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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Camara Rwanda - Most Innovative Development Project

Camara Rwanda - Most Innovative Development Project
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Camara Rwanda - Most Innovative Development Project

Camara Rwanda, a social enterprises based in Kigali, has been awarded the Global Development Network (GDN) prize for Most Innovative Development Project. This was done in Bogota, Colombia during the 12th Annual GDN Conference on 13th - 15th January 2011, this year’s theme being “Financing Development in a Post-Crisis World”. With over 250 projects to consider, Camara’s operation model appealed to the jurors drawn from reputable institutions such as the World Bank, JICA, AUSI-AID and Kenyan Central Bank, as a result of its simple yet self-sustainable approach.
The organization’s operations are focused on establishing e-learning centers in schools across the country. This number is currently at 33 academic institutions spread across the country, with numbers set to grow. The computer labs are equipped with Camara PCs that are fine tuned and installed with pre-configured Linux software based on the educational package, Edubuntu. Camarabuntu, as it is known, is loaded with numerous applications that prove handy in enhancing computer literacy. They include programs that develop mouse and keyboard skills, interactive software and an offline version of Wikipedia among many other programs.

Schools partnering with Camara Rwanda receive a wide range of support services that include teacher training on using ICT as a pedagogical tool in Education, technical support on PCs and parts as well as supply of relevant software and material. Ownership and responsibility is bestowed upon the schools through payment of a levy on the machines.

Volunteers, drawn from the local youth, are responsible for a lot of what Camara does. They do the computer refurbishment, installation, checking for compliance to standards and training in the schools. The volunteers are adequately trained and certified after completion of rigorous training exercises that combine theory and practical experience. The volunteers are usually individuals who, due to one reason or another, are unable to afford costs of furthering their education past upper level high school. The experience and expertise they accumulate enables them make a living, with some establishing businesses or getting absorbed into the job market.

Camara’s contribution to the government’s NICI-2010 plan of transforming Rwanda into an information-rich and knowledge based society and economy by 2020, can be highlighted as a step in the right direction. We do hope that obstacles met in the course of our operations will be cleared so as to allow us focus on the developmental agenda.

Updated on Mar 1, 2011 by Salvatore Desiano (Version 3)

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Camara Rwanda.bmp - on Mar 1, 2011 by Salvatore Desiano (Version 1)

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