iKnowledge Phase 2

We are delighted to say that Phase 2 of iKnowledge in Tanzania is well underway. iKnowledge is a collaborative technology-enhanced learning project which aims to increase the capacity of district education officers, head teachers and teachers across 25 regions of Tanzania (including Zanzibar archipelagos) to integrate ICT in teaching and learning activities. The focus during this phase of the project will be to firstly provide refresher training and support to Phase 1 Academy and Training schools. Secondly, an additional 50 remote secondary schools will be given internet and hardware.This intends to support the sustainability and longevity of the first phase and to have a positive impact on the teaching and learning process.

For phase two the project will undertake the following:

  • Addition of 50 remote secondary schools (Administration school) which will each be provided with 1 laptop, 1 projector and VSAT equipment
  • In-school Refresher Training for project primary schools, regular educational and maintenance support visits throughout the year to support integration of iKnowledge resources into teaching and learning activities.
  • Additional hardware, all primary schools to be upgraded with a UPS each & the 73 teaching lab schools to receive two more laptops each and an installation of a cooling system in the storage unit

Pictured are students from an iKnowledge school in Tanzania –
Mwambao Primary School in Bagamoyo.

Camara Education launches its 2017-2020 Strategy







Today Camara Education together with Lord Puttnam, Ireland’s Digital Champion and John Lonergan Former Governor of Mountjoy, launched its Strategy for 2017-2020.
We here at Camara Education believe that quality education and youth empowerment are the greatest tools to alleviate poverty. As such we improve educational outcomes for young people. In the last 11 years we have achieved the following:

  • Built an organisation with a sustainable model and strong track record.
  • Demonstrated the measurable impact of technology on education.
  • Improved the education of two million students; better skills and better grades.
  • Delivered systematic change in education systems.

As such, we are on the cusp of scaling up our impact and harnessing an increasing appetite for ICT in education.

In the four years from 2017-2020, Camara will improve the quality of education for an additional three million students. Key to achieving this is being rigorous in the measurement of our impact. More importantly, we need to relentlessly act upon those measurements to ensure we are meeting the needs of our educators and young people. By effecting continued systemic change in the education systems we work in we will broad our impact to a far larger population. In addition our efforts will be contributing, to, amongst others, the Sustainable Development Goal 4; quality education.

In order to achieve this, we in Camara are focused on delivering five goals:

  1. Be the leading ICT Education organisation in the countries we operate.
  2. Improve Educational Outcomes by designing and implementing all of our
    education programmes to meet needs of all they serve.
  3. Measure and act upon our educational impact.
  4. Have the best possible people working with us.
  5. Generate the resources required to deliver the strategy.

To read the full report please see here.

Over 200 Young People Celebrate Creativity with TechSpace

On Friday 4th November, over 200 young people from youth clubs and schools across Ireland gathered in anticipation at the Google Foundry for the celebration of the Annual Creative Tech Festival. The event is organised by Camara Ireland as part of the TechSpace Programme, the national education movement that aims to inspire and encourage young people to become digital creators by providing access to software, hardware, trained youth workers and creative mentors.

Robot Making with RoboSlam

The Creative Tech Fest is the perfect opportunity for young digital creators to take part in interactive workshops, to witness inspirational speakers and hear live performances. Young people also celebrate their own creative media pieces, computer science creations and inventive Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) projects that they have been busy working on throughout the year.

Exhibitions from The 3D Design Expo were particularly popular and allowed young people to make their own prints including badges, hearts and horses. Google Expedition took the students on virtual field trips to space and to the Great Barrier Reef. The TechSpace as Gaeilge network gave the opportunity for young people to showcase their work alongside industry partners in the field of creative bilingual media and makers.

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef through Google Cardboard

The afternoon workshops allowed young people gain experience on a variety of innovative technology projects, including mobile app development, robotics, prop design, animation, computer science, documentary making, virtual reality expeditions and music technology. Dean, aged 12 from Athenry said, “It was a brilliant experience, my favourite part was making my robot”.

Torch Building with MakeShop

After the afternoon workshops had ended, attendees were treated to a live performance by Irish Beatboxing Champion, Amaron. Inspirational speeches and great advice came  from Tanya Rosen, Assistant Director on Game of Thrones, and Harry McCann, entrepreneur and one of The Journal’s 20 of Ireland’s most inspirational rising stars under 20 years old.

Young people won awards for many creations, from the most creative use of video to the most outstanding maker and electronics projects. “The day was awesome because we won awards,” said Ameerah, aged 11 from Athenry.

