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Turning Roses into Computers

Sher High School in Ziway, Ethiopia, has received not one but two brand-new e-learning centres, thanks to generous funding from the Dutch Flower Foundation and Afriflora.

Afriflora/Sher Ethiopia grows, harvests, grades and packs roses at three farms, the largest of them on the shores of Lake Dembel just outside Ziway. Between 2.5 and 4 million roses are processed every day and transported to Europe for further distribution. This makes Afriflora/Sher Ethiopia the largest rose grower in the world and the biggest supplier of roses in Europe, as well as a major foreign currency earner for Ethiopia. Around half of the students at the Ziway Sher High School are children of Sher employees.  

Camara installed 50 computers and two servers in the two centres, and our trainers spent a week training 26 teachers on how best to use the computers to deliver the curriculum and giving advice on basic maintenance.  We’ll also provide ongoing support. Camara’s computers run on the Ubuntu open-source operating system. They are pre-loaded with a range of educational software, from simple games to specialized Camara Learning Studio resources for maths and science. All computers are also loaded with an offline version of Wikipedia, creating an extraordinary learning resource for schools with limited internet connections. And most important of all, the computers are installed with PDFs of Ministry of Education textbooks covering the entire school curriculum. Textbooks are in very short supply in many of Ethiopia’s 40,000 schools, so this alone is a crucial resource.

The Dutch Flower Foundation (DFF) aims to improve the living conditions and well-being of people in need and in particular children. They focus on countries where Dutch Flower Group (DFG) companies are active with an emphasis on connected community projects. Through the activities of DFF, DFG gives substance to its responsibility for the world in which we live.

Hundreds of students will benefit from the new computers according to Sher School director Mr Negusse Aga: ‘Computer-skills are extremely important for our students. Sher schools have an excellent reputation in Ethiopia. Almost all the students qualify to attend universities. New computers enable us to uphold our reputation and open the digital world to our students. On behalf of the students and teachers we would like to sincerely thank DFF and Camara for their highly appreciated contribution in this project.’

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