Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children

by MindLeaps
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Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children
MindLeaps Students Confident in their IT Skills
MindLeaps Students Confident in their IT Skills

We are thrilled to inform you that, thanks to your support, our project Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children has reached our goal of $50,000! Here are just a few of the milestones that your gifts have accomplished over the last two years:

Closing the Digital Literacy Gap

All MindLeaps students in Rwanda participate in two-hour IT classes, twice a week, for an entire year. Each MindLeaps student receives over 200 hours of IT training in hardware and software skills.  They learn specifics on several programs that are important for success in their academic and professional lives, including MS Office and Google.

Technology Supplies

Your support has provided laptops, cables, printers and other computer supplies. For most of our students, these PCs - donated and purchased with your support - are the first time they have ever touched a computer.

Recognized Accreditation

MindLeaps implemented the ICDL curriculum - short for International Computer Driving License - an organization which provides digital literacy curriculum, testing, and certificates. ICDL is widely recognized and used across Africa and added international accreditation to our IT program. Our IT teachers were trained in this curriculum, adding to their skills, and all of our students have been learning this curriculum for the last two years. Rwanda is focusing on its IT development, so this accreditation prepares our students to fill jobs that are in demand.

Internationally Connected Students

Our students had the opportunity to use their IT skills to foster greater cultural connections between Rwanda, the United States, and Australia in 2017. Malvern Prep School in Philadelphia participated in a skype together with students at our center in Rwanda. And, as part of a Pen Pal Letter Exchange program, students at a high school in Australia have been emailing with our students in Rwanda, enabling our students to practice their emailing, typing, and English language communication skills.

School Success

MindLeaps students are prepared in the skills needed for school success. The majority perform in the top 20% of their classes. Their performance in their IT classes is even more impressive, having received a strong foundation from all the IT training at MindLeaps.  Many of our graduates plan to pursue careers in IT in Rwanda.


While this project will now close on GlobalGiving, we hope you will continue to support Divine, Jean de Dieu, and our many more talented children through one of our other projects: Leap Ahead: Empowering Street Youth Through Dance. Thank you again for your incredible support of our work over the past two years.

Your support has transformed the lives of all our students.  

Thank you!
Thank you!
IT Class for At-Risk Girls in Rwanda
IT Class for At-Risk Girls in Rwanda
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We are just $1,100 short of meeting our goal of raising $50,000 for our project Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children. We are so grateful for your support in providing the technology and training for our teachers and students.  Your donations are helping to close the digital divide and provide our students with skills that will serve them in their education and vocations going forward.

Our twice weekly classes will be coming to a close in December for our girls that joined MindLeaps in 2017. The students learned hardware and software skills, and learned specifics on several programs that are important for success in their academic and professional lives.  What are some of the topics and skills that our youth are learning? A recent class focused on helping the kids learn how to use Microsoft Word. Here is an example of the lesson plan:

-Setting the default folders

-Using the Quick Access Toolbar

-Using ribbons and tabs

-Using the Mini Toolbar

-Using dialog box launchers

-Using contextual tabs

-Using the help resource

-Exiting Word

 

Two dancers from New York, Chase Johnsey and Carlos Renedo, visited MindLeaps Rwanda over the summer and were so engaged with MindLeaps program that they returned again in October!  The kids were excited to welcome them back and show them what they had learned in their IT classes.

In 2018, we will welcome a new cohort, and to start the year off right, the MindLeaps Center in Rwanda is looking for laptops for our IT program.  Your used laptop will make a big difference to our kids in Rwanda! If you have any type of computer (except for Apple) that you are no longer using, please consider donating it to MindLeaps. You can contact us at info@mindleaps.org for more details.

Chase Johnsey visiting with MindLeaps students
Chase Johnsey visiting with MindLeaps students
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IT Classroom
IT Classroom

We have almost reached our goal of raising $50,000 for our project Digital Literacy: IT for Street Children. Your support has provided laptops, cables, printers and other computer supplies, thousands of hours of IT classes for our students, and helped developed curricula and provided training for our teachers. Thank you for making an enormous difference in our students' lives.

Our twice weekly classes are now in their eighth month for our new girls attending MindLeaps in 2017.  While the IT classroom is an important space for students to learn basic hardware and software skills, it is also a space where they can fully take advantage of all the incredible resources that digital media and the internet offer. For example, our students are practicing their English Language as well as their typing skills in Pen Pal exchanges. MindLeaps students were matched with students enrolled in Deception Bay State High School in Australia to send each other emails. In addition, the IT classroom was an opportunity for MindLeaps students to support their fellow classmates and used as a screening space to see their friends perform at the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali (photo above).

