Tuesday, June 4, 2013

B-Gifted Foundation - Digital Hope Receives Another International Awards






[B-Gifted Foundation of Sierra Leone], www.bgiftedfoundation.org Announced as
Winner of ‘Educating Africa’ Award.

[B-Gifted Foundation of Sierra Leone], has been named as on of the organizations with the most entrepreneurial approach to education Sierra Leone, in the Educating Africa Pan-African Awards for
Entrepreneurship in Education.


With over 350 entries from all over Africa, [B-Gifted Foundation of Sierra Leone] has done exceptionally well to be named a country winner in the competition. It’s unique and entrepreneurial approach to education meant that it caught the judges’ attention even despite this being the most competitive competition to date. This is the fifth time
that the Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education have been run by UK-based international development charity, Teach A Man To Fish.


As a country prize winner, [B-Gifted Foundation of Sierra Leone], are entitled to prize winnings of USD $1,000. Now it is time to scale up! We are looking at raising additional $4000 to set up another ICT education centre for war victims. Your donation can make a real difference.

[B-Gifted Foundation of Sierra Leone], uses creativity and technology to address human rights, enhance peace and development. B-GIFTED Foundation strives to make the world a better place with a tightly threaded tapestry of creative ideas. B-GIFTED Foundation is a non-profit organization that was named at the behest & in honour of an
eponymous peace activist & human rights educator, who, over time, has used creativity & technology to buttress his growing corpus of groundbreaking peacemaking & culture-building endeavours. Where ideas bloom & blossom, triumph draws nigh, our programs, steadily hoisted from the doldrums, thereby may over- leap myriad moats and mountains.


The aim of the competition was to identify and celebrate the achievements of social entrepreneurs who understand the role education can play within their communities. ‘'With this competition we were looking for programmes which are innovative, sustainable and create real impact – and we have found them. By awarding them we hope to
encourage others to imitate winner’s approach and work towards more and better education in Africa’’, says Nik Kafka, Managing Director of Teach A Man To Fish.


More about the competition Now in its fifth year, the 2012 Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship continue to reward organizations in Africa that use innovative and entrepreneurial techniques to fill gaps in educational services across the continent.

Entries were assessed against the criteria of entrepreneurship, sustainability, and impact. The winners were selected by a panel of international judges, with the top entry receiving a prize of $10,000 and the two runners-up prizes of $5,000. There is also a $1,000 prize for the best entry for each country.

More about the winners More detailed information about this year’s winners is available here:
http://teachamantofish.org.uk/pan-african-awards-2012-winners


More about the competition organizers

TeachAManToFish is an international non-profit organization working to improve the relevancy, quality, and availability of education in developing countries. Our pioneering approach uses profit-making school-run businesses to teach entrepreneurship and livelihood skills. This model allows schools to generate additional income, improving their financial sustainability, while at the same time enabling them to offer a more relevant and higher quality education.


For more information visit www.teachamantofish.org.uk

Educating Africa is a foundation committed to introducing cost effective and sensible education initiatives throughout Africa, and to acknowledging some of the tremendous educational projects that have been developed across the continent. It is apparent that there are superb educational ideas, generous benefactors and intellectual capital that is willing and able to be invested in worthwhile educational projects. However, often there is a mismatch in linking the various groups. Educating Africa seeks to bridge this gap and match up these groups. For more information visit www.EducatingAfrica.com



 

DIGITAL HOPE EXHIBITED AT ITU TELECOM WORLD IN DUBAI 2012

During the five days of debate in Dubai, from 14 - 18 October, participants explored the radical transformation of the ICT industry and the implications for policy, regulation and competitive strategy.

This transformation is driven by game changers, the trends and technologies revolutionizing the industry and the world we live in.The Young Innovators Competition at ITU Telecom World 2012 offers social entrepreneurs aged 18-25 years old the opportunity to shine a global ICT spotlight on their innovative ideas and digital creativity.


Nearly 400 young entrepreneurs from 77 countries around the world submitted innovative ICT-based early concepts or mature projects - demonstrating how fresh thinking and talent for technology can provide real-world solutions to real-world problems and change the future for the better.

