7 November 2018

Kenya: ICT Empowerment - Kenya's Street Children Can Code

Last month, the ICT Authority, Huawei Technologies, TotoSci and E-Mentoring Africa announced a new project to empower street children.

The unique partnership will empower over 400 vulnerable students of Bosco School in Karen through providing technology, technology skills, science education, soft skills, life skills and mentoring.

For the programme, 60 tablets were donated during the Connected Kenya Summit for use by the students in their studies and education.

With eMentoring Africa (eMA) providing mentoring, soft skills, life skills and entry-level technology skills for the students, TotoSci provides a tailor-made curriculum based on experiential learning and a science and coding kit.

eMA is a not-for-profit organization that blends mentorship with guidance, values and personal development to school-age/adolescent children and skills transfer and employment linkages to youth who have attained employment age.

TosoSci Academy was founded by Anthony Muthungu, a Kenyan youth who sought to develop science and coding kits from local materials.

It aims to inspire children into STEM careers but also provide them with the skills and hardware to get relevant practical experience.

The materials can be provided to students at low cost along with volunteer trainers to help the students use the kits in a structured curriculum.

TotoSci Academy says coding improves creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, persistence, and communication amongst youth.

Speaking during the rollout of the initiative, Huawei Senior Director for Public Affairs, Adam Lane, said the goal is to help a group of vulnerable students understand and take advantage of technology to further their studies and careers.

Bosco Boys Kuwinda is a project founded in 1990.

It hosts over 450 boys and girls to provide them with a home, basic human needs, education and spiritual nourishment to the needy children who formally lived or are currently living in the streets.

The project also empowers the street children to reintegrate into society, to become self-reliant, independent and honest citizens capable of making a positive contribution to society.

These children come from the informal settlements of Nairobi namely which include Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru, Lungalunga, Korogocho and some smaller low-income communities within big estates.

Lane emphasized the wide range of skills that will be provided to the students along with the technology, so that they can be inspired for future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and have the confidence and support to achieve these.

"We are always delighted to give back to the communities in which we operate in. Through this initiative we believe that the students will be at an advantage amongst their peers as they will possess the necessary skills to make something of themselves," he added.

The Connected Summit took place in Nairobi, Kenya from October 22-24 and was organised by the ICT Authority.

Celebrating the summit's 10th year, over 500 ICT thought leaders and experts met under one roof in the spirit of collaboration and partnerships to catalyze the use of ICT in the achievement of the Big Four agenda, government service delivery to citizens, and the attainment of a knowledge economy.

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