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Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders:

Celebrating World Youth Skills Day with Camara Education

World Youth Skills Day was founded to celebrate the importance of providing young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. At Camara, we believe that equipping youth with digital skills and knowledge is central to unlocking their full potential and driving positive change in their communities.  It is at the heart of everything we do, but exemplified in particular by two programmes: our internships in Kenya, and our Youth Digital Skills course in Tanzania.

Internships in Kenya

Camara Kenya’s Internship programme is a 3-month course designed to equip participants with hands-on ICT skills in a real- world work environment. The initiative attracts students in various IT disciplines from universities and colleges across the country. The participants are based in our Mombasa Hub for day-to-day training and also undertake fieldwork activities in our local schools. The programme has supported almost 600 students to date, 40 of them in 2023.

 By the end of the course, students have mastered vital skills including network setup and configuration, software installation & administration, and PC/laptop troubleshooting and repair.  They are also taught soft skills such as marketing and how to conduct themselves in the workplace. These in-demand techniques place them ahead of the competition in the job market and help them explore opportunities for self-employment.

Tanzania – YDS

Camara Tanzania recently completed a successful pilot of its Youth Digital Skills As a result, 12 youths have been equipped with the essential digital skills needed in today’s workplace. The programme offered new opportunities for individuals in Dar es Salaam who had previously faced challenges in accessing education or employment.

Among the participants, six have already secured direct employment opportunities with national companies, while others have embraced freelancing as a livelihood. We are thrilled with the outcome of this pilot project and hope to roll out an even better version in the future, based on what we have learnt.

Graduate Testimonies

21-year-old Janeth George successfully completed the YDS course in Tanzania, and it has literally changed her life:

Thanks to the Youth Digital Skills Program, I am now employed by Dospects Studio. My family believed in marriage, and I struggled to break free from that expectation due to financial dependence on them. But now, after completing the programme, I have gained employable skills and managed to get work. Many thanks to Camara Education, Tanzania.”

Everlyne Mkabili is currently interning with Camara Kenya:

“I am  a student from Kenya Coast National Polytechnic pursuing a Diploma in Information Communication Technology. I am currently enrolled as an intern at Camara Education Kenya, a charity that provides computers, teacher training, and innovative learning programs to schools across Africa.

I came to know Camara through a teacher at Ribe Girl’s High School – I received three offers of attachments but the teacher advised me to select Camara since it was the best.

From the very start of the attachment, the learning environment has been friendly and understanding and the skills I have learned so far are top-notch. Among other things, I have learned how to dismantle and assemble all the external and internal parts of a PC; how to install various operating systems to different PCs; how to troubleshoot by running diagnostics; and how to make storage devices bootable.

With these few but important skills, I have been able to help a computer teacher at Ribe Girls’ High School solve a problem with one of his computers that had stopped working (the computer was not powering on, and if it was powering on, there was no display). I gave a solution to this scenario by asking him to remove the PC RAM sticks and clean them, as well as the RAM slots. I also asked him to check the power cable supplying power to the motherboard. After a few minutes, I received feedback from the same teacher, who happily explained to me that the directives I gave him worked successfully.

 As we continue with this program, my hope is to gain more skills so that I can use them to build my future career as an IT Support Specialist.”                    

Irene Gabriel is a Graphic Design graduate of the YDS Program in Tanzania. She said:

“Before starting the training, I aspired to be a soldier, but that path wasn’t accessible. This program became a way for me to acquire additional skills. Now, my ambition is to excel as a graphics designer, leveraging the skills I’ve obtained.”

Kelvin Kirimi Mutuma, a former student at the Star Institute of Professionals, completed Camara Kenya’s internship programme in 2022 and is currently working at Erido Computer Solutions in Mombasa. He said:

“I was born and raised in the outskirts of Mombasa, in a place called Meru, 27 years ago. Growing up in a humble background, my parents did just enough to provide shelter and basic education. It never crossed my mind that one day I would be among the best technicians in the city.

My journey as a technician started in 2022 after completing my Diploma in ICT and CISCO Networking course at Star Institute of Professionals. At the end of my course, I heard about Internship programs at Camara Education Kenya and decided to join. Looking back, I am glad I made the decision – this is where I expanded my knowledge base and garnered experience, which has proved to be invaluable. The team of experts at Camara Kenya is more than willing to help young men and women cross the gap between school graduation and the job market.

