You can't imagine what you don't know.
In rural communities across Kenya and East Africa, local innovation is vital to improving standards of living and quality of life- whether that's related to water, energy, education, or healthcare. Yet, the vast majority of rural schools are still without access to computers, limiting knowledge creation to the resources within the four walls of the classroom- resources that are often painfully scarce. Creating a generation that can employ creative thinking to imagine new innovations means giving them access to new information. It means giving them access to a computer, and providing them with a computer education.
You can't solve what you don't realize.
There are well over 1,000 NGO's in East Africa- in addition to a growing number of social enterprises and a burgeoning development sector. But the lack of infrastructure and digitalization in remote and last-mile communities means that there still exists a huge data gap, making effective decision-making difficult for private and public sector alike. In just one example, the availability of data on 55 core indicators for the UN’s 2015 Millennium Development Goals never exceeded 70%, and much of it was estimates or extrapolated figures. Without a reliable means of data collection in remote and last-mile communities, organizations cannot accurately plan, fund, or evaluate their activities.
Re-Imagining Computer Education.
Lumen integrates data collection with digital learning to bridge the educational and data gap in rural Kenya. Working with schools, Lumen creates Lumen Labs: computer labs where digital literacy is taught through data collection projects. Students are trained to conduct market surveys with their heads of households, after which Lumen aggregates and validates the data for our clients. Separately, our students are taught to analyze and create stories with the data on the computer, mastering key digital skills such as excel and word processing. Our model allows students to learn through hands-on, project-based learning while simultaneously providing data to the decision-makers who need it most.