Empower rural Nigerian children with ICT

 
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MindAfrica promotes ICT for girls, Rivers, Nigeria
MindAfrica promotes ICT for girls, Rivers, Nigeria

For many girls in Nigeria, access and use of ICTs remains a huge challenge. Gender discrimination, lack of confidence, language barrier, low literacy and restricted mobility due to cultural factors or safety amongst others, prevent Nigerian girls from taking advantage of ICTs.

To further the awareness campaign and inspire girls towards a future in technology, MindAfrica joined ‘ICT for Girls’ advocates in Nigeria and other parts of the world to celebrate the International Girls in ICT Day on the 23rd of April, at an annual event organized by FocusHub Nigeria in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The event was attended by girls and young women in ICT ranging from secondary school students to IT professionals, Educators, NGOs, and career women. The event showcased the opportunities IT provides and how young women can pursue lucrative careers in technology. It also featured workshops and mentoring sessions on various topics including blogging, e-commerce, achieving success, and more. Among the mentors was our Executive Director, Ms. Olere Iluebbey, who spoke to the girls about achieving success.

Our Executive Director mentoring girls for success
Our Executive Director mentoring girls for success
Mentorsat the #girlsinICT event in Rivers, Nigeria
Mentorsat the #girlsinICT event in Rivers, Nigeria
Students working on an electric lamp project
Students working on an electric lamp project

Thank you for your continuous support to our vision of “Empowering rural Nigerian Children with ICT”. We currently live in an age where everything gets thrown away. From cartons to bottled water cans. This "out with the old, in with the new" lifestyle has a tremendous cost. There is an environmental price we pay which contributes to pollution, impacting the quality of the water we drink and the air we breathe especially in developing countries like ours (Nigeria). Combating the impacts created from this trend of waste is a major challenge, but there are ways to fight back and students participating in MindAfrica’s after school program are learning to reuse everyday waste. Using the knowledge gained from the program, students researched on chosen projects using the internet and educational software located on their computers and went ahead to implement the “zero waste” concept producing useable household items in the process.

In a Community Secondary School situated in Aluu community of Rivers State Nigeria, students participating in the MindAfrica after-school program sought to implement their newfound knowledge on recycling, reusing and basic electricity. These students were taught the basic concept of how electricity works and how to merge that with everyday waste to produce usable house hold items, As a result the students designed and built several project which include a bed side/reading lamp, a battery powered train, an electric fan and a moving toy car.

Imagine a fan with blades made out of cartons and standing on a floater with some wires connected to a controller and batteries. That was one of the projects carried out by a group of students on the MindAfrica after-school program. This was done with simple wastes items like used cartons, rotary motors from damaged DVD players, floaters, wires, and batteries. Another group of students on this program went ahead to create an electric lamp using cartons, an electric bulb, bulb holders and wires. The MindAfrica team was filled joy, excitement and a lot of appreciation to our supporters, when the students presented their fully functional projects made from the basic principle of electricity and everyday waste items around them.

Yes when students are part of the learning process and not just spectators, there is no telling what they can achieve. This self-discovery stays with students throughout their lifetimes and motivates them to explore.

Students using scraps to make a torch light
Students using scraps to make a torch light
Students display a fan and lamp made from scraps
Students display a fan and lamp made from scraps
Students using scraps to build a Food Warmer
Students using scraps to build a Food Warmer

Grappling with the ongoing insurgency in Northern Nigeria and the recent outbreak of Ebola virus, it is evident that Nigeria is undergoing trying times; yet in spite of the harrowing experiences, we remain hopeful. We look forward to a time when we would surmount the challenges of insurgency, poverty and disease that threaten the very fabric of our existence and development.

 We look forward to a time when education would not just be the right of every Nigerian child but would be one harnessed by every Nigerian child irrespective of gender, ethnicity or social status. We look forward to Nigerian children growing up to realize their full potential and taking their place in global issues. That is why we refuse to give up!

 In the face of challenges, we continue to educate, nurture and inspire Nigerian children to be the best they can be. We emphasize the importance of education and encourage lifelong learning in our after-school programs. This year’s holiday program is focused on bringing out the inventors in our kids. With little help from MIND facilitators, young kids are taught simple concepts that are designed to trigger curiosity and creativity – the result? Exciting, whimsical structures and devices.

Help us to keep hope alive by donating to our cause.

 Your donation would ensure that underserved Nigerian children in remote communities have access to free learning programs organized by MIND Foundation where they can be nurtured and groomed for success. Your support will enable us continue to provide access to tools that would inspire great ideas and turn those ideas into action.

Donate to MIND project.

 As usual, we promise to keep you updated on the impact MIND programs are making in our communities.