Camara Education Kenya equips interns with skills to navigate the job market.  While interning at Camara, I had the opportunity to put into practice what I had learned in school. I did all this without the fear of making mistakes since the experts at Camara encouraged us not to fear mistakes but instead to embrace and learn from them. The trainers at Camara allowed us to tag along for field work. The number of trips I made to schools within Mombasa County for computer maintenance and networking is countless. This exposure has jumpstarted my career as a networking and computer technician at Erido Computer Solutions.

At Erido, I have undertaken different roles including computer repair, CCTV installation and maintenance, as well as being a sales agent. All this is a result of the interpersonal skills I gained from Camara Education Kenya, which have enabled me to navigate the job market efficiently.

Today, I pride myself on being among the best computer and networking technicians, courtesy of Camara Education Kenya. Thank you, Camara, for the opportunity to train with you and help kickstart my career.”

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World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

This year, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is highlighting the importance of advancing communication technologies for sustainable development. Digital innovation can help connect the world and unlock sustainable prosperity for all. According to the UN, digital technologies can help achieve 70% of the targets of their Sustainable Development Goals. Now more than ever, building a sustainable future demands innovative thinking and action in the digital world. 

With 2.6 billion people still unconnected, glaring digital gaps hinder innovation across much of the world. Many countries are struggling to keep up in today’s fast-changing digital landscape. 

Camara Education aims to be part of the solution. We are dedicated to empowering communities through technology-enabled learning. In a world where access to information and communication technology is vital, we are at the forefront of leveraging technology to revolutionise education and drive sustainable progress.

Digital innovation empowering education:

Camara Education recognises that access to quality education is a fundamental right and a catalyst for sustainable development. However, millions of children worldwide still lack adequate educational resources, hindering their opportunities for growth and progress. Camara works in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia to establish digital learning centres in schools. We repurpose and refurbish IT equipment donated by businesses around the world, adding educational software and appropriate training to transform used hardware into powerful learning tools.

 

Digital Learning Centre, Ethiopia

Empowering educators for impactful teaching:

Camara Education understands that technology alone is not enough; educators need support and training to effectively integrate it into their teaching practices. Thus, Camara Education provides comprehensive teacher training programmes, ensuring educators are equipped with the skills and resources needed to leverage technology for enhanced learning experiences. By empowering educators and school leaders, Camara Education amplifies the impact of digital innovation in classrooms, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.

Customised solutions for local communities:

One size does not fit all in education, especially in diverse global contexts. Recognising this, Camara Education’s local teams work with local authorities, schools and other stakeholder to customise digital solutions that align with each region’s educational needs and challenges. Whether it’s curating digital content tailored to local curricula or providing technical support, Camara Education ensures that its interventions are contextually relevant and sustainable, maximising their impact on student learning outcomes.

Promoting Environmental Sustainability:

In addition to driving educational impact, Camara Education is committed to promoting environmental sustainability. By refurbishing, repurposing or sustainably recycling used equipment, Camara Education not only extends the lifespan of electronic devices but also reduces electronic waste, contributing to a more sustainable future and promoting the circular economy. Our work not only conserves precious natural resources but also reduces the energy and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing new electronics. Additionally, by diverting e-waste from landfills, we prevent harmful pollutants from contaminating the environment. 

Get involved:

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day serves as a reminder of the immense potential of digital innovation to drive sustainable development. Camara Education’s work exemplifies this potential, showcasing how technology can be harnessed to transform education and empower individuals and communities. To find out how you can get involved, request a call back.

Earth Day:

Celebrating Earth Day 2024: Camara Education’s impact on e-Waste Reduction

Earth Day:

As we celebrate Earth Day 2024, the need for sustainable practices has never been more pressing. In a world increasingly reliant on technology, the issue of electronic waste (e-waste) has emerged as a huge environmental concern. At Camara we are making a difference by refurbishing and reusing IT equipment, keeping it out of landfill while providing essential digital skills to thousands of students in Africa.

