Volunteers and staff get a chain going following the arrival of the first iMlango container in July

Volunteers and staff get a chain going following the arrival of the first iMlango container in July

Back in July, we told you about Camara’s new strategic partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and corporate partners Avanti, sQuid and Whizz Education. Derived from the Swahili word for door or portal, iMlango seeks to improve learning and educational outcomes for 25,675 marginalised girls, across 195 primary schools in Kenya.

Project iMlango delivers:

*High-speed broadband connectivity to schools

*Personalised maths tuition with a virtual online tutor, alongside digital learning content for maths, literacy and life skills

*Tuition and support to teachers to use ICT in their teaching

*Electronic attendance monitoring with conditional payments – to incentivise families to send their daughters to school – for use with local merchants

*In-field capacity in IT, technology and support resources

*Real-time project monitoring and measurement

Speaking at the time of the announcement, Camara CEO John Fitzsimons said, “Project iMlango is hugely exciting for Camara Education. It is an honour to work with the Department for International Development for the first time. It is also exciting to work with such a diverse and successful set of companies in the consortium.”

It has now been over two months since the iMlango initiative was announced, and there has been plenty of activity in the interim. The first of four containers earmarked for the iMlango project arrived in Kenya in mid-July, at which point the hard work really began. Camara’s Africa CEO, Philip McAllister was on the ground in Kenya to see the work first-hand;

“Camara Kenya received the container to the hub this morning, the first of four containers earmarked for the iMlango project being rolled out this year to 195 schools across Kenya. Every time another container arrives the team get quicker at unloading. It took them just 90 minutes this time around to unload a 40-foot container of over 1,000 PC’s. Now the fun really begins with the busy work of processing and checking all the equipment before dispatch.”

Once all the equipment is checked, the hard work of dispatching the computers to the schools begins. With 195 schools being serviced, the task of distributing the equipment is a demanding one, but one which everybody in the hubs is well used to by now. As well supplying the schools with computers, training is provided to teachers who will ultimately be responsible for imparting that knowledge to their students.

The second container arrived in mid-August and work has been ongoing to distribute the equipment from that shipment to schools all over Kenya, a country of 580,367 square kilometres – a land mass six times the size of the island of Ireland.

Volunteers in Mombasa hard at work!

Volunteers in Mombasa hard at work!

This week, the team in Kenya has been dispatching to the last region to be covered – Uasin Gishu. The third container is due to arrive by the end of October, with the fourth and final container landing in Kenya in December. There is plenty of work left to be done, but the impetus provided by the iMlango project – which will result in 3,250 computers, 520 laptops with headphones and 520 projectors being put into schools in Kenya in just six months – should not be underestimated. 95 schools will be serviced by the end of 2014, with the remaining 100 to be supplied with their equipment in early 2015.

This kind of partnership is an example of what can be done when charities and businesses come together, and is one that we in Camara are extremely proud to be a part of.

You can read about iMlango in more detail here.