Dispatch #7 The future can be brighter
Well, what a year it has been (to state the bloody obvious). 2020 has laid bare so many problems and inadequacies in the way the world operates and, as always, it looks like those who have the least will suffer the most.
In 2013, when the first Hub was built, we were years ahead of what the world has finally come to acknowledge in 2020. It took a pandemic to highlight this axiom: proper access to the internet is not a luxury but a necessity and online learning is the key to bridging the education deficit.
As for 2021, it’s already looking busy. Plans are underway to build five new hubs in Nepal and three more in Uganda, early in the year.
What is happening at the hubs?
It is now a full year since most of our Hello Hubs were built and they have proved to be more successful than we could have imagined. 23,000 people were able to access the Internet to continue their education while schools were closed. The hubs also facilitated the opening of businesses, the learning of new skills, playing and communicating, staying-up to-date on health guidelines and preventing the spread of COVID-19. They have become ‘hubs’ in every sense of the word – centres of community life as well as gateways to the rest of the world.
Community support officers have organised the children into groups so that each child has valuable time to learn every week. Young women who had to drop out of school for financial reasons have attended daily technology and life skills training and we have been gratified to see their confidence skyrocket. One Hub user, Bob, is teaching web design and coding classes to a group. You can read his plans here.
Our Hub Heroes have become a tightly-knit group of mothers who are committed to a savings scheme, are teaching each other new business skills, and are learning how to use the technology every Friday. This is merely a snapshot – a range of Hub activities can be seen on our social media.
In celebration of team-work.
Through all of the turmoil of 2020 Hello World has had a lot to celebrate. Our team has been strengthened by Angharad Jones who joins us as COO. Angharad brings a wealth of experience and know-how from her impressive private sector career and we are excited to have her on board. As restrictions in Uganda were lifted last week, Engineer and Community Lead, Hillary, was married to Carol. Our congratulations to them! And finally three new babies were welcomed during lockdown: Abigail, Ottoline and Alexa are all happy and healthy and bringing us much festive joy.
As this extraordinarily challenging year draws to a close, I encourage you to think of those who did not have access to the necessary technology, power or wifi to keep on learning, and to hold in your hearts the children who have never had access to schools or home-learning. They are the reason Hello World exists and why we forge on against the odds. But to do our work, we need your help. We know times are tough, but if you can, please support us. Thank you.
I wish you a wonderful end to the year, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. As always, I am grateful for your ongoing support and encouragement,
P.S. Check out our latest Education Is…interview with Dave Berry, TV Presenter, Radio Host, and Writer.
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