Ivon Emanuel is 13 years old and attends Rau Primary School in Tanzania. She was born into a family of three children and lives with both parents; her mother works as a food vender and her father as a mason. Ivan is fortunate because her school benefits from support from White Orange Youth outreach and the KIDSWorks computer science program sponsored by ViAfrica. “My desire is to become an office secretary or a boss when I finish my studies, because I think these is not only is kind of job that person can earn much more but also is a career unlike my father’s and mother’s job that doesn’t pay that much to pay all necessary bills.” In addition to computer skills, Ivan has also benefited from other life skills training, including HIV education using the TeachAids software.
White Orange Youth (WOY) Tanzania is a non-governmental organization working to support education and outreach initiatives, advocacy and awareness creation, and staff training and development. The education program includes sexual health education for primary school students using interactive, learner-centered programs that involve youth in their own learning about sexual health. WOY also coordinates Anti-AIDS clubs at each primary school involved and seeks to reach children who are not enrolled in school and are at especially high risk. Their educators meet with these youth in places where they typically congregate, including small business locations, bus stops, and parks. Furthermore, they use sporting events as a space to promote HIV education by organizing informal discussions with youth before and after games. Peer educators are also recruited and trained by WOY to teach others and promote HIV prevention.
WOY has partnered with with ViAfrica, a Netherlands-based IT firm that seeks to use ICT for the further development of Africa. ViAfrica provides substantial ICT support for this effort and developed the KIDSworks platform to provide e-content (education materials) for mobile and wireless use in environments where there is no power. Thanks to ViAfrica, the TeachAids animations were uploaded to the KIDSworks platform and can now be viewed in remote settings. Soon after uploading, WYO began sharing TeachAids with students using laptop computers at schools throughout Tanzania.
Recently, WOY visited Shirimatunda Primary School in Moshi. The 43 students in the program were very eager to learn more about HIV and AIDS. By using the mobile computer platform from ViAfrica they learned interactively about this subject at their own pace, using the TeachAids Swahili version. The hour went quickly and students had lots of questions. Luckily ViAfrica and WOY plan to return to continue talking with the students about this subject. According to John Kessy, a volunteer with WOY, “the Swahili TeachAids material are working and kids are already starting to benefit from it and like it.”
When asked about the life skills program at her school, Ivan stated, “I also like so much life skills subject especially the topic about how to prevent our self from HIV/AIDS. In the past I learned the same course in words and voice but you have taught us via voice, words and video as well which makes me to understand the topic much more”. She also mentioned that learning how to protect oneself from HIV/AIDS is vital because she has seen people around her community suffering from AIDS and knows it is better not to get it.
So far, WOY has shared TeachAids with 10 schools with life skills programs reaching around 400 children. TeachAids commends White Orange Youth and ViAfrica for providing critical technology-based tools to support youth in Tanzania.
Photo: Children at the Shirimatunda Primary School in Tanzania watch TeachAids tutorials as part of a life skills program.