Ndoto Zetu
The lack of computers in ACK Mary Magdalene High School for the Deaf in Embu County cost the students heavily as they were perennially falling behind their studies even as the centre suffered decrease in the rate of student retention. The learners' future is set for a new, better trajectory after Safaricom Foundation through Ndoto Zetu has equipped the national school for the deaf with computers besides connecting them with the internet.

In Embu County a group of visually challenged secondary school students is making great strides in pursuit of their academic dreams.

About 100 learners of ACK Mary Magdalene High School of the Deaf can now cover their academic syllabus in time as well as undertake online research.

Until recently, however, their story was very different. “This being a school for the deaf, it was very challenging when covering the syllabus,” said one of the school’s Board member, Ms Evelyn Wambui.

We had acquired one projector but since we have nearly a dozen teachers and huge number of students in various classes it wasn’t enough, Ms Wambui added.

Under Safaricom Foundation Ndoto Zetu, ACK Mary Magdalene High School of the Deaf received 10 computers worth Kes 300,000 to support the learners access ICT lessons as well as aid in visual presentation during other lessons.

What’s more, the school received internet connection, enabling the teachers and learners to tap into the wealth of knowledge accessible from online sources.

“Our students and teachers can undertake research with the computers anytime,” noted Ms Wambui.

ACK Mary Magdalene High School of the Deaf is a national secondary school for the visually impaired and admits students from across Kenya.

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Not long ago, Brian Ouma used to pay Kes 1000 for his group of students to access computers for a two-hour practical ICT lesson in the Kenya-Uganda border town of Busia.

Mr Ouma’s dream of equipping residents of Busia with digital skills of the future and entrepreneurship know-how had steadily turned into a very costly undertaking.

Together with other members, he runs Sauti Moja, a community based organization in Busia County that offers economic empowerment and education programmes.

The organization, however, lacked funds to purchase enough computer learning materials and equipment to offer effective ICT lessons.

Consequently, their students did not have adequate time for their computer practical lessons as there was congestion in the institutions they collaborated with.

Through Safaricom Foundation’s Ndoto Zetu initiative, the organization received computers worth Kes 200,000 greatly boosting the entity’s capability to offer training on ICT programmes.

Over the years, the organization has been providing learners the know-how on social entrepreneurship and ICT in close collaboration with the Digital Opportunity Trust.

Their graduating students have gone into self-employment besides getting jobs in enterprises within the busy border town.

In the Coast, Darius Mbela Foundation also received a share of Safaricom Foundations Ndoto Zetu funding to ICT projects across the country in the just concluded phase two of financing.

The Taita Taveta County based organisation that advocates for change in the community through vocational training, youth and women empowerment programmes lacked enough computers for ICT lessons.

Safaricom Foundation’s Ndoto Zetu initiative donated computers and other ICT materials worth Kes 300,000 hugely boosting the entity’s efforts to impart tech-based knowledge and skills to the learners.

“Once you have the right skills, you can employ yourself,” said the foundation’s founder Darius Mwabili.

Previously, students from the area used to travel over five kilometers away to access basic training in ICT programmes, but now Form Four leavers and other students can get digital skills at affordable fees.  

The list of entities and groups that benefited from the purchase and handover of computers and ICT infrastructure such as internet connection across the country goes on and on.

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Thousands of learners from across the country can now learn ICT skills with ease following the support of Safaricom Foundation’s Ndoto Zetu initiative.

Ndoto Zetu initiative has been targeting and supporting projects in education, health, as well as economic empowerment through a system where the target beneficiaries propose projects for financing.

A total of Kes 100 million has been set aside for roll out of Ndoto Zetu phase three where Safaricom Foundation plans to impact lives by financing projects in health, education and economic empowerment across the 47 counties.

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