Digital Hope Project

The project has created the widespread impact that disabed people especially those impacted and amputated by the war, can have equal educational opportunities enhanced by the use of ICT. The project which is geared towards providing ICT and elearning educational possibilities to an approximated 20,000 people brutally amputated by the decade long conflict is already began to target rural amputee camps narrowing the marginalization of these people from the main stream of using Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and the information society. This has raised awareness about the rights of disabled in several other spheres of life. The project is also giving voices to these victims.
The project offers new possibiities for access to learning for learners with disabiity and speaks volumes of the potentials of ICT in education has for an inclusive society. This interaction is made possible by the information society for the beneficiaries who have previously detached themselves from society due to their war induced disability. The project encourages the beneficiaries to make informed decisions and the benefits in the use of ICT. Through this unique learning experience, trust and life-skills are built which enable the war victims to reach out to others across the world and become gobal citizens

                                               Amputee victims of war benefiting from the
                                         digital Hope ICT Project


                                            Victims of amputation displaying the award-winning
                                             B-Gifted Foundation ITU award-winning Digital Hope ICT banner
                                            Beneficiary displaying his use of new technologies
                                            to sell his craft work. Despite his disability caused
                                            by war, this young man in Sierra Leone, like the rest
                                            of his colleagues have discovered tools previously
                                            unknown to him.

                                          Testing the ICT equipment at the B-Gifted Foundation
                                           Digital Hope ICT centres

                                         
                                          Gender, Disability and ICT. Women and Girls at the
                                          B-Gifted Foundation Digital Hope centre  are afforded
                                          Equal opportunities to learn and grow their talents,
                                          despite their disability and amputation caused by the war
                                          in Sierra Leone.
                                                          Digital Hope ICT centres training in session

                                              Digital Hope ICT centres training in session

                                            Founder of B-Gifted and innovator behind the digital
                                             hope project and a beneficiary displaying the donated laptop
Former US Diplomat 'John Graham, visited the Amputee Camps to hear first Hand the stories of war victims supported by B-Gifted Foundation

Founder Greene, Speaking at the ITU Telecom World 2011 in Geneva at the International Open Innovation Competition.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The project ‘Digital Hope’ has began to target these amputees facing exclusion from ICT

The ‘Digital Hope’ project supported by ITU explores the human rights of access to communication whilst utilizing communication technology to address human rights and enhance social change.

An approximated 20,000 people were brutally amputated by machetes and guns during Sierra Leone’s civil war. These war victims are also marginalized from the mainstream of the information Society. The project ‘Digital Hope’ has began to target these amputees facing exclusion from ICT by providing the relevant ICT tools through an ICT piloted multi-media community access centre at one of several amputee camps in the country. This is providing the war victims ICT skills, hope and healing and giving them a powerful voice in the mass media.

The beneficiaries are learning basic ICT skills, and this is creating a great access to learning for learners with disability, and the much needed space to share their war-time stories with the rest of the world.

Monday, January 2, 2012

DIGITAL HOPE PROJECT UNVEILED










The Amputees and Founder at B-Gifted Proudly Display the Technology and the ITU Banner







































The digital hope project has been unveiled in the Northern suburb town of Makeni at the Oslo amputee camp on December 27th 2011. The B-Gifted Team journeyed from the capital Freetown, some considerable distance to the project site. With the ICT gadgets the B-Gifted Foundation ventured into the communiuties to unveil the equipments and technology gadgets that can help bring an audible voice to the victims of amputation who are marginalized from the mainstream of ICT.

The unveiling started with prayers and thanks giving, and followed by the founder's introduction of the technology equipment and their importance in carrying out the ICT projects. The Chairman at the Oslo Camp, thanked the B-Gifted Foundation for putting into reality a dream centre. He said that 'these technologies will help them to share their pains and hope with the rest of the world'.


























A Journey of hope!

















