“We are on a roll here at Hello World. After ten years of steady growth my dream has become a reality, a dream of introducing thousands of people to the potential of the internet, for learning, personal development and communication.
In our ready-access world, we in the West have little real understanding of the limitations of isolation, particularly when life is tough and opportunities non-existent. Our work at Hello World cuts through isolation to enable far-flung communities to experience some of the benefits of a modern world, and to be an active part of that world. And at the same time, we celebrate local knowledge and skills. Hello World and our communities are true partners, with the shared aim of discovering new energy and new opportunities.” - Katrin McMillan, Founder and CEO of Hello World.
“My name is Niyogushimwa Kararise(12 years old), I'm Rwandan by nationality and I live in Kashojwa village. I didn't even know if there was really a place to learn good subjects outside of school and even for free, because it's my first time to come at Opportunigee hub. I couldn't stop my mouth from smiling with joy every time we discussed the subjects with friends I met at the hub. Today I learned important things about science. As I am in primary two, I will force myself to be among the first in the class and have a higher level compared to the others in my class from a good education system that I have just discovered here at Opportunigee hub in Nakivale.”
97% of the Hello Hub users in 2023 said that the Hub improved their quality of life. They are using the Hubs to research their civil rights, learn skills, and continue their education. Hello Hubs are not just solar-powered internet stations; across Uganda, Nigeria, and Nepal they are gateways to education. With over 1,250 users at each of the 95 Hubs, these stations provide connectivity, hardware, and world-class educational software. Empowering learners of all ages, the Hubs facilitate self-directed education, guided by touchscreen interfaces featuring apps like Onebillion and Khan Academy.
This is Nakyanja Agatha, a 27-year-old teacher at Wisdom High School in Kiyimbwe in Masaka: "Our CRE Class has been accessing Ndegeya Hub during lessons, improving learners' studies." Meanwhile, in Ichok, Nepal, 12-year-old Puja Tamang dreams of becoming a teacher and hones her artistic skills using the tablets at Hello Hubs. The impact of the Hubs extends beyond academic growth to personal development and creativity.
A prime example of our success is the Wahda ICT Center in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Yumbe District in Uganda. One user commented:
"When we were asked to start a typing club, I had enjoyed the game most and since then it made me type easily using both my hands...As a high school graduate I had always planned to attend an online course so since I have learned it, I am looking forward to starting online learning."
Through a fruitful partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), we revitalised the ICT center and also delivered basic computer training to 80 community members: 40 men, 40 women and included students with special needs, as identified by UNHCR. Today, the community proudly stewards their tech Hub, ensuring its sustainability through ongoing dialogue and collaborative efforts. This empowering model exemplifies the positive ripple effects of our work.
Education is still a profound challenge across the region, with high primary school drop-out rates, economic hardship, child labour, and early marriages. Our commitment to bridging the digital divide extends beyond Uganda's borders. In 2024, we're expanding our Hello World Hub network to empower underserved communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo in partnership with UNICEF and, in Burundi, with CARE, a global development organisation to complement education and skills building programmes. . These new connections will add to our existing hubs in Uganda (76), Nepal (20), and Nigeria (1), further reaching out to 124,000 people and strengthening our global impact.
As we commemorate International Education Day, Hello World celebrates the proven success of the Hello Hub model. Free internet, Wi-Fi hotspots, solar power, tablets, educational software and programmes that reach learners who need it most. Join us in championing quality education through improved learning, and connectivity. The Hello Hubs are not just stations; they're beacons of hope, lighting the way to a brighter, more educated and connected future.