There is big digital divide in Sudan between rural-urban, women- men, able- disabled people. Many children are traveling with their families due to climate changes looking for better grazing area and water resources for their animals and miss the education. Gedaref university has a problem in the e-Infrastructure. More than 16 % of the population is people with disability and they are very poor and they cannot afford to access the ICT. Theses challenged forced GDCO with its partners to find ways to tackle them. Women are more vulnerable group to poverty and illiteracy and they are not equally connected.
Telecentres are strong win-win public, people and private partnership (more than 87.000 Telecentres, in 52 countries, 72 national networks and 6 multi-lingual networks) sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices for the development of marginalized, disadvantage and underserved communities. Telecentres overcome barriers that limit the sustainable development, reduce the impact of poverty, empowering women through ICT and more than one million were trained the basic computer and internet courses 2014, include the excluded specially for people with disability. Telecentres are strong tools for eradication of the resources of illiteracy and improve the quality of education @ reduced costs through ICT. Gedaref digital city organization (GDCO) is a member of the global Telecentres movement and it is a non-governmental and non-profit civil society organization founded in partnership with Eindhoven Digital City (DSE) Netherlands and supported by many partners so it developed big win-win public, private and people partnership (PPPP) projects including e-Agriculture, out of school children e-learning, connecting people with disability (e-education) and empowering women through ICT projects. DSE donated 750 computers and they were used for developing our community projects. GDCO utilized the 750 computers donated by DSE to develop many e-education projects and the Objective of the projects are
1- Best utilization of ICT to improve the quality and environment of education for community development with the minimum cost.
2- Improve the quality of training, quality skills with accredited certification to enhance capacity building
3- Dry the resources of illiteracy instead of adult education
4- Bridging the digital divide especially within persons with disability, disadvantage and marginalized and underserved communities to include them in the society and promoting for the easiness of using the computer and internet for better e-inclusion
5- Achieving the millennium developments goals (8th MDGs) and achieving the sustainable development goals (17th SDGs)
6- Help the governments to speed up the e-services to the community.
7- Developing strong public, people and private partnership (PPPP), with academic and research institute to Share Knowledge, experiences and best practices through ICT for community development
8- Achieving the education for all with high quality and provide an interactive content (curriculums) through ICT
9- Building strong e-Infrastructure for Gedaref University
10- empowering women through ICT
GDCO with the support of the digital city of Eindhoven received 750computers and many projects were developed to tackle this problem including the e-Education project. The e-Education project include
1- people with disability
Al-amal Deaf School Telecentre (Dr. Agnes Centre)
GDCO donated computers and established telecentres for people with disability, out of school children, schools, youth and farmer unions, and Gedaref university. People with disability are still excluded from many areas of life especially information technologies (IT) and they had been ignored even in the millennium development goals (MDGs). GDCO donated 150 computers and 20 laptops to them and train them free. it provides many of them (specially the deaf and dump) computers to keep at home, practicing and communicating with their friends and families and maintaining or changing them if it is broken. GDCO works to include them in the community through ICT because: -
1- ICT training is an important economic and social factor
2- Most of them are very poor with big digital divide.
3- They are considered a useless community and no one care about them.
4- Promote for the easiness of using the computer and internet
5- Create a new source of revenue for them.
6- Equal access to ICT and no one is left behind by 2030.
7- Fighting against poverty or poverty elimination through ICT.
8- Help the deaf to communicate with their families, friends and have another way of communications instead of the sign language through chatting and e-mail all over the world instead of one place (sign language).
9- training, capacity building and skill development through ICT
10- Help them to share knowledge, experience and best practices to develop their communities.
Implementation and achievements
1- GDCO donated more than 150 PCs to train the disabled (disabled union, al-amal school for deaf, NGOs working with disabled)
2- GDCO donated 15 laptops to al-amal school for deaf, 5 laptops to Nour el-huda organization for children with intellectual disability, 6 laptops to active people with disability
3- GDCO trained the disabled for free GDCO provided many of the disabled specially the deaf and dump with free computers (60 computers) to keep at home, practicing and communicating with their friends and families and GDCO maintaining or changing them if it is broken
4- Training the deaf as trainers (TOT) which help in shortening time and reduce the cost of training (from 6 months to 21 days)
5- Integration & inclusion of the disabled in the community through many national and international conferences and exhibit (15 disabled persons) in Abu Dhabi UAE (ADDEX 2007) for disabled, KITEX Khartoum, scientific innovation exhibit in Khartoum, Telecentre workshop in Cairo.
6- Paying the cost of the internet for the disabled in the commercial internet café to demonstrate and promote for the easiness of access to the internet.
