Chimwemwe Community Information and Learning Centre

Chimwemwe Community Information and Learning Centre

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Goal: $60,000

From Simon Wandila

To improve education and livelihoods through an ICT enabled Information and Knowledge Hub

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We are building a state of the art Knowledge Hub to improve especially livelihoods of marginalised groups such as youth and women and farmers in rural areas of Zambia.

Youth Skills for Development

www.youthskills4dev.org

The majority of rural populations in Zambia depend on agriculture as an economic mainstay. However, access to information and communication to support their production, marketing and financial services among other needs plays a pivotal role in ensuring agriculture improves the livelihood of farmers, improves food security, and brings sustainable economic development. Farmers and young people in most rural areas in Zambia do not have adequate up to date or timely information and access to knowledge and communication. They lack access to information on pricing information, agricultural production techniques, financial awareness, and marketing.

Rural youth and farmers also find it difficult to access timely and up to date health information and treatment adherence advisory, including sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS and TB treatment.

The key to the above challenges is Universal Access to ICTs and internet; to empower the poor, particularly those living in remote, rural and marginalized urban areas, to access information and to use ICTs as a tool to support their efforts to lift themselves out of poverty. (Declaration of Principles, Document WSIS-03/GENEVA/DOC/4-E 12 December 2003). However, means of addressing the needs of the marginalized still remains unattended to in most communities and the rural areas of Zambia are not an exemption. It is the mission of Youth Skills for Development to create an environment in which the community should have access to information and knowledge for their survival and development, and it is one of our objectives to establish a community needs centred information and communication centre, with a focus on ICT for development.This project model is one of the starting points for driving towards achievement of universal access. This approach will increase public access to ICTs and the internet, and other relevant services that may not be readily available through ordinary means, creating an environment for the improvement of education and livelihoods especially unemployed youth and rural farmers. This model has the potential to help breakdown some of the largest barriers to development that are presently faced by low –income populations like the residents of the rural communities of the Copperbelt province of Zambia.

The Improving Education and Livelihoods through ICT enabled Knowledge Hub Project will take advantage of the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to improve education and transform people’s livelihoods, and increase their participation in social, political, economic and environmental development. The venture will be a community hub for inclusive social and economic development through ICT for development; promoting Information and Communication Technology as an integral part of Development rather than technology focus alone. The project’s main areas of focus will be education, health and economic development.  and   The services have been categorised as follows:

 

  • Information, Knowledge & Advisory Services: This follows a well-structured and connected provision of the much needed information by most people in the productive sector both public and private with the main focus on agriculture and education. Content will be repackaged where necessary to ensure easy access, especially using multimedia. The services includeAgricultural information Services (pricing, weather, marketing, and other agricultural extension related information and knowledge products)Health information (including treatment reminders, tips, notices), Micro, Small and Medium, Enterprise information, Job information, Education information, Social Awareness information, e-Library. Knowledge products will be repackaged in various multimedia forms and translated into local languages, so as to ensure that those with low literacy levels also find it useful. Dissemination will also be made in various forms including audio and text for mobile communication, mobile phone format videos such as .3gp, as well as in forms that makes the content to be viewed on household multimedia players.

SMS and voice messages will also be used to disseminate the content. Linkages will be formulated among education providers, health institutions, agriculture departments, agropreneurs, small scale farmer groups, agricultural research institutions and other experts in the field.

Extension officers, teachers, health workers will have access to computers, internet and other ICT tools, and be trained on how to effectively integrate the use of ICT in delivering their work. In turn they will use the same tools for continuous delivery of services.

Goals

-          To establish an ICT enabled knowledge hub that will bring together  diverse knowledge on education , agriculture and health

-       To provide teachers with skills and knowledge to enable them to manage and communicate in an online learning environment using a range of ICT applications to develop educational resources to support learning and also gain insight into how they can integrate appropriate ICT technologies to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

-       To improve the delivery of health information to the youth and rural farmers

-       Improve health by enhancing adherence to treatment for rural farmers and youths

-       To improve agriculture and its impact on the livelihoods of farmers the integration of ICT into agriculture

-       To improve agricultural productivity and market access through the use of ICT

-       To provide ICT based agriculture extension services

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