Building on our foundation - toward STEM Education
Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Throughout the world, education remains a key component for creating a better future. Nowhere are the hurdles more apparent than in the developing world – especially in rural areas - where there are few adequate schools, often overcrowded, with limited resources. Gender gaps in education are real: Girls face greater hurdles than boys in getting an education and are more likely to leave school long before boys.
There are also a variety of cultural reasons why fewer girls receive STEM education. Women and girls may not have access to education, computers and the internet. Home and family obligations, lack of transportation, low-literacy and cultural norms discourage - if not deny - access. Focusing on organizations and schools that specifically support girls education is one way to overcome these barriers.
We know that educated girls become educated women who have the skills, knowledge and opportunities to improve their lives and their communities. Yet this can only happen if the digital divide is bridged first.
By partnering with organizations and schools that support girls' education, WCE helps improve the chances for girls to get a 21st century education -- essential for alleviating poverty, and breaking down the social and political barriers that exclude them from fully participating in the future of their country.
Equipping schools with computers and training teachers in how to use the Internet to improve learning via experiential, interactive, multi-country projects delivers real and sustainable results. Working in unison with schools, libraries, and Partner organizations ensures that girls have access to the opportunities, skills and understanding of the internet .
The potential of giving access to computers and internet technologies to engage and motivate – especially when tied to education - is limitless: Children can learn new skills, teachers can design new and previously unimaginable curricula and the broader community has a resource for their socioeconomic development.
For each country, this initiative currently provides:
- Builds the leadership and capacity of 5 WCE girl-focused Partner organizations so that they will be stronger organizations and advocates for girls' education.
- Provides 250 refurbished computers installed in internet labs in as many as 15 schools and a digital library of content which needs no internet connection.
- Connects 7,000 students, particularly girls, to the opportunities, skills and understanding of the Internet.
- Train 30 technology teachers in a two-day iEARN workshop in how to use the internet to improve learning via experiential, interactive, multi-country projects.
- Sends 3 volunteer eCorps tech professionals to spend 2 weeks visiting the participating schools in each country providing training and technology troubleshooting support.
A Sustainable Approach
Community commitment is fundamental to WCE’s philosophy. Our capacity-building model combines trust, due diligence, cooperation and co-investment to ensure long-term sustainability. Our Partners initiate the request, then develop implementation plans which address everything from building local partnerships, to raising funds, as well as maintaining the computers, Internet access, security and more.
We thank Regina Ryan for her vision of Computers for Girls (C4G), WCE began implementing the C4G initiative in 2012 in Zimbabwe, Liberia, Zambia and Ghana with computers, content, capacity building and training. Since then we have expanded to schools in Mali, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. We plan to expand into Pakistan and Puerto Rico during 2015.
Our initiative so far gets the schools ready - but they need a kit of C4G tools. WCE is now working with several African schools to co-develop, field test and then disseminate 8 TOOLS to help any teacher, parent or school that wants to increase girl access to computers and the internet. Our goal is to have these tools help 1 million girls within 5 years.
To donate to WCE Computers for Girls please go to our donate icon at the top right and use the drop-downs next to "Program Designation" and select Computers for Girls.