FINASTRA_LOGO

FINASTRA PARTNERSHIP

Finastra is the largest pure-play software vendor that serves the entire financial services industry. It recently teamed up with Camara Education to process retired laptops and other IT equipment, generating funds to bring ICT resources and skills to those who need it most in the developing world. Camara offers a safe, secure and reliable logistics chain for the collection of retired equipment from multiple global Finastra locations. In turn we provide technology and education to thousands of children in Africa, and support Finastra in its goal to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Biniam ACW

CAMARA ETHIOPIA HEAD COMPLETES PRESTIGIOUS US FELLOWSHIP

Camara Ethiopia’s country manager, Biniam Yayehyirad Kitaw, has recently completed a prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. This is the flagship program of the US State Department’s Young African Leaders Initiative. The Fellows are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries. Of more than 35,000 applications for this year’s Fellowship, just 700 were selected to participate.

As a result of Covid19, this year’s Fellowship was virtual. Biniam participated in six-week Leadership Institutes studying Public Management hosted by Bridgewater State University, with other fellows from all over Africa. His Ignite Talk on “The Power of Education” was selected to feature at the Fellowship Summit, alongside other distinguished guest speakers. You can see that talk here.

Soliyana, Africa Code Week winner

AFRICA CODE WEEK WINNER ANNOUNCED

Ten-year-old Soliyana, from Ethiopia, has won the Africa Code Week contest against competition from much older students across the continent. Camara Ethiopia partnered with Africa Code Week to deliver training to schools and to publicise the initiative and recruit participants. The aim is to empower Africa’s young generation by teaching the coding skills they need in order to thrive in the 21st century. The competition brings together hundreds of schools, teachers, governments, and non-profits from all across Africa to bridge the digital and gender skills gap.

Competitors had to programme and produce a game, and submit a two-minute YouTube video presenting and demonstrating it. All the Ethiopian participants had coding training from Camara Ethiopia, and the 2nd and 3rd placed competitors both went to schools that have computers supplied by Camara. You can see Soliyana talking about her game here, and demonstrating it here.

Birthday blessings

HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY CAMARA

Camara was founded in Dublin in November 2005, so we have just celebrated our 15th birthday. We’re proud of our achievements in those fifteen years: over 150,000 computers have been placed in around 10,500 schools, impacting an estimated 3,500,000 African students. At the same time our African hubs – which operate as independent social enterprises – have trained thousands of teachers and used their technical expertise to keep those computer classrooms up and running. There have been a lot of changes over those fifteen years, and a lot of learning, and we look forward to achieving a great deal more, and learning a great deal more, over the next fifteen years.
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International Day of Education 2021

Happy International Day of Education! Here at Camara Education, we believe that poverty is unacceptable in the 21st century and that one of the most efficient ways to reduce poverty is by providing education to young people in underprivileged communities. The power of education leads to opportunity – the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed.

On December 3, 2018, the United Nations pronounced that January 24 be celebrated as the International Day of Education. This amendment comes as a part of the United Nations plan to improve sustainable development by 2030. The central idea of the plan is to acknowledge that extreme poverty is a global issue that cannot go unrecognised. By declaring January 24 the International Day of Education, the United Nations is supporting the fact that improving education is key to alleviating poverty.

We are beyond excited to celebrate a cause that is at the core of our mission: to transform education using technology to empower disadvantaged students. 

In the past 15+ years, Camara has given educational opportunities to over 3.5 million young people in disadvantaged communities across Europe and Africa by providing them with access to technology and the Camara Learning Studio (CLS). We have trained over 55,000 teachers to educate these students on technology usage through the Camara Learning Academy. We have installed 150,000 computers in over 10,500 different schools.

We hope to see a day when there are equal education opportunities for all people.

Information on the International Day of Education was found at: http://www.un.org/fr/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/73/25&TYPE=&referer=/french/&Lang=E

COVID-19 Update

We would like to inform all our donors that we are doing our best to continue offering our services during these unprecedented times. 

There may be a delay in lead time but we are still carrying out collections. 

Access to technology is more important than ever. If you currently have equipment you would like to donate or anticipate you will in the future please fill out our form for your location (see buttons below).  

We will continue to monitor and align our response with guidance from Government and public health authorities. 

If you have any questions or concerns please email info@camara.org.  

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International e-Waste Day 2019

14th October marks the second international e-Waste Day to promote the correct disposal of e-waste around the world.

50 million tonnes of e-waste were generated globally in 2018, with half of this waste being devices such as computers, monitors, smartphones, tablets and TVs. Astonishingly, only around 20 per cent is ever formally recycled. This means 40 million tonnes of e-waste are either placed in landfill, burned or illegally traded resulting in serious health and environmental issues and the loss of critical materials.

