London (UK), April, 2015 - EdTech Europe, an education-technology-focused conference platform in Europe, has marked the launch of its EdTech Global Foundation with a $10,000 donation to Global Minimum Inc. (GMin), a charitable international organisation that encourages young innovators and leaders in Africa to engage with critical thinking skills and hands-on learning programmes to tackle challenges affecting their communities. The financial assistance provided by the EdTech Global Foundation will be the first in a series of philanthropic partnerships moving forward.
The EdTech Global Foundation aims to enhance life outcomes through supporting educational programmes, actively encourage innovation in education and training, and support research into the advancement of education technology.
Global Minimum will invest the donation from the EdTech Global Foundation across three programmes in Sierra Leone, Kenya, and South Africa to empower youth innovators:
- Innovate Challenges (InChallenges) - a national invention challenge for youth in Sierra Leone, Kenya, and South Africa. Eliciting project proposals from youth around the country and offering design workshops, seed funding, and mentorship to select finalists, it allows young people to develop concepts into tangible solutions that positively affect local communities. The InChallenges programme enhances critical and creative thinking, promotes civic engagement, strengthens STEAM literacies, and develops entrepreneurship and leadership skills.
- Innovation Labs (InLabs) - introducing new topics and skills such as electronics and robotics, programming, woodworking, filmmaking, and arts and design to select partner schools and surrounding communities to foster entrepreneurial and creative capacities and a spirit of innovation. The core aspects that drive the InLabs programme are safe and adequate physical spaces, technical tools, mentorship, and innovation leadership.
- Hack at Home (HaH) Design Challenge Series - a series of design and innovation challenges for Sierra Leonean youth to encourage creative solutions, while providing an online forum to exchange and develop ideas with peers and community members using WhatsApp and Facebook SMS. HaH includes design challenges related to Ebola and its by-products, as well as other interest-driven and critical-thinking issues to exercise the imagination of youth. The HaH initiative is administered on the Innovate Salone Facebook Community Group and eight WhatsApp groups across the country.
"Despite growing global interconnectivity and opportunity, creativity and innovation of young people in Africa, the Continent continues to be sidelined. This limits the flow of good ideas that turn into tangible solutions that could overcome local problems. For African countries to continue to grow, the youth must be enabled to learn the relevant skills for an innovation-driven economy. We are grateful for the support from the EdTech Global Foundation, which will allow us to further support our youth to test and implement their ideas to improve society. Together we will create remarkable stories to inspire others and create a culture of civic engagement through action within their communities," commented David Sengeh, President and Co-Founder of Global Minimum Inc.
"As an organisation established to connect the international education-technology industries, we fundamentally believe that it is important to give back into this innovative community. We are delighted to be supporting such empowering programmes as Global Minimum and look forward to working with them to see real impact," said Charles McIntyre EdTech Global Co-Founder and Chair of the EdTech Global Foundation. "As the EdTech Global Foundation continues to develop, we’re excited to review the possibilities of working with other innovative education-focused charities or non-profit organisations to create real innovation and change, not just in the EdTech industry but to people’s lives."