming an accountant and through using Vodafone’s network, he was able to carry out research and learn more about an accountant’s role within an organisation.

David’s hard work resulted in him gaining a University scholarship from the UNHCR to pursue an online accountancy course. He’s able to attend online lectures in the camp by connecting to the network and using the tablets provided by Vodafone.

David is now one of the tiny percentage of refugees in Kakuma accessing a university education.

Rose (Jediva)

At 14, Rose was raped, beaten [this is not explicit in the film!] and kidnapped from Uganda where she was living with her mother and taken by her captor to Kenya as his ’19 year-old Sudanese wife’. Too terrified to eat or speak, Rose lived as a slave for her captor and his sister, under the daily threat of being killed if she told anyone who she really was. When Rose sold her food rations to buy books to learn, her captor beat her, saying he would let her ‘die here as a dog’. Rose managed to get out of the house and found a girl who helped her to the police station. A dental investigation revealed she was still only 15 – not the 19 year-old wife that her captor insisted she was. Rose was taken to a safe haven and now attends the Angelina Jolie school, where she has used tablets, Google and the Internet for the first time. The first thing she did when she held a tablet was to look up a YouTube video of an active volcano, which Rose says was amazing.

A keen student who loves learning, she studies science and English in lessons and online every day in the hope that she will one day be a lawyer. Rose says she wants to help other people with experiences like hers.

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