Camara Education offers a great solution to this problem. We refurbish old desktops & laptops for reuse in education.

Think “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

With a computer’s lifespan shorter than ever due to new software constantly demanding upgraded machines, computers and laptops are disposed of way before their due date despite still being in working order. By giving your used computer to Camara they get a second lease of life. This technology can be reused in classrooms in Africa and Ireland to provide a better education to the students there.

Camara provides its donors with a secure end-to-end chain of custody and GDPR compliant processes covering logistics, data erasure and refurbishment.

If you work for an organisation that has computers for disposal please email computers@camara.org to start the donation process.

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New agreement signed with Ethiopian Ministry of Education

We are delighted to report that in April we signed a new partnership agreement with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education (MoE).

Some details of the new agreement are as follows:

Camara Education will continue its collaboration with the Ethiopian MoE for a further three years. This new project incorporates the lessons learned from the previous two federal level projects and the pilot project in the Silte Zone with greater focus on learner outcomes.

Through this new project, Camara Education aims to:

  • Train 5,040 educators;
  • Install 21,000 computers in 840 schools and;
  • Impact 690,000 learners.

 

Pictured are our Ethiopian Country Manager Biniam Yayehyirad along with 2 officials from the MoE.

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Midlands Science Festival

Science Week is a nationwide initiative to ignite interest, engagement and uptake in STEM subjects in Irish schools, universities and educational centres. It ran this year from November 12-19th.

As part of Science Week, Camara Ireland took part in the Midlands Science Festival. This has taken place across Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath over the past six years. Four members of the Camara Ireland team – Aidan Fitzmaurice, Paul Amond, Eoghan Keegan and James Lockwood – were part of a Google-funded initiative to promote Computer Science in schools across those counties. Using the CS First platform and Scratch, over 400 students and 70 educators across 8 schools were introduced to Computer Science and coding!

Our tutors visited a primary school and a secondary school in each of the four counties for the day to deliver fun, interactive sessions to students, aged 7-12, using the CS First platform. CS First allows students to get coding straight away and allows students to move at their own pace with videos guiding students through a series of activities and themes. From designing their own Google Doodle to creating interactive stories, students had a great time learning about Scratch and how to make their own programs.

On top of these sessions, teachers, parents, youth workers and other staff were given an introduction to Computer Science and CS First, so they may continue to support students in their schools. Computer Science is a subject that’s growing in popularity across Ireland and with the new Leaving Certificate pilot course, it won’t be long until more schools and students want to get on board. CS First is incredibly easy to get started on as a teacher and you can set up a club within 10 minutes. The fact that students are guided by videos means you don’t have to be an expert – all you need is an enthusiasm for the ideas and give the activities a go for yourself! Free resources are available and training can be found both online or can be done in person if you can get a group of interested educators.

We as tutors had a great time delivering the sessions and the students loved doing something a bit different for the day. It was definitely a case of them not wanting to leave when the session was done!

For those teachers who supported delivery of the sessions, they could see how engaging the platform is and there was a real enthusiasm to see how Computer Science, coding and CS First could be carried on after the session. Hopefully, this can be the start of some new things in the schools and those students who have a passion for it will get more opportunities to code and experiment with Computer Science!

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NetHope Global Summit Comes to Dublin

David Martyn, our Global Impact & Learning Manager, presented at the NetHope Global Summit held in Dublin recently. Read his account of that here:

The Nethope Global Summit came to Dublin in early November for a five day meeting of organisations and people involved in technology for development. Nethope is an umbrella organisation that promotes improvements in ICT for development and education. This provided Camara Education with an opportunity to present details on the work we are doing on data for education. On Tuesday I presented entitled ‘Harnessing Education Data for ICT4E Success’. The presentation focused on Camara’s plan for improving our data analytics capacity and using our research for project and programme improvements.

Our exciting product development strategy provides an opportunity to utilise more in-depth and varied education data. For example, the Camara Learning Studio will generate data related to individual student progression and performance which can be used by teachers and school leaders to improve pedagogical and learning outcomes. Camara will build an analytics platform with relevant statistical models to provide the metrics and information necessary.

At the same time, Camara is engaging in a research process that will work participatively with teachers, leaders and education officials to develop their capacity to utilise education information generated by Camara platforms. In September of this year, I began a PhD at University College Dublin with a research focus on contextualising narratives and metrics of education quality with a view to integrating into Camara’s projects. I will use our ZAMStem project in Zambia as a research site.

The presentation at the summit was well received and provoked some interesting questions and discussion. In particular, there was general agreement that an open repository of curriculum aligned educational content be developed and made available to organisation developing projects in this sphere. I look forward to further engagement on this issue.

David is pictured presenting above