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Vodacom Tanzania Foundation brings refugees hope through technology

On 20 June 2021, the Vodacom Tanzania Foundation (VTF) marked World Refugee Day by donating essential neonatal and educational technology to the Nyagurusu Refugee Camp in Kigoma, Tanzania.

The Health Center received donations of vital equipment including baby warmers, oxygen meters and oxygen concentrators

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For several years, the VTF has partnered with the Doris Mollel Foundation, the Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) and has worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the UNHCR to address the health and education needs of refugees hosted in Tanzania. 

TRCS Health Center welcomes neonatal donations

VTF’s interventions have thus far centred on neonatal health and the education of displaced children. The Health Center run by TRCS was supplied with donations of vital equipment, including baby warmers, oxygen meters, cots, oxygen concentrators and feeder tubes. 

As of last year, nearly 1000 premature babies born in the camp have thrived due to these lifesaving medical devices. The affected babies require constant attention, have extreme difficulty breathing and are born with underdeveloped immune systems. The donated technology will allow medical staff to give the children at the Nyagurusu Camp’s Health Center the quality medical care they deserve. 

Nyagurusu joins Instant Network of Schools

The Foundation also launched a branch of its Instant Network Schools (INS) in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp. The edutech centre is one of 386 digital schools operating across eight refugee camps in Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan and Mozambique.

Launched in 2013 by the Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR, INS seeks to give young refugees, their hosts and their teachers access to the internet and digital learning content, thereby improving the quality of education in marginalised African communities. 

INS is a free digital programme that hopes to connect 500 000 refugee children to quality education by 2025. The equipment used to set up the digital ‘school-in-a-box’ is user-friendly and can be set up in minutes. The donated equipment includes tablets for learners, laptops for teachers, a projector and a 3G router for internet access.

The INS programme has already seen positive results, including an increase in informational communications technology (ICT) literacy of 61% for students and 125% for teachers and higher levels of school attendance, with many learners accessing tertiary education from within refugee camps for the first time. 

Localised educational content is aligned to national curriculums and supports the study of core subjects. Most importantly, INS equips learners with digital skills, opening the door to future employment opportunities.

Rosalynn Mworia, Director of VTF said, “Vodacom Tanzania Foundation is gratified to be in a position to extend provisions to refugees hosted by Tanzania during these extremely traumatic times in their lives.”

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Featured image: Learners participating in VTF INS programme (Supplied)

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