Standout Maker ESB Award Winners, Foroige Gateway Youth Project, Athlone with guest speaker, Harry McCann

According to Jen Hesnan, national coordinator, “TechSpace channels young people’s native interests in technology into something that they can both engage and share with others. By training educators in creative facilitation, any young person who comes through the door can find a purpose, becoming a creator and not just a consumer of technology”.

Selfie with the TechSpacers ! 

To find out all the latest news on Creative Tech Fest, check out creativetechfest.com

Workshop volunteers German Freire & Denis Fernadez at our Dublin workshop

Global Applause for our Volunteers

On this, International Volunteer Day 2016, Camara Education would like to pay tribute to the dedication of our volunteers who enable us to deliver such value to our beneficiaries. Over 2,000 people have volunteered with Camara since 2005 which is phenomenal.

The theme for International Volunteer Day 2016 is  #GlobalApplause – to give volunteers a hand, and recognise the work that they do worldwide. Here at Camara Education, this provides us with an opportunity to thank our volunteers at home in Ireland and worldwide for the inspiring work that they do and to highlight the value and impact they have had on hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged students around the world.

Volunteers play a vital role at every stage in the Camara operation. From accepting donations of computers at the door in Dublin, to repairing a technical fault in rural Ethiopia, an army of volunteers make Camara’s vision a reality.

Workshop volunteers German Freire & Denis Fernadez at our Dublin workshop
Workshop volunteers German Freire & Denis Fernadez at our Dublin workshop

In our resource centres, our volunteers have fascinating stories to tell. A paramedic, a retired teacher, an experienced development worker and an ex-aviation technician are just some of the members of our hard-working team, who dedicate their time to the preparation of computers for schools.

Camara Education Volunteers with a shipment of computers bound for Ethiopia
Camara Education Volunteers with a shipment of computers bound for Ethiopia

In our offices, a team of interns consisting of graduates from a variety of disciplines, from International Development, Political Science and Sociology to Graphic Design and Media, help to develop and improve Camara as an organisation. This allows us to provide the best quality education to as many communities as possible.

Sally Wu, Business Development Intern, Dublin
Sally Wu, Business Development Intern, Dublin

“While working in Camara, I felt like I was a part of a big family. We helped each other and we worked as a team. The most satisfying aspect about my role was arranging collections and then receiving the equipment.” Sally Wu, Business Development Intern.

As well as our regular volunteers, we welcome companies to come to our resource hubs and help out for a day under our corporate volunteering programme. These companies include employees of Salesforce, Citrix, PwC, LexisNexis and Symantec to name but a few.

LexisNexis Corporate Volunteers, May 2016
PwC Volunteers
PwC Corporate Volunteers, July 2016











In a number of our East African hubs Camara, in partnership with Cisco Networking Academy,  trains volunteers to maintain ICT infrastructure in schools under the ‘Cisco-IT Essentials’ course. This course is taught as part of a three month volunteer programme, designed to engage with communities and build skillsets for graduates and young people seeking to gain professional experience. Volunteers are not only responsible for technical maintenance, they are involved in supporting all aspects of the provision of a better quality of education. This includes providing in-demand information and communication technology skills to disadvantaged students, preparing them for a prosperous future in the 21st century.

Volunteers unloading a container, in the Camara Kenya hub, Mombasa
Volunteers unloading a container, in the Camara Kenya hub, Mombasa

Camara values its volunteers and strives to ensure that everyone who gives their time to us is rewarded with the experience and skills they need to go further.

“Volunteers were the rock that Camara was built on and are still a critical component today. With so much negativity around, the selfless work of volunteers over thousands of hours in Camara is inspiring”. John Fitzsimons, CEO, Camara Education.

Find out more about volunteering with Camara on our website or contact Stephanie in Dublin. Alternatively, find out about international volunteering opportunities through our local hubs, contact details for which can be found at camara.org.