In 2023 alone, we estimate that Camara’s ITAD (Information Technology Asset Disposition) activities deferred over 8 million kilograms of CO2 emissions, saved over 5 billion litres of water that would otherwise have been used in manufacturing equipment, and avoided the mining of over 33 million kilograms of earth for mineral extraction.  Meanwhile we supported 387 schools, old and new, installed more than 4,000 computers and trained over 2,000 teachers, imparting digital skills to at least 175,000 young learners.

Camara Education’s Mission:

Founded in the belief that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty, Camara Education is a non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming education and disseminating digital skills to underserved students in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia. Our mission extends beyond just providing access to computers; we strive to ensure that these devices are used effectively and sustainably, through teacher training, local educational content and maintenance of our computer labs to enhance learning outcomes. 

The Problem of e-waste:

E-waste, comprised of discarded electronic devices, poses a grave threat to the environment and human health. With the rapid pace of technological advancement, electronic devices are being replaced at an unprecedented rate, leading to a staggering accumulation of e-waste. Improper disposal of these devices results in toxic chemicals leaching into soil and water, as well as contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. According to a recent study, the UK generated the 2nd largest amount of e-waste per capita in the world, while IT and telecoms e-waste almost doubled in the UK between 2008 (19,053 tonnes) to 2022 (37,631 tonnes estimated).

The Role of ITAD services:

Computer refurbishment and reuse plays a crucial role in mitigating the environmental impact of e-waste. By partnering with certified ITAD providers, Camara Education helps ensure that retired electronics are handled in a more sustainable manner, while also providing educational opportunities and crucial IT skills in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. 

Camara adopts a comprehensive approach to IT asset disposition. Our ITAD partners ensure absolute digital security and a full audit trail for all devices we handle, to the highest international standards. Any equipment that cannot be reused is recycled with zero landfill. Inevitably, all devices will eventually reach the end of their usable life. When they do, our local offices endeavour to arrange collection of all of them, and their environmentally responsible recycling through our partner facilities in-country.

ITAD equipment

Environmental Impact:

By refurbishing and redistributing computers, Camara extends the lifecycle of electronic devices, thereby reducing the demand for new products. This not only conserves precious natural resources but also reduces the energy and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing new electronics. Additionally, by diverting e-waste from landfills, we prevent harmful pollutants from contaminating the environment.

Earth Day:

As we reflect on Earth Day 2024, it is clear that the preservation of our planet requires collective action and innovative solutions. Camara Education’s commitment to combating e-waste while disseminating digital skills exemplifies the potential for the transformative power of technology in promoting sustainable and social equity. By supporting Camara, you can help contribute to a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Green Zero Waste Instagram Post

World Environment Day: June 5th

Slash your e-waste and make a positive contribution to the world

In the digital age, technology has become an integral part of our lives. As we upgrade our smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices to keep up with the latest advances, a pressing issue emerges: electronic waste, or e-waste. As the world’s dependence on technology continues to grow, so does the amount of e-waste we generate. Around 50 million tonnes of e-waste is generated every year, a figure expected to reach 75 million tonnes by 2030,

Reusing IT equipment can play a vital role in combating e-waste. Instead of disposing of old devices, they can be refurbished and repurposed for extended use. Reuse not only reduces the amount of e-waste generated but also minimizes the energy and resources required to manufacture new devices. By extending the lifespan of IT equipment, we can significantly reduce the environmental impact associated with the production and disposal of electronic devices.

Camara is committed to reducing e-waste and supporting the circular economy by reusing and recycling electronic devices. Prolonging the life of computer equipment through refurbishment and reuse is a major step towards sustainability and protecting the environment; reducing emissions and keeping e-waste out of landfill.

As much as 70% of the energy needed to make and operate a typical laptop throughout its lifespan is used in the manufacturing process. So if we can extend the life of existing equipment we can slash e-waste and reduce carbon emissions in the process. The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Reusing IT equipment plays a vital role: instead of disposing of old devices, they can be refurbished and repurposed for extended use.

By donating your end-of-life or surplus computer equipment to Camara, you not only help reduce pollution, emissions and the use of landfill, but you also contribute to our efforts to bridge the digital divide. We install refurbished computers in eLearning centres in schools in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, providing students who may never have used a computer before with the opportunity to enter the digital world. This opens up a whole world of employment and life opportunities. Without the gear, they can’t achieve that.

