Teaching Technological Literacy
Also known simply as TechLit Africa, the non-profit is working to supply rural African schools with computer labs in order to teach kids the “technological literacy” and “self-efficacy” they have largely missed out on. Through computer classes, a digital curriculum and the learning of digital skills, TechLit Africa is striving to bring Africans into the digital world and out of poverty.
Speaking to Software Engineering Daily in 2021, Nelly Cheboi, executive director and co-founder of TechLit Africa, gave a simple answer to the story behind the non-profit’s mission: “Starting TechLit Africa came from my own experience growing up in Kenya. I grew up in poverty and I’ve always been motivated to tackle poverty. I drew most of my experiences from watching my mom really struggle to put us through school… I saw education as the easiest way out of poverty.”
Thus, with this principle in mind, TechLit Africa grew and developed with the goal of teaching young Africans technology-based skills that have the potential to close the technological gap between themselves and the rest of the world.
Through the donation and refurbishment of old computers, TechLit Africa is partnering with schools and working to build computer labs within them. The non-profit then teaches various computer-based classes such as design, typing or coding (among other things) via a digital curriculum and the assistance of on-site TechLit educators.
TechLit Africa is currently running 10 computer labs in schools in rural Kenya, which is working to serve roughly 4,000 students. However, the organization does not plan to stop there by any means.
High Hopes for the Future
As TechLit Africa’s website spells out, the non-profit’s hopes for the future are ambitious and strongly emphasize rapid growth with even greater reach. As such, over the next several years it is their mission to begin putting down roots in even more schools.
“Last year, we partnered with 10 schools and taught over 4,000 kids. Our next milestone, 100 schools and 40,000 kids. We hope to hit by Q1 2023″
Indeed, teaching these skills and equipping young Africans for this future is incredibly important. As TechLit Africa’s website further highlights, Africans in rural communities simply lack many of the tools and skills necessary to take advantage of the digital economy like so much of the rest of the world has.
According to TechLit, many African talents don’t fit in the technological world, despite being well-educated. TechLit Africa “teaches digital skills using donated used computers that could end up in landfills… With these skills, [students] could be working remotely for tech companies all over the world straight from the village.”
– Riley Wooldridge