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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Educating Kenyan children who have never used computers

"We follow an IT enthusiast as he goes around the country teaching young rural kids how to code" according to Vincent Matinde, international IT Journalist highlighting African innovations in the technology scene. 

Photo: IDG Connect

“How many of you know what a computer is?” asks Caleb Ndaka an IT graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He is standing in front of 200 nine to 14 year-olds.

The group stares back blankly at him. Yet this is not through lack of interest; just lack of knowledge. And this is the story Ndaka has seen regularly while travelling around schools in Kenya.

As an IT enthusiast, Caleb Ndaka teamed up with Moris Mucheru to come up with Kids Comp Camp. And they have enlisted a team of volunteers to bring computing knowledge to those who have never touched a computer in their lives.

Their mission has been recognized by Microsoft - Kids Comp Camp was a beneficiary of a grant amount of US$50,000. It also received a partnership with Microsoft to target 5,000 primary students by the end of 2015 under the “WeSpeakCodeKE” programme.

The Beginnings
“Kids Comp Camp is one year and six months old,” Ndaka tells IDG Connect.

“When I was about to graduate from school, I started thinking about how to use my skills as an IT graduate. I also thought about literacy skills in the rural areas,” Ndaka explains.

Ndaka opted to visit schools during the holidays and weekends but with this came the issue of feeding the children. This is because most schools in rural areas need to provide food for poor children to keep them in attendance.

He started a campaign where he called upon his social media contacts to skip a lunch and donate the amount to sponsor lunch for one child. The response was overwhelming.

“Kids Comp Camp is community centred. We have a nomination process where we ask for schools to apply. After nomination we get to identify the contact people in the community, then they will help set up the local organizing committee. The local committee usually do the local errands like how to host the trainers, and how to feed the kids,” Ndaka says.

Once they have figured that out, the group of volunteers are ready to make long trips to the targeted schools and begin the process of educating the students, one click at a time.
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Source: IDG Connect