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The Kuyu Project: A new digital literacy initiative

June 25, 2010  »  Education & WebOne Comment

The attractive logo. {mtotowajirani.com} Click to visit The Kuyu Project.

If you’re keen on searching for African ICT terms on Twitter every day, then you may well be aware of a new website: The Kuyu Project. The site went live this past week (it was only registered on June 1st) and already has a mission statement, a blog (which is down for maintenance at the moment), and a wiki. The project, imagined by Mtoto Wa Jirani and incubated by African Tech Network, although only set in motion two months ago, is quite focused and well-planned. Long term goals of forming meaningful partnerships, using crowdsourcing for content, and interacting with mobile devices all seem reasonable. Now that the planning stages are complete, it’s just a matter of spreading the word. After all, every great idea needs an audience in order to be most effective. Fortunately, passion goes a long way, and the passion surrounding this project is perhaps its strongest asset.

Some details about The Kuyu Project, beginning with the mission statement:

The Kuyu Project is a digital literacy initiative aimed at teaching African High school students how to use various forms of technology and how to make use of the same to make a positive impact in their communities. We believe that by teaching these students how to use technology, we are in essence fueling their dreams and ambitions that may one day turn out to be the solutions and innovations that change the African continent.

Currently, the wiki contains links to the history of project (after all, the site was just publicly launched yesterday!) as well as types of content for the discussion to explore. There are also links to Open ICDL outlines. To participate in the discussion, one will either have to create a free Wikispaces account or simply use an OpenID account.

Visually, the distraction-free website seems designed for resolution down to 800×600 and has a vibrant and inspirational color scheme. Hyperlinks are easy to spot and the Contact page cannot be missed. A definite plus, considering the social goals of the project.

Hopefully the project can attract a substantial number of African youths. Many online African pedagogical endeavors appear to have a slightly older audience. However, interaction is the perfect foil of a short attention span. The use of a Wiki as opposed to a traditional forum/message board or even blog should help meet the project’s challenge.

(Curious about the name? ‘Kuyu’ is a district in Ethiopia.)