Our 2016 graduates, who are now enrolled in formal schooling, have completed their second terms and are continuing to succeed in their academic and IT classes. MindLeaps Rwanda staff and volunteers recently visited the schools (photo below), and our students were eager to show off their skills -- though admittedly more excited to show off their dance moves than their Excel formulas! You can view a video online here: https://vimeo.com/228085048

Thank you again for helping provide digital literacy to our students in Rwanda. Your support is giving them the needed skills to be successful in their future careers and help themselves and their families out of poverty.

Visit to MindLeaps students at OrpCare School
Visit to MindLeaps students at OrpCare School
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The new students, who joined MindLeaps in 2017, are now four months into their basic computer and IT training courses at the MindLeaps Center. Many of these girls have never sat at a computer before much less become well versed in Windows, Microsoft Word, internet searches and social media tools.

The International Computer Driving License (ICDL) curriculum, instituted at MindLeaps Rwanda in 2016, is continuing this year. Some of our older students who have been with us are now advanced in IT relative to their formally educated peers. They are able to take higher levels of ICDL classes, leading towards ICDL certification, which is a very helpful step to secure future employment.

MindLeaps is also excited to have our students practice their new IT skills to foster greater cultural connections between students in Rwanda and the United States. We have partnered with schools around the U.S. to create ‘Pen Pal’ Letter exchanges, and Malvern Prep School in Philadelphia will be the first email pen pal exchange with our students. Last month students from Malvern participated in a skype together with students at our center in Rwanda.

MindLeaps is counting 65 kids in different schools now and 16 of them are candidates for the final primary school national exam this year. The three candidates we had in 2016 all passed the difficult Primary Six National Exam, and they are now doing well in secondary school.  The first trimester ended a couple weeks ago and we have received their first term report cards. Over 50% of our students scored in the top 20% of their classes. With all the IT training our students received at MindLeaps, our students often perform very well in their IT classes when they return to school. For example, you can see Fiston's report card below, and his excellent rank in his computer classes.

Several of our students are also enrolled in vocational training this year. In addition to the courses specific to the technical skills - be it culinary arts, hospitality, or hairdressing - these programs also require skills in business: communication skills, English classes, entrepreneurship, and, of course, IT.  Our students are well prepared and succeed in this area because of the preparation provided by MindLeaps and the ICDL curriculum.

We thank you for making the IT program at MindLeaps Center in Rwanda possible.  As you can see, you are helping to prepare these children for academic success and better lives.

Skype between US and Rwanda students
Skype between US and Rwanda students
Term 1 Report Card for Fiston
Term 1 Report Card for Fiston

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First day at school
First day at school

2017 at MindLeaps Rwanda started with all smiles!

On January 23rd, 55 MindLeaps students received sponsorship to start school. Some of these children had never gone to school and others dropped out – possibly several years ago – due to poverty. These children successfully completed MindLeaps dance and IT programs – proving they are ready for formal education. They have each joined the school program appropriate to their age level and family situation. Some are at primary schools, some attend secondary school and others are enrolled in vocational training schools. One student captured the enormity of this entire school enrollment experience. When Moussa set foot in his dormitory, he said, “This is the first time that I will ever sleep on a mattress.

As part of MindLeaps program, these students received IT and computer skills training to help develop vocational skills and expose them to a classroom setting.  Prior to attending MindLeaps, most of these 55 students had never touched a computer. Now they will be at the same level as their in-school peers in computer skills when they rejoin school this year. For example, Divine, who we mentioned in our last report, will be joining 7th grade this year. In a few years, she will graduate from secondary school. This degree, paired with her IT training from MindLeaps, will make her well-positioned to receive a high paying job after graduation.

Life has not stopped at MindLeaps Center in Kigali. A new class of girls is enrolling this month. In the spring, these girls will also start the IT portion of the MindLeaps program. The current IT curriculum was implemented in 2016 in collaboration with the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) computer certification program. This curriculum is well recognized within East Africa and will help close the digital divide for our students. By 2018, these new girls will have made significant gains on their cognitive and behavioral skills development, be on the path towards receiving their ICDL Computer Certification, and be ready to join the other 55 MindLeaps graduates that came before them at school.

Heading to Boarding School
Heading to Boarding School
IT Class
IT Class
Divine
Divine

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Organization Information

MindLeaps

Location: New York - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MindLeaps
Project Leader:
Rebecca Davis
New York, New York United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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