With a total population of approximately 102 million (World Bank, 2017), Ethiopia is the second largest populous country in Africa. Although it is the fastest growing economy in the region, it is also one of the poorest, with a per capita income of 783 USD.
Half of the population are under 18 years old and 45% are living in poverty. Access to quality education and health services are challenging particularly in rural areas of the country.
To leave these deprived living conditions, the country needs more and more specific tools to develop its potential through education, and training helping people succeed in finding a better job on one side and taking full control of their lives on the other.
To give an answer to the local needs the ST Foundation decided to bring the program in the country 3 years ago. The DU Program was initiated in 2015 in collaboration with two partners: Fondation pour une Solidarité International a registered Swiss Family Foundation working on educational projects and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), an Ethiopian non-profit organization created in 2007 and active on the field of education, vocational skills, entrepreneurship, livelihood, community development, gender mainstreaming and environment protection.
The joint initiative, located in the area of Debre Birhan, has the target of making computers available to children, adults, local administration staff, teachers and to the whole community. Most of them are, in fact, illiterate from an informatics point of view and before the arrival of the DU program they had almost never had access to ICTs tools.
Now thanks to the DU lab they can come and improve their skills to be more and more familiar on how computers can enhance their lives from different perspectives.
The courses are going on and as of June 2019 we trained over 1,700 students.
Locally we have almost reached all the possible beneficiaries that can be interested in basic informatics teachings and we are now evaluating the possibility of introducing advanced courses.