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Monday, 3 May 2021

Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2022

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

 

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It awards crucial commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

An eight-month period of tailored training and mentoring culminates in a showcase event where a winner is selected to receive £25,000 along with three runners-up, who are each awarded £10,000.


A low-cost water-powered ventilator, dissolvable bioplastic and 3D printed prosthetics are among the innovations chosen to receive crucial commercialisation support from the Royal Academy of Engineering after being shortlisted for its 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

The Africa Prize recognises ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges and this year’s shortlist represents nine countries including, for the first time, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Ethiopia and the Gambia. Six of the 16-strong shortlist are female innovators.The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It awards crucial commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development.

An eight-month period of tailored training and mentoring culminates in a showcase event where a winner is selected to receive £25,000 along with three runners-up, who are each awarded £10,000.


A low-cost water-powered ventilator, dissolvable bioplastic and 3D printed prosthetics are among the innovations chosen to receive crucial commercialisation support from the Royal Academy of Engineering after being shortlisted for its 2021 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

The Africa Prize recognises ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges and this year’s shortlist represents nine countries including, for the first time, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Ethiopia and the Gambia. Six of the 16-strong shortlist are female innovators.

Friday, 30 April 2021

The KIR Foundation: Strengthening Resilience of The Education System Through The Book Drive Campaign.

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

 

 The Corona Virus pandemic marked a watershed in the global education system and like other countries, Nigeria was grappling with an unprecedented situation. For many of Nigeria’s schoolchildren, remote learning during the worst periods of the pandemic was not an option. Unsuccessful attempts were made to practice large-scale remote learning. Alternative solutions, such as television and radio programs, were not developed in time to reach large numbers of schoolchildren. Only a minority (those who attended rich private schools) were able to stay linked to their schools through technology such as video conferencing, academic software and online tutorials. The majority, who live in rural/underserved areas, were not able to continue their studies. To tell the truth, Nigeria was not prepared for the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This situation increased the risk of school dropout and exacerbated the many other challenges that children, especially the most vulnerable (those living in rural/underserved areas) already faced.

To bridge this gap and strengthen resilience in education, the KIR Foundation initiated the Book Drive Campaign in commemoration of her 10th Anniversary celebration. The Book Drive aspires to assimilate the reading culture among children in underserved and marginalised primary schools nationwide.  It provides for crosscutting activities, including needs assessment, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation of learning, and production of knowledge that will serve to both enhance the performance of the education in inadequately serviced schools, and strengthen its resilience. The lessons learned from the program will help inform discussions on how to strengthen preparedness and response capacities. The Book Drive Campaign focuses special attention on the most vulnerable children, including those living in rural areas, and the internally displaced children. Beneficiary schools are selected on the basis of vulnerability criteria established in consultation with volunteer implementing partners nationwide.

For the ERCC Nursery and Primary School Lafia, Nasarawa State Nigeria, the setting up of a Reading Corner and the marking of the World Creativity and Innovation Day was a day that will forever be remembered.  The ERCC Nursery and Primary School, Bukansidi, is a mission school owned and managed by the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ. Partnering with our volunteer implementing partner organization MyEnvironmentMyWealth, honourably represented by Christopher Zhedoga, a representative from the Value Chain Development Programme, The Executive Director, Citizens Center for Justice, Leadership and Peace, and representative from the Young Men Christian Association, Lafia.

The event started by 10:am with pupils and teachers carrying strands of palm trees to officially declare the World Creativity and Innovation Day and World Earth Day open. Our team of volunteers proceeded to establish a reading corner and donated a bookshelf with over 179 books to the excitement and reading pleasure of the pupils and teachers.  The event was spiced up with the formation of a Press Club, Readers' Club and Climate Change Club followed by the planting of trees. Our team of volunteers planted four strands of Tenera-improved Palm trees and two Masquerade trees. To the amazement of the pupils, there was a mini reading competition where 12 pupils from Primary 4 and 5 willingly participated. To test their reading abilities and their comprehension skills, they were tasked to read a passage from a storybook which they did delightsomely and were rewarded with storybooks. To wrap up the event, session on the importance of reading and taking care of our environment was also observed where each pupil pledged to plant at least a tree on each of their birthdays henceforth.