Talhiya Shaban,Hassani Msasani Secondary School, Tanzania

eLearning centres and teacher training are at the heart of what Camara Education does

Talhiya Shaban,Hassani Msasani Secondary School, Tanzania
Talhiya Shaban,Hassani Msasani Secondary School, Tanzania

Talhiya Shaban Hassani is a 16-year-old secondary school student at Msasani Secondary School in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. She lives with her mother and is the youngest among her three brothers and one sister. Her mother is a business woman. She lives in Kaloleni, Moshi, Kilimanjaro and walks to school every day. She has been in the school for 4 years and this is what she has to say about the school’s new eLearning centre. ‘‘There are several changes after the introduction of the eLearning Centre. It has facilitated things such as easier learning, and motivates students through getting different materials from the computers. It also makes it easier for students to do research by using different programs like Wikipedia and other programmes. I have learnt about global warming, environmental conservation and also how to use a computer. It is my dream that one day I will be a geography teacher’.”

eLearning centres and teacher training are at the heart of what Camara Education does. Sponsoring either of these will have a significant impact for children and teachers at the schools we work with. For more information on how you can contribute to providing an e-learning centre go to Sponsor an e-Learning Centre.


Martha Yohannes

The Impact on Teachers Using Technology for Education

Martha Yohannes
Martha Yohannes

Martha Yohannes was born in Addis Ababa. She received her Diploma from Kotebe TTC, taught at M.G Hayelom Araya primary school since 2008 and for the past year has been working as Principal of St. George Kindergarten and Primary school. ‘‘Here at the school, the first problem was to make our students learn and teachers teach using technology in day to day learning activity but with the help of Camara Education Ethiopia we make our students use technology in their learning activity. And I would like to thank Camara for giving us this opportunity. There was a big impact on the students after they start using Camara’s computers. Students get motivated when they learn and use computers. They began learning things quickly. It also helped students to be creative and remember things easily. Bringing these computers to our school makes parents, teachers and students very enthusiastic’’.


Students with iMlango attendance cards

Camara Education in the News!

Here we take a look at recent features in the news for Camara Education and look at what is to come.

RTE One radio show, Morning Ireland, featured a report by their Science & Technology correspondent, Will Goodbody. The report discusses the benefits of the use of the technology in education in The Digischool Programme in Kenya and features our CEO, John Fitzsimons talking about how maths and numeracy skills are essential to improve life opportunities. Listen here. A photo slideshow supporting this report can also be found here.

Camara Education featured on the RTE News at One and the Six One News on RTE with a report by Will Goodbody who travelled to see how the Digischool Programme in Kenya is working. The report also features our CEO John Fitzsimons talking about the progress of students in iMlango schools. Watch the full report here

Students with iMlango attendance cards
Students in Kenya with iMlango attendance cards

An opinion piece in The Irish Independent’s education pages, featured Camara Ireland Manager, Steven Daly discussing how he believes that Ireland should have an education system that is centered on the learner and that has the needs of young people at its heart. Read the full story here

A feature in the Education pages of The Irish Independent, by Meadhbh McGrath & features John Fitzsimons, CEO of Camara and Keith Magee, Head of Education at Camara, discusses how we are successfully tackling the digital divide that exists at home in Ireland and abroad in Africa by working with underprivileged communities in Ireland and Africa to improve IT skills. Read the full article here

Students at Linda Community School, Lusaka. Photo by Justin Keane
Students at Linda Community School, Lusaka. Photo by Justin Keane

The Voice, a UK-based newspaper, contains an article by Nadine White and reports on the recent success of Camara Education being one of three winners of the 2016 Pan African Awards for our participation in the ‘iKnowledge project’ – an initiative created to help provide learning opportunities to thousands of communities in Tanzania through equipping teachers in rural areas with a learning-focused Information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. Read the full story here.

Nationwide on RTE 1 on Wednesday, November 23rd, a bulletin on Camara Education in Kenya as part of Will Goodbody, RTE Science & Technology Correspondent’s report on the Digischool Programme in Kenya. See link here

To stay up to date on our latest news, please see our social media links.

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Africa Code Week and Camara Education Ethiopia introduce software coding to 15,000 + children and youth in Ethiopia

Serigne Dioum, Africa Code Week Master Instructor, Mikiyas, Camara worker in Ethiopia & Claire Gillissen, Director of EMEA Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP & Africa Code Week Co-founder & Global Lead.

African Code Week an annual continent-wide event which is intended to spark the interest of African children, teenagers and young adults in software coding. It was spearheaded by SAP in 2015 as part of its social investments to drive sustainable growth in Africa. It took place in 4 regions across Ethiopia from October 15th-23rd

Camara Education Ethiopia partnered with SAP to coordinate the implementation of Africa Code Week in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya Tanzania and Zambia). Its target was to introduce coding to 15,000+ children and youth, empowering them with the language of software programming.

Busy classroom...eager to start coding! — at National Archives and Library of Ethiopia.
Busy classroom…eager to start coding! — at National Archives and Library of Ethiopia.