Bear in mind that it’s crucial to ensure proper data sanitization when reusing IT equipment. Our specialist processing partners meet the highest security and environmental standards, so your IT assets and data are safe with us.

In conclusion, e-waste poses a significant environmental challenge, but reusing IT equipment presents at least a hint of a solution. By embracing reuse, we can reduce e-waste, conserve resources, and create a more sustainable future. It’s time to recognize the value of our old devices and give them a second life, benefiting both the environment and those in need. Let’s make a conscious effort to promote the reuse of IT equipment and take a step towards a greener tomorrow.

ITAD-Cage

EARTH DAY: TACKLING E-WASTE

April 22nd marks Earth Day, promoting sustainability as the path to prosperity for humanity and business alike. E-waste is a huge global problem – more than 53 million metric tons of e-waste was produced in 2019 alone, according to Global E-waste Monitor 2020. This weighs more than the total number of commercial aircraft ever built. Businesses need to have policies to address this.

For most organisations and IT managers, IT Asset Disposition is a necessary evil. Something that, at best, happens out of sight in the background. Camara Education offers the chance to turn that around, converting a tedious necessity into a positive contribution to the world and making ITAD a vital part of a corporate responsibility policy.

We believe that prolonging the life of computer equipment through refurbishment and reuse is a vital step towards sustainability and protecting the natural environment. We collect surplus IT equipment from businesses and process it to the highest international environmental and data-security standards. We also endeavour to ensure that all our computers in Africa are appropriately recycled at end of life.

If data storage devices are not disposed of appropriately when they are decommissioned, millions of perfectly usable devices and harvestable components can make their way into landfill – and put data at risk. Our aim is to avoid waste altogether by re-using IT equipment that organisations are disposing of. However, there are times when equipment becomes faulty beyond economical repair. In these cases our partners worldwide follow best practice when disposing of waste and recycle whenever possible with an aim to maintain a zero-landfill policy. Our ITAD partners operate Environmental Management Systems that have been certificated to ISO 14001.

Items that cannot be economically repaired or are determined to have no commercial value are declared Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). WEEE processing involves segregating items into different waste streams such as circuit boards, processors, memory, hard disk drives, cables, computer shells etc.

In the UK, the treated waste streams are sent to an authorised recycling company for further treatment and to be made available as raw material. The equipment undergoes several refining processes where the items are shredded and destroyed beyond any thoughts of repair, ensuring data is irretrievable whatever the sophistication of recovery equipment. The metallic, plastic and ferrous particles are separated and refined until ready for onward processing as raw materials such as copper, steel, aluminium, precious metals, plastic etc. The dust and particles created during the shredding and refinement process are extracted from the air and compacted to produce dust cakes. These can be used as a fuel source.

Ferrous

Ferrous

Copper

Plastic

Plastic

In Africa, our hubs strive to become innovative leaders in e-waste management locally. We aim to create a closed loop system for all e-waste generated through our projects, so our contracts with schools provide that equipment is returned to us and we have partnered with licensed local partners to ensure proper collection, disposal and recycling of all e-waste and end-of-life equipment from schools.

ETHIOPIA: E-WASTE MANAGEMENT IN PRACTICE

More than 1,600,000 students have benefited from Camara Education Ethiopia’s 12-year effort to modernise the education system with technology, and more than 60,000 computers have been installed. While carrying out this life-altering activity, Camara Education Ethiopia also makes an effort to stay in touch with schools supported in previous years so that the outdated computers can be replaced and the old ones recycled in an environmentally acceptable manner. Camara Education Ethiopia primarily collaborates with Hefli on e-waste recycling and management on this e-waste initiative. Hefli is certified by the Ethiopian Environmental protection Agency.

St. John Baptist, a school we first supported in 2009,  recently gave 13 old computers back to Camara Education Ethiopia. We followed their journey to Hefli:

Earth-Day
Earth Day

The computers are collected and transported to Hefli.

Earth Day
Earth Day
Earth Day

At the recycling facility, the computers are disassembled and any working components, such as drives, set aside for reuse. Cabling, metals such as copper and other items can also be reused.

Earth Day

Set aside for processing.

Earth Day
Earth Day

The end result.