 Sincerely,

Olere Iluebbey

A cross section of the Computer Technology class
A cross section of the Computer Technology class
Students learning to recycle, reuse and reduce
Students learning to recycle, reuse and reduce
Training young leaders in the leadership session
Training young leaders in the leadership session
Kickoff of the MIND holiday program
Kickoff of the MIND holiday program
MIND kid assembling a central processing unit
MIND kid assembling a central processing unit

In order to enhance the achievement level of young Nigerians, MIND has introduced new learning concepts and tools to prepare disadvantaged students of rural community schools with 21st century learning skills. The objective is to bring them up to speed on modern technologies, creative learning tools and life skills they require to succeed in an increasingly innovative and competitive world.

Learning by doing is the new focus. MIND is developing young students to be innovators who can create things and explain how they work and why. The afterschool training is coaching students through DIY (do-it-yourself) projects that teach the principles of science, engineering, technology, art and math. We learn by using things that already exist to create new and better forms that meet our objectives. From ready-made project kits to recycled scrap materials, MIND kids are learning!

 This is a huge step for us as it negates the traditional teaching methods that are prevalent in the Nigerian school system. It also requires extensive coaching and resources to change the mindset of young Nigerians from ‘users’ to ‘makers’.

Nigeria has been a large consumer of imported products and services to the detriment of its own economy and needs to embrace the DIY culture. Often times, young Nigerian graduates are passed over during job searches in favor of their foreign counterparts who have more experience and expertise. To tackle these challenges, MIND is grooming a new generation of innovators by providing the tools they need to be creative and to turn their brilliant ideas into action.

 For funding and other kinds of support, we welcome volunteers with technical expertise and creative skills to mentor young students as well as financial donations to carry out projects in the different community schools where we work. Thank you in advance for supporting our cause.

MIND kids from Abuloma on their circuit project
MIND kids from Abuloma on their circuit project
MIND kids working on their shoe project
MIND kids working on their shoe project
MIND kids working on thier liquid soap project
MIND kids working on thier liquid soap project
MIND kids in front of the community market
MIND kids in front of the community market

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Sir Winston Churchill.

 We all have the capacity to inspire and create change. Regardless of age, background, economic or social status, giving is a universal opportunity. This has been proven time and time again by MIND Kids who irrespective of age and economic challenges have found creative means to solving problems around them.

 MIND Foundation upholds the virtues of giving back and instils in young minds, leadership and life skills that enable them make informed choices in life and contribute to making the world a better place. The Community Service Learning module particularly creates opportunities for school-age participants to employ creativity and passion in providing solutions to identified needs in their communities. One of such opportunities was the Community Service Challenge that held from October 15th to November 15th, 2013 involving 7 community secondary schools in Rivers State, Nigeria.

 The Challenge was to identify and provide creative solutions to an obvious problem affecting the lives of people in their communities. Projects implemented ranged from Peer-to-peer training on personal hygiene and general sanitation, Clean-Up Project in the community market, Creation of sign posts for school, to Clean-Up projects in School and the community.

 All projects were executed by the MIND Kids from the respective schools and with minimal supervision by an adult mentor. They were able to raise donations where financial commitments were involved and in some cases executed their projects without money. Please see pictorial account of events at http://ow.ly/tCBju

 “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.” ~ Malcom Bane

 We commend these young leaders for their courage and passion for making a change in their communities in spite of their limitations. This just buttresses the fact that anyone can make a difference, even you! As you donate generously to this project, you do not only provide material support for their learning but you join MIND Foundation in building a good foundation for tomorrow’s leaders.

What better season than this to show your love by giving to a meaningful cause!

With love,

From all of us at MIND Foundation

MIND kids from Amadi-Ama working on their signpost
MIND kids from Amadi-Ama working on their signpost
MIND kids from Allu held a training on sanitation
MIND kids from Allu held a training on sanitation
MIND kids from Aluu donated wastebins to schools
MIND kids from Aluu donated wastebins to schools
MIND kids from Nkpolu  with their banner project
MIND kids from Nkpolu with their banner project
MIND kids from Igwuruta on their service project
MIND kids from Igwuruta on their service project
MIND kid from oroworukwo carry out a clean-up
MIND kid from oroworukwo carry out a clean-up
MINDkids in Rumukwurushi working on their signpost
MINDkids in Rumukwurushi working on their signpost
MINDkids from Abuloma carrying out their project
MINDkids from Abuloma carrying out their project

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Organization

Project Leader

Olere Iluebbey

Port Harcourt, Rivers State Nigeria

Where is this project located?

Map of Empower rural Nigerian children with ICT