In February 2019, Dr. Laura Hosman and Bruce Baikie traveled to the Kakuma Refugee camp in Northern Kenya, to investigate the possibility of a pilot launch of the SolarSPELL offline digital library in primary schools there.
These travels were undertaken alongside Fonda Kempton, Executive Director of Bridge2Rwanda, and Hakim Monykuer Awuok, of Empower Kids South Sudan, who were conducting interviews of students within the camp, to determine finalist candidates for the Bridge2Rwanda scholars program.
Within the camp, Baikie and Hosman visited a technology-equipped Teacher Resource Center, the Angelina Jolie Girls Boarding School, and a public library, all of which were equipped with the Vodafone Instant Network Schools system and tablets (each location is also supported by multiple local technology coaches).
Nonetheless, local primary schools (as pictured below) still lack such technology or support.
After meeting and speaking multiple times with the UNHCR Education Officer and Head of Sub-Office (Kakuma), and after meeting and giving demonstrations to primary school principals, we believe that the SolarSPELL can and would be a useful tool for primary schools in Kakuma. We will be pursuing the possibility of launching a pilot phase in two primary schools in Kakuma, working with UNHCR and other local partners.