SISTERS REACHING OUT TO SISTERS

Eunice Owino
Posted July 28, 2020 from Kenya

I was honored to be interviewed by a fellow World Pulse sister on Education, COVID-19 and the rural children

The below is the report Suzan came up with....

A year ago, digitalisation discuss especially in Nigeria, where I come from became even more intense due to the swift thirst for information, connectivity and networking for most communities especially in rural settings.

Today, digital technology has become a necessity of life. The growing coronavirus pandemic has shown that though the world can shut down in a single breathe, one thing can keep activities steady, digital technology.

A recent visit to the northern rural community I grew up in left me distraught as all I could see were years of abandonment, classrooms that needed rescue and an unfit environment for a child’s brain to develop. Seeing this, made me realise that digit-tech in such a place, was a far-fetched dream. Where children lacked adequate academic materials and not to mention, teachers who are handicapped as they have no grounded knowledge of modern technology.

My thoughts went wild thinking how children especially young girls growing up in rural communities during the forced COVID-19 lockdown must be feeling imprisoned, denied and frustrated.

I believe community leaders need to cry out to governments and organisations for a boost in rural education with well-trained and improved teachers, upgraded learning environment and most importantly digital advancement.

These communities need more than televisions and the radio to inform and enlighten them. They need to connect to the rest of the world and see how education can occur beyond the classroom. Parents in these communities also need to key into this world of knowledge because they owe it to themselves and their children to be technologically compliant.

In my drive to be part of the #SheTransformTech movement where we speak as sisters for digital space to be made available for women and young girls, I decided to move beyond Nigeria to have a chat with my World Pulse sister all the way from Nairobi, Kenya. We had a good laugh and shared tales of the presence of rural education in our countries and how young girls suffer education denial. Above all, we rubbed minds on the way forward for digit-tech to revamp African rural education.

Eunice Owino is a native of Homa Bay County in Kenya. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, a Masters in Sociology, Community Development and is at the brink of finishing her Ph.D. in Development Studies.

With a wealth of experience in the workforce and in the area of non-government movement for women and young girls in ICT through the Centre for Women Empowerment in Technology (CWET), she had a lot to say about rural education and the cry for tech especially for women and young girl within Kenya’s rural community of Homa Bay and Muranga County.

https://gofile.io/d/fBHrlp (Audio link of the interview. Unscripted and unedited to show all technical and personal setbacks).

Adding to her rich efforts towards the #SheTransformsTech, I was also ecstatic to see that the eight-point agenda of the DIGITAL COOPERATION endorsed by the United Nations, had the first point as “Achieving Universal Connectivity.” This for me is the start of something really big. Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations went further to emphasise that, “All gender gaps must be bridged to ensure that both women and young girls are technologically empowered.”

This says it all for me. Now more than ever, all hands must be on deck to revamp rural education through tech.

As we advocate for better education, youth development and women empowerment, world governments and NGOs cannot put a blind eye to this cause. Digitalisation must be evenly dispersed because if there is to be equality, then there must be equity.

As children in urban settings are able to achieve a continuance in their education through online schooling in the phase of the pandemic, then rural education should not be ignored nor suffer. These children must not be made to feel low self-esteem or see digital education as a thing too advanced for them to grasp. Any low self-worth must be erased and all stigmas countered if we want to ensure that all children, regardless of their background feel important and accepted.

All it takes is one school at a time and with a single computer, education will take a whole new dimension. We need to invest more in tech for rural education.

Competitions and awards should be at the disposal of thousands of rural schools where digit-tech equipment can be won and scholarships made available to every child who has a passion for technology and awaits a chance to advance. These are the moves that can deplete the increasing education gaps in terms of personal and technological development.

 

Comments 20

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Damilola Fasoranti
Jul 28
Jul 28

Thanks for sharing this, Eunice

I love this and I guess it is because I can relate. My education work in rural communities in Nigeria and other African countries has shown that there is a lot of work to do for an average rural child to catch up with the rest of the world.

Each day as I keep working in here, I see more possibilities created from the available resources and it keeps getting better when we are focus and resilient enough to make things work no matter the difficulties.

SUZAN
Jul 29
Jul 29

Thank you so much for reading and being part of such an amazing community.

Hello, Eunice,

Congratulations on this collaboration with Suzan! It's so inspiring when World Pulse sisters help one another. Great job to you!

It's a wonderful preparation for the new normal where most are encourage to study online.

I hope you continue to collaborate with more World Pulse sisters. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing this with us!

SUZAN
Jul 29
Jul 29

Thank you so much Karen, and yes, this is the beginning of the new normal and the best part is that somehow its bringing people closer through tech. I just hope soon, rural communities can experience the same previllege.

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jul 28
Jul 28

Dear Eunice,
what a great report shared from Susan and written from you about the need for more education in term of development to move our women, girls and youth forward. The power of leadership to be in position to implement programs that give opportunity to others in rural and remote communities is a task in itself and I feel must be done. If not you, WHO?
Congratulations to read your story and all the best rewards in completing your Ph. D. studies.
sincerely.
Mama Queen

SUZAN
Jul 29
Jul 29

Thank you so much.

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jul 30
Jul 30

Dear Suzan,
your very welcome .

Chi8629
Jul 28
Jul 28

Thank you beautiful sister
For sharing . You are loved.

Nini Mappo
Jul 29
Jul 29

Dear Eunice,
Your share gives a glimmer of hope to addressing the widening educational gap between urban and rural learners in our country and across Africa due to school closures. Especially as a woman in a position of influence who is in touch with the needs on the ground.

Thank you for sharing.

SUZAN
Jul 29
Jul 29

Thank you more for reading. As we strive to embrace the new normal, we also hope it will bring about positive change for rural education.

Mariama Kallon
Jul 29
Jul 29

Congratulations dear,
Collaborating with Susan it a great step sister of world pulse assisting each other.

This is encouraging dear thanks for sharing.

SUZAN
Jul 29
Jul 29

Thanks for reading

SUZAN
Jul 29
Jul 29

Eunice, thank you so much for making our interview so informative and interesting.

Jayne Cravens
Jul 29
Jul 29

I keep hearing about all these amazing tech-related projects out of Nigeria - and meeting amazing Nigerian women online!

SUZAN
Jul 30
Jul 30

Yeah, to be honest, a lot of tech hubs are opening up in Nigeria and it will be super worth while if it can be used to boost education, empower women, young girls and youths and help the economy thrive. Not just for Nigeria but especially for countries with poor statistical records of technological advancement. The pandemic is crying out for this global impact.

Sanjali
Jul 30
Jul 30

Great Work & initiative, sister.

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 07
Aug 07

Dear Eunice,
This is such good news! So true that technology needs to be available to everyone. We are working toward a world in which everyone has equal access. The work that you and Suzan are doing is the backbone of what needs to happen. So powerful that you have been able to meet and collaborate. All of our governments and the UN need to be held accountable to make their agenda of the DIGITAL COOPERATION a reality.

Vanora.Lee
Aug 07
Aug 07

What really demonstrates Better Together through alliance and collaborations, thank you so much you work to bridge those in rural to the world connectivity. Please share us more in future. May God bless you and all in rurals!

Sheroo
Aug 13
Aug 13

Welldone girl....hope to explore and know more about your project
sister from Zimbabwe

lemonadelemon
Aug 30
Aug 30

Awesome. Thank you for sharing

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