Technical Training for African Students

by Charles Lebon Mberi Kimpolo
  • Pledged

    $320

  • Backers

    5

  • This campaign successfully raised
    $320 with 5 backers
    on January 02, 2017
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    Flexible Funding
    Flexible Funding campaigns receive all donations regardless of whether the funding goal is reached.
$10,000
goal
3%
funded

The Knowledge Sharing Campaign (KSC) is a safe community platform that brings together IT professionals and African students in the diaspora

  Technology, Mathematical Physics

Every $1 donation will help one African student in India receive required technical training. This will equip them with skills that make them qualify for jobs in Africa. KSC training is stimulating the spirit of creativity, adaptation and dynamism, which we believe to be key for the job market.

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world - A.D.Tutu."

The pride that these students have to call themselves KSC ambassadors, having a means and will to give back to their communities is inspirational. If you are still wondering why KSC made us believe that knowledge is the power that liberates us from the prison of ignorance and changes our lives in a way that makes us ready to make a difference in our society, please watch the attached video and support us with your donation.

Context of the campaign

The Knowledge Sharing Campaign (KSC) is a safe community platform that brings together IT professionals and African students in the diaspora, who want to share knowledge, experiences and learn from each other. It is driven by remembering our roots, acknowledging our current privileges and understanding that a community without access to modern technology cannot be globally competitive. We stimulate excellence in education through technology to move forward the unseen community of African students in the diaspora. KSC encourages these bright-minded students to return to Africa and contribute to the development of their respective countries. We strongly believe that African youth need more than mobile access, to move from being consumers to becoming producers of technology. They need to understand the discipline of software development and delivery, which can be achieved by teaching them Agile principles.

KSC Network

What is the problem that we are trying to address?

During our stay in Hyderabad, we realized that there is a huge community of African students facing three big problems. First, they face numerous challenges during their stay in India. Secondly, there are no jobs when they go back home to Africa and lastly, if there are jobs, many don’t have enough technical skills and experience to qualify for these jobs. So we got about 1,000 African students in Hyderabad together. That is when we discovered that only 10% of them had the most basic computer literacy. They could not do basic things like use a different web browser or use free knowledge sharing tools like Google Apps. The lack of such basic technical skills makes them invisible to the world. They couldn’t ask the world for help, and being offline does not help them to be found in order to get the help they need. Technology is shaping the face of tomorrow’s world with initiatives like smart cities. Mobile access is not enough, young Africans need to be able to program or at least understand the discipline for software development and delivery to start contributing to creation of technology. That’s why we created the Knowledge Sharing Campaign (KSC).

KSC Session On IoT

 

What is the situation? Why are we launching this campaign?
1. There are 169 million adults, 62% of which are women, and 45 million young people, of which 58% are girls, who are illiterate in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Africa Learning Barometer, of 128 million school-aged children on the African continent, 17 million will never attend school.
2. Africa’s youth population (between 15 and 25) is estimated to be 60% of the entire population and accounts for about 45% of the total labour force.
3. Even though it is estimated that 12.6 million young Africans are absorbed into the labour force per annum, 60% of the unemployed are youth. Youth unemployment is estimated to be around 20%.
4. Access to good Internet facilities is still a problem for many African countries.
5. Digital divide is still an issue across most of the African countries.

What we have done in the past to address this problem?

KSC empowers African students in the diaspora and reverses the brain drain by providing them with access to modern technology, which becomes a culture that promotes the love for quality education. Every month, we bring together hundreds of African students for weekend workshops to teach them basic computer skills so they can improve their education and their job prospects when they go home. We then offer a few selected students a 4-week hands-on Agile software development internship. Students in this program do problem solving using the discipline of Agile software development and are expected to develop a simple application. This teaches them a discipline useful in many environments even if they don’t become programmers. KSC impact so far has been both qualitative and quantitative. While uniting young African students from all corners of Africa through love for education, we have engaged and positively touched the lives of around 1000 young African students, covering over 50% of African countries, out of which 40% were women. There are over a dozen cities in Asia and Europe that are the same size as Hyderabad, so we believe that these numbers can scale.

