A new computer lab at Ukia Community Information and ICT Centre (CIC) in Makueni County, Kenya, was officially opened last week by Makueni County Secretary, Benjamin Mutie. This is a vital part of a collaboration between Makueni County, Camara Education and Dell Technologies as part of our STEM STEPS Towards Positive Futures Project.
The STEM STEPS Project is a pilot being implemented in 30 secondary schools across four counties in Kenya (Makueni, Usain Gishu, Kajado and Kilifi) as well as at Ukia CIC. This pilot project, supported by Dell Technologies, aims to ensure that Ukia CIC and the 30 selected secondary schools have the necessary ICT equipment, teacher capacity and support to fully integrate ICT into education and provide students with opportunities to develop their digital skills. The project aims to positively impact over 23,000 beneficiaries directly, as well as 133,500 indirect beneficiaries.
Wycliffe Selebwa, Country Leader for Dell Technologies in Kenya, explained “When the pandemic resulted in a new, virtual way of living, it also increased the disparity between those with access to technology and those without. At Dell Technologies, we are committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to opportunities through technology. By working with organisations like Camara Education, we are creating an ecosystem that gives young people access to connectivity, computing devices and competency-based learning, so they can successfully participate in the digital economy and be part of the future workforce within the ICT sector. We thank Camara Education and The Makueni County Government’s Department of Education, Sports and ICT for leading initiatives that drive change and create opportunities for youth and underserved communities in the country.”
Makueni County Government’s Department of Education, Sports and ICT is fully committed to working alongside Camara and Dell Technologies to ensure the success of this project which they believe will have significant benefits for local community members. Ukia CIC is based close to Ukia primary and to four secondary schools which currently have no computers. The STEM STEPS Project will open doors for students from these nearby schools as well as other community members to access and learn from technology, which will provide significant opportunities for their futures in this digital age. Dr Naomi Makau, Executive Committee Member of the Department of Education, Sports and ICT in Makueni County expanded on this: “I am so delighted today to witness the launch of this project in Makueni County. A big Thank You to Camara Education and Dell Technologies for choosing to partner with us. This programme will be a game-changer for the community of Ukia with regard to digital access and also to the students in the selected schools. This project will truly move our youth towards positive futures. We look forward to more collaboration in your area of focus. Please accept my highest regard on behalf of the entire team of beneficiaries and the government of Makueni county”.
Sarah Musengya, Camara’s Country Manager in Kenya, said “We are very excited to officially launch the new ICT innovation hub within Ukia CIC and cement our relationship with Makueni County Government. Camara fully believes that our partnerships with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Teacher Service Commission, County Governments, School leaders and the local communities are vital in ensuring that we can have the maximum impact in the projects we implement. In addition to the students who are benefiting from this project within the selected schools, the inclusion of Ukia CIC, will provide opportunities for more young people both in and out of school to access and benefit from technology. We are also most grateful to our longstanding partner Dell Technologies for their continued support and commitment to driving initiatives around youth skills training in ICT.”
Our CEO, Aidan Tallon, was also present at the event and commented “I am delighted to witness some of the fantastic work being done in Makueni County and to share this special occasion with County Government officials and the Ministry of Education, local schools and community members as well as our partner, Dell Technologies, who have supported our work around driving digital inclusion for many years.”