Africa Code Week utilises the program called ‘Scratch’, which was already available on the Camara learning packages implemented in schools across Ethiopia. This unique opportunity provided Camara Education with the ability to increase teacher capacity in their partnered schools by providing training to teachers on how to host coding workshops for the youth.

In preparation for the actual coding event, a Train-the-Trainer workshop was conducted for teachers during September 15 to 30, 2016.

To date, 317 teachers and University graduate students from designated primary and Secondary schools, Universities and different institutions as well from regions: Amhara, Oromia, Afar, SNNPR, Tigray and Addis Ababa, were trained by SAP professionals and Camara trainers on how to host youth coding workshops using ‘Scratch’ and web programming with the children and youth at their respective schools.

Yared Ayele, our Country Director for Camara Education Ethiopia, spoke of witnessing children for the first time writing their first line of code using Scratch software: “Seeing a smile on children’s’ faces as they discover something new and exciting is simply priceless, and the satisfaction brought by the sparkle in their eyes is enormous and truly rewarding”.


Mrs Doreen Nzali, Headteacher, Linda Community School and her students

Case Study Linda Community School, Lusaka, Zambia

A monitoring & evaluation visit was recently carried out at Linda Community School in Lusaka, Zambia. This school started working with Camara Education about 4 years ago. A number of students and teachers were interviewed during this visit and here is what some of them had to say:

The computers have been very helpful to the learners and made it easy for them to undersMrs Doreen Nzali, Headteacher, Linda Community School and her studentstand the lessons as they are able to see and use the things we are teaching them”. Class teacher Mr Mwamulowe speaks about how the Camara eLearning centre has made a difference to their school.

“We are so grateful for the donation we have received from donors in Ireland. We hope they will continue to assist this vulnerable community, more especially in information and communication technology, and infrastructure”. Mrs Doreen Nzali, Headteacher, Linda Community School

We learn both theory and practicals in Computer Studies. Before the computers were brought, we only used to learn theory, We learn a lot of things from the eLearning centre which will help me further my education”, Caphas Cheelo, age 16

“It is easier to practice and improve our ICT skills which will help me and my friends perform better in the exams and it will be easy for me to fit in well in the work industry as almost every job out there requires one to have some computer skills” Gift Khawala, age 15

Illustrated here are some of the very positive findings from the visit:

Results from the latest survey into the benefits of ICT learning on students in Linda Community School

The educational performance of the students has improved in Computer Studies and others subjects as they are able to research on the computers and learn a lot of things on their ownKnox Handindo, Computer Studies Teacher, Linda Community School


from left to right - Gift Kahyata, Emmanuel Banda, Isaac Mwale, Emmanuel Tembo, Adrian Shawa, Cephas Cheelo, Yvette Chisaka, Memory Banda


Camara Education wins the Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2016


Camara Education is delighted to be officially announced as one of the three winners of the Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2016 run by Teach a Man to Fish. There were over 400 applicant organisations.

The Pan African Awards reward the very best projects which are using enterprise and entrepreneurship to innovate in the field of education. Teach A Man To Fish manage the awards using their expertise in enterprise education and highlight inspirational models and projects through their large network of educational organisations and schools and their work aims to eradicate poverty by providing good quality, low-cost, relevant education to young people in developing countries.

The award acknowledges relates to our iKnowledge project in Tanzania –

iKnowledge is a unique programme that Camara Education delivers to achieve the goal of improving the educational outcomes and life opportunities for young people. It provides beneficiaries with the platforms, skills and support to be entrepreneurs in their community. It enables beneficiaries to generate revenue that funds on-going costs of ICT-based solutions provided by the project.”

According to the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs, whilst populations across the world are stabilising in size, both Africa and Asia are in the midst of substantial changes in the size of their youth populations. By 2030 it is predicted that the number of youth in Africa will have increased by 42%. According to the same report, many of these countries experiencing rapid growth amongst their youth are at risk of ever increasing youth unemployment. It is against this backdrop and with empowering young people to be agents of progress and entrepreneurship in mind that the Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education exists. The aim of the Awards also includes changing the attitudes of young people so that they begin to leave the education system as the job creators of the future rather than job seekers.

We are delighted to announce these incredible organisations operating in Africa who are fostering a culture of entrepreneurship among young people. It is important that young people learn early on that they have the power to be leaders in business and job creators of the 21st Century.” – Nik Kafka, CEO of Teach A Man To Fish

Winners of the the Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2016
Winners of the the Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education 2016