7- GDCO provided Brail printer (sheik zayid ins, UAE), 60 boxes of brail holly Quran (Tamkeen UAE), 200 blind sticks (omer Osman khogali) and early deaf discovery instrument (prime company sudan).
7- The Sudan celebrates the World Telecommunications Day May 17, 2008 at GDCO Telecentres in Khartoum and 70 deaf students and 90 physical disabled were graduated.
8- GDCO opens Dr. Agnes Telecentre in Gedaref Al-amal deaf school with 15 new child laptops and it is going to link it with a vocational training centre with 6 sewing machines and suitcase and shoes making machine.
9 - Trained more than 200 people with disability in Khartoum and more that this number in Gedaref
According to UNESCO 2015 report there are 58+63 million children (6 - 15 years old) are out of school and this is not including the war and disaster victims and 3 million are in Sudan. Training ICT skills to out of schoolchildren (illiterate) is another project to this marginalized, underserved and disadvantage communities.... GDCO developed an initiative with Gedaref ministry of education (represented by H.E. al-Bashir Sahal 2007), Sudan ministry of education (e-learning council and adult education Khartoum 2009), UNICEF, Solar-man company, Gedaref university and Ahfad University in 2009 a pilot e-Education project in wad al-Moshamir village in Gedaref state central council because more than 99% of the community are illiterate. After the project is tested, it will be replicated in 6 states in Sudan and then it will be replicated all over Sudan to solve the problem of the 3 million out of school children.
GDCO supported the project with 12 new laptops and solar unit as part of the donation of his Excellency the vice president of Sudan (Ustaz Ali Osman Mohamed Taha) and then 10 new child laptops from the award grant of GKP Foundation. Implementation of this project lead an innovative idea of a portable Telecentre (it can be tent, Gottia, truck or Rakooba) to provide a multi-services Telecentre especially for under-served rural area where most of these services are not available.
The project was supported by four (4) laptops as part of the UNICEF fund through Ahfad University. A solar unit from GDCO and another solar unit from solar man company through Ahfad University. GDCO and its partners (Gedaref central council and wad El-Moshamir village community) also supported the project with Gottia, clothes & shoes for student, and computer tables with chairs. Adult education council and Gedaref ministry of education provide the curriculum and paid for the Telecentre operator (teacher)
GDCO and its well-known partner, the digital City of Eindhoven (DSE) provided Gedaref University (IT and computer science college) with 100 computers for better connectivity and student practicing. This helps in opening the faculty two years in advance before the target dates. Also GDCO provided the community college (women) with 20 computers. The National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) awarded GDCO with two small building for the international awards GDCO received in 2008. Also NTC supported GDCO with 228 square meters Telecentre unit for its offices. GDCO donated the 2 units (20 square meters building each) as an e-library to the faculty of computer sciences and information communication technology to support the e-education project. GDCO donated the 228 square meters building as a Telemedicine Unit to the faculty of medicine and Gedaref hospital to treat severe sick people cases online and train the medical staff and medical students online. 75% of the revenue will be used for improving the unit and 25% will be used in GDCO and SEVO e-learning project. GDCO work for establishing a partnership between Fontys (Netherlands) and Gedaref universities
laptops and projectors for telemedince by SPEG
4- Women digital literacy
Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign is a global initiative of TCF & ITU to empower disadvantaged, marginalized and underserved women through ICT for better lives. Partners trained one million women by the end of 2013 GDCO is one of the first Telecentre start the campaign of training women the basic computer courses. It started with the families of the intellectual disabled and continues training with many partners. GDCO participated in the foundation of the first IT women network in Arab States
1- ICT is not part of the culture and not a priority
2- Poverty and financial support
3- High running cost, High cost of e-infrastructure and low speed internet
4- Limited number in out of schoolchildren classroom because all children go in the morning to bring the water from far distance and then they go with their animals looking for grazing area and in the evening they help their families in milking them
6- Limited number of student in al-amal deaf school because it is very difficult for the teacher to teach more than 10 deaf in the classroom
7- Limited access to energy sources and power supply
1- Continuous training with sustainable cost prices and starting in poor urban and rural area
2- Use schools, youth clubs and onsite training to avoid renting
3- Always have on call teachers on temporary jobs to reduce running cost
4- Hire a shepherd and a water tanker for out of school children project
5- Full automation of teaching in al-amal deaf school (SPEG projector and laptop)
6- Uses of Solar energy for charging laptop and charging mobile as source of revenue for sustainability
7- Developing strong win-win public, private, people partnership for community development
8- Digging water resources near the village for both human uses and animals and it can be also a source of revenue for sustainability
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