 

Allocation of funds

1. Where will the money go?

We have benefited from ThoughtWorks funding and support to run most of our key KSC activities in the past one year. ThoughtWorks has informed us that they will not be able to continue fully funding us. This is the reason we need to look for other funding opportunities. We have a 2-year budget plan to help us set up a KSC secretariat (small office in Hyderabad) that will help the coordinating group run activities.  KSC’s Founder works on a voluntary basis to coordinate and provide all  required leadership guidance of the organization. He has made several small donations to keep the light on. We have set a coordinating group of 10 people who work on a voluntary basis. Our 2-year operating cost (copy is available upon request) is estimated to $100K. We are looking for funding to guarantee the continuity of KSC activities at least for one year. In the meantime we urgently need money to ensure that the 4-Week Internship programs for new batches will take place, as we have a long list of students who are waiting for such opportunities.  The money for this campaign will go to KSC activities.

2. What similar projects were successfully funded in the past?

We have been able to run a series of weekend workshops and 3 batches of our KSC internship programs. All these programs were funded by ThoughtWorks Technologies, India. KSC programs in India are targeted to African students. KSC's founder, Dr. Charles Lebon Mberi Kimpolo is the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Ambassador for the Republic of Congo. He has participated in a number of international conferences where he was invited to speak about KSC. With the help of his colleagues NEF Ambassadors, Charles has indeed made some outreach efforts to support this program.

3. Interesting story of a participant

“Today, the Knowledge Sharing Campaign members are a family, and I am proud to be part of it. It was not always the case. My first KSC meeting is etched in my heart. I opened the ‘Ailamma Room’ door (the workshop venue) and stopped. A push came from my friends accompanying me, and I took a random seat inside. Around me were my continent-mates but I felt uneasy. I knew what was going on in their mind; ‘What’s that Indian girl doing here?’. I was silent. In the next minute, my doubt turned into a fact. I could hear comments in French. Well, Mauritians speak French too. I kept silent. The meeting proceeded and we introduced ourselves and still I felt uneasy. I guessed they don’t know Mauritius. I remained silent. They kept repeating that the internship program was targeting African students, and some eyes were on me. I was still silent. After the meeting, few of them asked me, ‘Where is Mauritius?’. They got their answer; I am African, and they admitted that they were fooled by what they saw. KSC has been a platform where we all have been exposed to the beauty of the diversity of Africa and where we learnt to respect our differences and agreed to be the change in Africa - Ms. Yashna Moosary (Mauritius), KSC Hyderabad.”

Team and location

1. How many do we need on our team to successfully complete this project?

KSC has a Coordinating group of 10 people with an engaging and very active KSC Alumni community who work on a voluntary basis. I am part of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) Ambassadors Program where one of our core mission is to lead programs and activities that promote STEM. Three of my colleagues, NEF Ambassadors (Kalsey Belle, Mioratina Tanteliniaina and Nomenjanahary Tanteliniaina MIORATINA) have volunteered to join, help with this campaign and provide their input. We will work together as NEF Ambassadors to share our different experiences as we need to work for our KSC Pan African expansion strategy.

2. Where will this project take place and why?

The project will take place in Hyderabad, India because KSC has a registered branch there and the program is targeted to African students in the diaspora. KSC expansion strategy includes launching branches across Africa where we know that many young Africans who face similar challenges because of lack of opportunities to join STEM programs.

KSC Team

  Budget Breakdown

KSC Budget Breakdown

  Risks and Challenges

1. Delay in funding will delay the start of KSC activities
2. No funding will cancel all planned KSC activities.
3. Non availability of KSC’s founder to coordinate and provide leadership for all activities might comprise the success of the program.
4. It will be a challenge to pay an outside audit person to review expenses reports.

Team

Technical Training for African Students

The Knowledge Sharing Campaign (KSC) is a safe community platform that brings together IT professionals and African students in the diaspora