May 13 2013

Connecting Africa - Bringing e-learning to remote villages

SOS Children’s Villages and BT are “Connecting Africa”. The project – launched at the recent World Economic Forum on Africa – will bring internet access to families in 20 SOS Children’s Villages across 12 African countries.

By utilising BT’s global satellite network in conjunction with underused and decommissioned BT equipment across Africa, Connecting Africa will directly benefit 5,000 people in countries such as Kenya and Mali, DR Congo and Malawi. Together, BT and SOS Children's Villages estimate that the project could reach as many as 700,000 people.

BT and SOS Children's Villages connecting up to 700,000 people in Africa© SOS Archives
Hands up, who's connected? - Children in the Gambia now take advantage of e-learning & online mentoring © BT Image library.

The global village

Already, two villages in the Gambia have been brought online, while BT aims to connect the remaining villages by October of this year.

Not only will children and families be better able to take advantage of e-learning opportunities and online mentoring offered by SOS Children’s Villages, we will also benefit as a global development organisation.

SOS Children's Villages UK has spearheaded the partnership that will also develop technology and skills within the villages, and run adult education programmes in the wider community. SOS Children’s Villages UK Director of Fundraising Meryl Davies said: “We see the real difference that IT and connectivity make to our children’s lives, opening their eyes to a whole new world of information, and wonderful education opportunities. BT has the vision to understand that with improved systems and structures, we will be better able to bring long term value to incredibly vulnerable children and families.”

BT and SOS Children's Villages intend Connecting Africa to produce a ripple effect. This video by BT demonstrates how SOS Medical Centres, villages and the wider community will benefit.