Fundi Bots, a technology outreach programme for students, will be one of such recipients alongside Savannah Signatures of Ghana and 3 more from Africa. There will be a total of 13 beneficiaries this year.
The story of Uganda’s Fundi Bots is not a rare one. It is one that we get to hear of often. Someone dares to dream and after dreaming does not just wake to go on with life ; instead they wake up put the dream to paper and then struggle to make this dream a reality.
According to the Creator/Founder of ‘fundi Bots’, Solomon King Benge;
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by machines. My father stopped buying toys for me because he couldn’t see the point. I always tore them apart minutes after getting them. I simply had to find out what made them work and if I could make them better. It frustrated him, and it absolutely liberated me.”
“When dearest daddy stopped buying the toys, I started making them. Wire and rubber-band cars that ran on batteries and cassette player motors. Wooden “bikes” that rolled treacherously down the hill with us kids holding on for dear life. Helicopters that vibrated fearsomely but never got off the ground”
After high school Solomon built the first of his robots. However he noticed something was amiss; In 2006 he used the internet for the first time and realized why his robot was lifeless. It was then that he discovered microcontrollers. Tiny little chips that bring robots to life, however he could not afford them.
In 2009 someone in his own words; “generously and unexpectedly” handed him a collection of microcontrollers, programming boards and software – a gesture that spurred his desire to create robots again.
Fundi Bots’ main objective is to create an atmosphere through which African children can learn and also be able to experiment with technology at an early age. This aids creativity and enables the students to practice the Sciences in high school and maybe not be biased against them. The Uganda School curriculum does not support this kind of learning system.
Their dream therefore is to create a sustainable organization that that will not only help Ugandan children but also children in other developing countries.
And this they hope to achieve not just through ‘fancy’ and expensive equipment but also through involving you and me and anyone else that has a heart for the youth of developing countries.
Other African Beneficiaries
Great Olympiad Science Competitions, Science Teachers Enrichment Program Summer and Science/Mathematics Program | Youth Care Foundation | The Gambia
The Youth Care Foundation, The Gambia is chartered charity organization. It works in partnerships with the following organizations to promote and advance interests in Mathematics and Sciences: Directorates of Science and Technical Education, The Gambia, Science Teachers Association The Gambia (STAGAM), and Mathematics Teachers’ Association The Gambia (MTAGAM)
ICT Clinic for Girls, Savana Signatures , Ghana
Savana Signatures has a mission to promote the development of youth and women through education and knowledge sharing. It seeks to use ICT as catalyst to develop the minds of youth and women for the benefit of Ghana’s development and builds capacity of women to access information for their social and economic growth; builds capacity of youth to use ICT for entrepreneurial development; trains teachers and students to integrate ICT into teaching and learning; re-orients the youth and women in the use of ICT for entrepreneurial growth and advancement; conducts research on ICT4D with a focus on youth and women.
Akirachix Training Program, Akirachix Association, Kenya
AkiraChix aims to build a successful force of women in Technology that will change Africa’s future. In line with one of our missions of inspiring and developing women in technology, we aim to conduct a technical training for twenty five young women from socio-economically disadvantaged areas of Nairobi who lack opportunities for post-secondary education. As demonstrated from our successful first year, this program will give these young women the opportunity to find financial independence as technology professionals. The Google RISE funding will facilitate the running of this second edition of the program by covering the program costs.
Young Girls Science and Health Tele-Academy, Youth for Technology Foundation – Nigeria
The mission of YTF is to create enriched learning communities where the use of technology affords opportunities for marginalized youth and women living in developing countries. The Young Girls Science & Health Tele-Academy teaches Nigerian girls, ages 13 through 18, to use technology to research and disseminate information about a principal cause of cancer deaths in African women- breast cancer. Beneficiaries will increase their interest in a STEM career, and increase multicultural understanding. Collaboration software, digital cameras, computers, smart phones, radio and the Internet will be used to enable girls to collaborate with digital peers, leading educators and health professionals.