Kyama, R. (2010) How ICTs Are Transforming the Lives of Street Children in Kenya e-Learning Africa, February 22
Sometimes I do get depressed and down about the lack of progress or barriers to change in using technology for education, then I get my monthly copy of the e-Learning Africa News Portal, and I feel cheered and optimistic and sometimes even inspired by the great work many people are doing with e-learning in Africa.
I can do no better in summarizing what this article is about than by quoting the first paragraph:
‘Tucked away some 300 kilometres northwest of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is the town of Eldoret. With help from SNV (a Dutch development agency) , the “Ex-Street Children Community Organisation” (ECCO) has developed an eLearning programme here that provides street children with a platform that not only enables them to share ideas with each other but also to communicate with rest of the society. Using ten computers, mostly donated by well-wishers, the organisation has come up with ‘drop in’ centres where street children from the town gather to become familiar with ICT skills ranging from the basics of working on a computer to how to send e-mails. “In 2007, while working in the town, I noticed the group of former street kids, and I started to work with them”, said Joseph Langat, a fifty-year-old senior advisor for local governance and education at SNV. According to him, the children had selected areas where they could all gather together to share a meal or take a shower. “That’s when I realized that the children were organised and only lacked some basic communication skills of how to relate with others.”
Now I know it would be even better to build a society that prevens kids going on the streets in the first place, but you have to start from where you are. This project seems to be getting some real traction – I strongly recommend the full article for all you jaded e-learning specialists out there. There is still hope!
There is also a BBC news item about this project available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8376714.stm?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
However, if you are by nature depressed, and need to feed your depression, read the article that follows the Kenyan article, about e-learning in Zimbabwe:
Gudza, E. (2010) Dry ICT skills are not enough e-Learning Africa, February 22
If ever a country was damned by its ruler, it is surely Zimbabwe.