Site visit and consultations with beneficiaries. Travels to –Oslo Amputee Camp Makeni -Friday 9th December 2011





ITU Awards and Consultations
Site visit and consultations with beneficiaries. Travels to –Oslo Amputee Camp Makeni -Friday 9th December 2011

On a motor bike bound for the dusty narrow road to the Oslo amputee camp in a rural suburb, some five miles away from the Northern Head Town of Makeni, Andrew’s focus was to share the inspirational stories of the ITU awards he has received to help support the amputee victims of war in Sierra Leone with telecommunication and technology support. From Friday, 9th December to Sunday 11th December, the B-Gifted Founder and two volunteer staff, journeyed from the capital city Freetown to the Northern town of Makeni, to share the great news of the awards to the amputees and to make final consultations with the amputee victims of war who will soon become beneficiaries to a community ICT access centre that will give them a powerful voice via ICT. The amputee camp was built by a Norwegian NGO and is called Oslo Camp. The camp is actually a series of pretty white and blue houses, all with gardens marked by low shrubs. The amputees are offered the accommodation for free, because even though many of them could work despite their injuries, prejudice in Sierra Leone often means they are passed over for jobs. It’s a double blow for those who have been victims of the war, and are still held-back by the past.







 

 

From the time peace was declared in Sierra Leone in 2002, leading to the holding of elections, the country has been graded as one of the poorest in the world, hugely depending on international aid for survival, whilst helping war victims has become one of the serious challenges in the country.
Over 50,000 people died as a result of the war, with thousands of people having their hands and legs chopped off and many more people displaced. Although there is peace across the entire country currently, most of the war victims, amputees survivors of war still cannot live as normal human beings, and marginalized from the main stream of using Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and the information society. Apart from the serious economic hardships facing amputees and most war victims in Sierra Leone, the amputees are still discriminated against from using ICT, and most of them have not even seen a Personal Computer. However, many of the amputees do rely on handouts and the good will of others. Even though many have professions in wood carving, farming, capentary, Honda maintenance, gara dying they can hardly make a good living without a way to sell their products. At the meeting, the chairman of the Oslo Amputee Camp, an amputee himself, thanked profusely the founder of the B-Gifted Foundation for the “opportunity that he has brought to create a space for their voices to be heard and their needs to be addressed via ICT”. An amputee Mohamed, who is a student at one of the Higher Institutes of Learning in Makeni Town, also thanked the founder of B-Gifted and the entire B-Gifted Staff, and noted that “the challenges we face as amputees are huge and nobody seems to have time for us, not even government, but with these technologies we expect soon, and the opportunity created we will ourselves informed and share our voices so others around the world can hear us and know our plight”. Another student, (an amputee called Archippus T. Sesay, said that “this technologies will help us at the time when many People in Sierra Leone feel or believe that having time for amputees would only waste their time or make life more uncomfortable for them in their current harsh conditions”. He added that “with the thought of the unique chance to communicate now, with these technologies and support created by B-Gifted and ITU, we are full of hope, even as much as we were full of hope when the 11-year conflict ended in 2002”. Archippus affirmed that “our major challenges are discrimination against getting access to education and health, and gaining employment, and this can be achieved through ICT.” B-Gifted Founder speaks to a Cross-section of the amputee beneficiaries at the Oslo Amputee Camp in Makeni Northern Sierra Leone

B-Gifted Founder Andrew Benson Greene said that he was concerned about ‘the very high levels of discrimination, marginalization and lack of access to ICT and essential services like health, education and welfare for amputee war victims” .
Greene said that “in a country with very severe economic and social challenges, this is even more of a challenging situation when it comes to amputees and disabled people in the country”. He said that “for us Sierra Leoneans, we need to help our fellow compatriots who as a result of a decade of brutal civil war and carnage that has left behind thousands of maimed children, women and men, we must not make this disability of amputee a distant notion anymore but to think it as a reality close to our hearts and work hard to help them, or else the reality of suffering will continue.

The Founder also noted that “ I believe that these technologies will help to inform, educate and change the lives of people from these established amputee camps . He said that “ this intervention will not only scratch the surface, but these technologies will be a salve in the wounds and help assuage the difficulties the amputees face”. The Amputees were very delighted by the prospects and ensure providing a safe and secure place to store the equipment for a community access centre. They also confirmed that the project will be successful as this is the first of its kind for them. A memorandum of Understanding was signed as a way for both the B-Gifted Foundation and the Amputees at the Oslo Camp, to commit themselves to the success of the digital hope project. The B-Gifted Founder confirmed that the equipments and necessary ICT will be brought to the camp very soon to be put into motion for the project to kick off.