MTN kicks off employee volunteer program with call to share knowledge
MTN Group is inviting social media users across Africa and the Middle East to join its employees in a virtual campaign to break down traditional barriers to education, by sharing interesting facts during the company’s annual 21 Days of Y’ello Care programme.
Using the hashtag #ShareKnowledge, members of the public with access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are encouraged to share fun facts or pieces of information about their countries that are less known but of great interest to the world. The campaign aims to pass on knowledge and make learning fun.
“Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote, Be the change you want to see in the world, we are launching this campaign to practically demonstrate the role of technology in enabling greater access to education. We are particularly excited about this initiative because it is something that everyone in our communities can be part of,” says Chris Maroleng, Executive for Corporate Affairs, MTN Group.
While the knowledge share efforts gain momentum virtually, MTN employees will be making a difference physically by embarking on a myriad of education-focused activities in local communities. These range from classroom renovations and literacy projects, to Information Communication Technology (ICT) training and the provision of digital educational content.
Maroleng says if past efforts are anything to go by, 2017 will deliver yet another memorable Y’ello Care campaign for communities in MTN’s markets. “In 2016, more than 10 000 employees participated in Y’ello Care. Together, they built 10 classrooms, established 56 libraries and launched eight ICT labs. Their efforts benefitted more than 100 000 people in our communities,” says Maroleng.
Y’ello Care 2017 activities:
MTN Syria employees will renovate classrooms and install new computers, complete with internet connectivity and electronic learning material, at a school in Damascus.
In Swaziland, MTNers will construct an entire school, consisting of seven classrooms in the Manzini region. Employees will also rehabilitate a primary school for the deaf. The team will train teachers on using technology and run a campaign, to improve the functional literacy of children below Grade 3.
MTNers in Guinea Bissau plan to construct a digital computer centre for communities in the village of Bachil. In addition, together with the Institute for Biodiversity and Protected Areas (IBAP), the team will also embark on an awareness campaign to educate learners about environmental protection.
MTN Business in Botswana will focus on digital content, and in particular, on training people with special needs. Here, employees will develop and host an e-education portal for the visually impaired, to enable them to download and listen to course content. The team will also upgrade the computer software currently used to print braille material.
In Kenya, MTN Business will strive to inspire entrepreneurship through mentorship and the provision of technology. The team will provide connectivity and install digital content at the Kabete Rehabilitation Centre and Dagoretti Girls Rehabilitation Centre. MTNers in Kenya will also teach students basic web and app development skills.
MTNers in Cyprus will establish a digital classroom at the Cyprus Youth Clubs Organisation. The project will see volunteers renovate the Youth Clubs and provide technological equipment and internet connectivity. They will also expose learners to virtual reality technology and teach them about internet safety and cyberbullying.
ICT training will take centre stage in Afghanistan, as MTNers conduct computer training for teachers in Kabul. At the end of the training, MTN will establish a computer lab in three schools. MTN staff will also establish a shelter for the Abdul Hai Habibi High School, to protect students from the heat, as well as put together stationery packs for learners and donate furniture to the beneficiaries.
In Nigeria, MTNers will refurbish and donate an ICT lab complete with an online learning hub to the students and teachers of the Lagos State Government Education District III. In addition, MTN Nigeria will participate in the ‘Adopt a School’ initiative, through the donation of digital learning material. MTN Nigeria will close off its 21 Days of Y’ello Care programme by empowering the physically challenged as well as host training workshops for ICT teachers.
MTNers in Benin will spend their time renovating several orphanages where they will also establish vegetable gardens. In addition, they will equip the orphanages with computers and digital learning material. The Benin team will embark on a project titled “MTN Sé Wé” which will see thirty facilitators receive training on the use of Benin’s innovation app, dedicated to literacy course content. MTN Benin will further establish three digital classrooms in Bohicon, Ketou and Parakou and host literacy courses with a particular focus on women.
In Ivory Coast, MTNers will construct 7 additional classrooms, 10 toilets, a canteen and a library at the Marchoux Primary School in Bingerville. The team will also conduct ICT training for primary school teachers and entrepreneurship training for the youth.
MTN Sudan employees will provide tutoring for homeless children, with a focus on academics, arts, ICT and sport. Further, MTN Sudan will provide training to teachers on the first software system to digitise learning content. MTNers will also work with students and researchers at the Sudan National Museum to digitise, translate and upload content related to Sudan’s history literature as part of the E-Museum initiative.
In Ghana, MTNers will embark on a series of refurbishment activities including carpentry, re-roofing, painting and computer installation, at the Street Academy School in Accra. The team will also conduct reading clinics and teacher training in various regions.
In Namibia, MTNers are set to participate in a 21km education run, as well as the Ida Hoffmann regeneration project, where they will repaint walls and ceilings of classrooms.
MTNers in Uganda will refurbish existing classroom structures as well as donate two computers with internet to the Pagirinyi Refugee Settlement Project, Teso Regional Hunger Project and Bidi Refugee Settlement Project. In addition, the MTN Internet Bus Project will once again provide training, mentorship and career guidance for learners and teachers.
The Bobongo High School in Douala will be the main beneficiary of MTN Cameroon’s Y’ello Care project. Here, MTNers will complete three classrooms, including a scientific laboratory. Their work will include bricklaying, carpentry and painting. In addition, MTN Cameroon will establish a media library at a school in Yaounde, digitise course content for the University of Bamenda and implement an IT platform connecting various secondary schools.
In Zambia, MTN will host a Y’ello Corporate Football Tournament to raise funds to purchase ICT equipment for the Virtuous Future School. MTN Zambia will partner with Edulution to empower disadvantaged youth through ICT training. The team will also embark on a ‘sweep and clean day’, which will see MTNers clean the surroundings of two schools and simultaneously conduct an ICT clinic.
MTNers in Rwanda will spend the next 21 days implementing a digital application to manage communication around education for teachers, students and the education department. The team will host ICT training, and mentorship and reading sessions. They will also construct three classrooms, as well as install solar panels and water tanks to enable access to clean water.
In South Africa, a 21km marathon will once again be held to raise funds for ICT in education. Funds will be donated to the Ekurhuleni School for the Deaf in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni. The school will receive a customised state of the art multimedia centre for deaf learners.
MTN Congo Brazzaville will establish three classrooms, fully equipped with 15 computers and 4G connection at The Mbama High School.
In South Sudan, MTN will host a digital debate among schools, which is aimed at improving research, confidence and public speaking capabilities among the learners. MTNers will also be involved in the production of benches for students at Juba University, which will enable them to ‘learn for free’. Students currently ‘rent’ chairs during discussion groups. In addition, the team will renovate and install a computer laboratory at the Juba Health Sciences Institute.
MTNers in Guinea Conakry will also spend time renovating youth centres. MTN Guinea Conakry will also provide a number of IT and ICT scholarships. Students will be required to develop a mobile application and the best application will receive a scholarship and an internship at MTN.
In Liberia, MTNers will embark on a series of refurbishment activities including renovating the bathrooms, re-roofing and painting, at several schools across the country.
MTN Group staff based in Johannesburg will renovate the Grade 8 block at the Lenz Public School. In addition, the team has partnered with the Wot If Trust on a series of “Thinkubation” sessions, which will see senior management share insights and advice with entrepreneurs in Diepsloot.
Prize monies for the best campaigns
At the end of the programme, all MTN operations that participate in Y'ello Care stand in line to win monetary prizes, which are to be invested into CSI or community upliftment programmes in their market. These include the Group President & CEO prize of US$100 000 and Vice President prizes for each region (WECA, SEA and MENA) of US$30 000.