Despite all the challenges, the Book Drive Campaign holds the promise of better days to come for Nigeria’s underserved primary schools. The support of our donors, both during and after the pandemic, will ensure that underserved children can continue to learn under better conditions and that the education system will be able to cope more effectively with future crises.

 

 

Monday, 26 April 2021

Google Africa Developer Scholarship 2021

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation


Take your skills to the next level.

Grow with Google and Pluralsight have partnered for the third consecutive year to provide a program to support software developers across Africa in three different roles: Associate Android Developer, Associate Cloud Engineer, Mobile Web Specialist.


This program aims to engage with existing and aspiring developers to help them build the skills they need to get a job in tech after the program is over. The Google Africa Developer Scholarship (GADS) program gives participants free access to select courses, projects, embedded labs (powered by Qwiklabs) and skill assessments; plus support from the Google Developer community. The resources available in this program will help developers build the skills necessary to get their Google certification.  Previous participants have gone on to build impactful projects for their communities, make incredible steps in their career journeys, and even become Google-certified developers and engineers. 


Acceptance into this program is limited, so get started today to ensure you don’t miss out! Applicants will be prioritized for advancement based on the amount of Pluralsight content consumed and other target demographics


Learn More: https://www.pluralsight.com/partners/google/africa/gads-2021

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Our Children, Our Future: The KIR Foundation’s Book Drive Campaign Keeps Children Engaged In Learning

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

 





At the end of a long dirt road, towards the hills, children dressed in faintly dark-brown and cheque coloured uniforms are singing a beautiful song of welcome and gratitude as our team arrived, while their proudly teachers looked on.

The children are pupils of L.E.A Primary School Alungu-Lungu, located in the outskirts of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. The headteacher, Mr Moses welcomed us and led us directly into a classroom filled with children giggling to one another while being shy of the camera. The L.E.A Primary School Alungu-Lungu, is one of the underserved public schools across Nigeria suffering from lack of the basic amenities that enables a school to
function properly. Mr Moses shared with us some of the challenges the school has been facing. The school lacks; access to clean water, materials for teaching and learning, furniture and toilets.

 L.E.A Primary School Alungu-lungu was selected as one of the beneficiaries of our 10th Anniversary Book Drive Campaign to set-up 50 reading corners across the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja the capital. KIR Foundation aspires to imbibe the reading culture among children in underserved and marginalised community primary schools nationwide.

Our volunteer implementing partner, The Blessing Bassey Foundation, proceeded to establish a reading corner and donated a bookshelf with over 187 books to the school. While setting up the reading corner, the team read ‘The greedy tortoise and other stories’, a compilation of African Folktales, to the students. With eyes focused and ears ardently open to hear, the pupils paid rapt attention and did not hesitate to share with our team the moral lessons they learnt from the story. While some of them were eager to share what they learnt, others were shy to come forward. However, 10-year-old Gideon, the head boy of the school boldly stepped up to read a page from the book. Wowed by his brilliance, the team gifted him his first ever storybook. Filled with excitement, he let out a very loud thank you with a military salute, and ran to meet with his friends showing them his storybook.

8-year-old Nancy, a primary four pupil, was another brilliant girl who caught our attention by the way she gallantly stepped out to share the lesson she learnt from the story. Her courageous act spurred others to come forward to share their lessons with us.

Despite the hot weather, the Book Drive Campaign was a huge success. It is our sincere hope that the books will ignite a reading culture and enlighten their minds. Some of these pupils shared with our team that they have never had a storybook before and promised that they will always visit the reading corner to read during their free time. The quality of an education system cannot rise above the quality of its materials available. If a nation’s children are its future, quality education is the means of getting there.

Education is the cornerstone of a society’s prosperity and stability; a strong education sector means a strong nation. KIR Foundation will continue to be custodians of education. We envision a world in which the people we serve have access to learning that creates empowering opportunities for a better future and service to humanity.