Want to upgrade your world, but don’t know where to start?
Microsoft is giving Kenyans the chance with #UpgradeYourWorldKE – a global effort to celebrate those who do, those who inspire and those who want to achieve more with technology.
We will be awarding five NGOs with $50,000 each, and it’s up to you to decide who these five NGOs will be. To do your part, simply vote for your favourite Kenyan non-profit or NGO by tweeting their name using the hashtag #UpgradeYourWorldKE #vote, @nonprofit
If you work in the NGO sector, now is the perfect time to use the hashtag to raise your voice and get people to vote for you.
Five NGOs that Microsoft works with already have been pre-selected and their impact is inspiration to make your own mark.
Here are their stories.
African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT)
ACWICT is a Kenya-based ICT for Development organisation established to promote women's access to and knowledge of ICT. It reaches 25,000 women and youth in rural and urban informal settlements annually.
“The #UpgradeYourWorldKE initiative validates our work, and we are very excited,” says Ms. Constantine Obuya, Executive Director, ACWICT.
Computers for Schools Kenya (CFSK)
CFSK provides an end-to-end solution for ICT in education, including infrastructure, training, digital content development and e-waste management. The founder, Dr Tom Musili, also founded the WEEE Centre (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), the first e-waste management centre in Kenya. It is here where CFSK has been able to re-furbish old PCs and distribute over 300,000[NL(1] [AN(G2] with fully installed software to primary and secondary schools.
The lifespan of most electronic devices is only about 3 years. And it’s not just that some things aren’t made to last; often throw things away not because they are broken, but because we want a newer model
“User preferences have changed a lot over the years. I’m glad to note that Microsoft has changed with us and even moved ahead to predict how we will use computing devices in future,” says Dr. Tom Musili, founder CFSK.
The Homeboyz Foundation provides a platform where young people can access the skills, tools and resources needed to reach their full potential. The foundation does this by creating partnerships with stakeholders, like Microsoft, who have the resources and platforms the youth need to be innovative. This makes them more employable with skills that are relevant to the current demand in the labour market.
“Upgrade Your World will enable us to further our foundations mandate to empower young people to develop their abilities,” says Myke Rabar, Chairman & CEO, Homeboyz Foundation.
I Choose Life
I Choose Life launched with the vision: “A healthy Africa, empowered people!” Their mission is to create a movement of caring individuals, ones who enhance the quality of life for communities through: Health initiatives, Economic empowerment, Education, Improved Leadership, Governance and Institutional Strengthening. The organisation works through the Triple Helix approach, which brings together four critical actors: Government through the devolved county system, corporate, academia and the Civil Society.
“Through Microsoft’s DigiGirlz event, which inspires young girls to pursue STEM subjects, the girls suddenly had elder sisters in the corporate world to mentor them. It was one of the most successful DigiGirlz events held in Kenya,” says Michael Mutungi Chief Executive Officer of a recent partnership with Microsoft.
INABLE empowers blind and visually-impaired students in Africa by providing assistive computer technology. The learners use normal computers with standard keyboards, which is critical in ensuring that they will be able to cope in a ‘normal’ work environment.
To date, INABLE has enrolled over 1,400 blind and visually-impaired students and teachers and established seven assistive technology computer labs in Kenya.
“To appreciate the significance of INABLE’s mission, it’s important to understand that the blind and visually-impaired are a neglected group in Africa—especially children. Many smart blind students complete their education very successfully with Braille skills, only to join a world that is completely oblivious to Braille,” says Executive Director, Irene Mbari-Kirika.