AfricAid's Kisa Project, a leadership and life-skills mentorship program, is expanding to Moshi, Tanzania in July of 2014. Four school partnerships have been confirmed. Each school is receiving a computer lab with internet capability, for both the Kisa Scholars and the schools' students to have access to.
It is critical to incorporate computer literacy into the Kisa curriculum as we strive to give Kisa Scholars the tools to thrive in their academic lives. The schools with whom AfricAid has partnered with have also seen the value of computers, not only for the Kisa Scholars, but for all their students. Providing computers has historically been an important incentive when reaching out to new partner schools. The schools we are partnering with in Moshi are eager to add additional computers, reliable internet, and programs to their schools.
AfricAid's life-skills and leadership program - the Kisa Project, was always meant to grow and expand; this year we are doing just that!
This year, we plan to add 4 new Kisa partner schools in Moshi, Tanzania, which is about one and a half hours from Arusha, our current base. In Year 2 of the expansion, with the support of our amazing Kisa Sponsors, we hope to addanother 4 schools. By the end of 2015, we would have a total of 8 schools in Moshi to compliment our current Kisa partner schools in Arusha and Monduli.
For each new Kisa partner school AfricAid will build a computer lab for the Kisa Scholars to learn basic computer skills, access the internet, and connect with Kisa Sponsors in the US via Facebook. Your contribution helps make this a reality! Computer and internet acces is non-existent in a majority of schools in Tanzania. Not only will the Kisa Scholars gain from having a computer lab but the entire school has access, impacting hundreds of kids. Thank you for being a part of this impact.
2013 was a great year for our work in Tanzania. AfricAid has installed nine low cost computer labs serving over 8,000 students! These computer labs are making a tremendous impact in the lives of these students. The world is becoming increasingly dependant upon access to such technology for business and social purposes. Most Tanzanians have never used a computer. After completion of their studies, they join the work force as a young adult and often have a difficult time learning how to use a computer while simutaneously producing quality work. Basic computer skills such as typing and use of Microsoft products is extremely important in almost any business. If more schools in Tanzania have computer labs students will be more prepared for their careers in the future. Many of AfricAid's partnering Kisa schools also provide limited access to the internet at the computer labs, giving students the ability to tap into the knowledge and potential of the World Wide Web! AfricAid is utilizing this by facilitating cross cultural dialogue between students in Tanzania and students and sponsors in the United States. This dialogue helps both parties share, grow and learn together!
We are excited to report that the computer labs that AfricAid has installed in six secondary schools in the Arusha region of Tanzania are now being used by our Kisa Scholars to communicate with their sponsors in North America! As the Scholars -- girls in their last two years of high school who are enrolled in our leadership training and entrepreneurship program--- have become increasingly familiar with computer technology, they are now beginning to use the computers for far more than just their school work.
After researching the best way for Scholars and sponsors to communicate with each other, AfricAid has set up a private Facebook group that allows sponsors to learn about the general activities of the Kisa Scholars and their curriculum. TheFacebook group also enables private communications between Scholars and sponsors, within the parameters that have been set up by the mentors of the Scholars. This will help the sponsors know that their Scholar is thriving and learning from being a member of the Kisa program. At the same time, the Scholars are uplifted by the communications they receive from a caring person, school group, book club, etc., across the ocean. In the face of the huge obstacles that challenge young women in Tanzania, it is a true morale-booster to know that someone, even thousands of miles away, is rooting for you to keep moving forward!
The Facebook group will also allow the Scholars to take part in a communication/information exchange with their sponsors that uses the AfricAid curriculum that was developed in order to help our Tanzanian students and their sponsors learn more about life in Tanzania and North America, respectively. Each month a particular question is discussed, such as who are the leaders of your community or what type media impacts you the most.
We’re so proud of our Kisa Scholars and the progress that they are making with the help of the computer labs that our supporters are making possible!
These days, we walk into any elementary school or middle school or high school and computers are almost guaranteed to have some presence. We grow up expecting to know how to operate a computer. It is no longer a luxury, but almost a necessity. However, this is not the global picture.
In Tanzania, computer training / studies are not offered at all schools and often they are optional. Therefore, it is only a rare few who grow up and learn how to access this digital world. Computers can be used to expand our horizons and perspective beyond the four walls of the classroom. They expand the meaning of learning and grant the users a global perspective. Digital literacy is a crucial skill in the current job market and in order to be a competitive candidate these are necessary skills. With this perspective, it is vital to be aware that not everyone has such access and availability to computers in this near digital age.
Children in Tanzania lack many resources, including books and computers, but through this program established by AfricAid computer labs are granting access to this new world to those that are otherwise limited. The labs we have introduced to Tanzania thsu far have been low-cost, low-energy NComputing Technology and we only hope to provide more!
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