The next morning we all gathered and met the representatives of the 4 projects we work with. The meeting started with an opening prayer, then we all introduced each other shortly. The 4 social start-ups presented what they are working on and talked about the challenges they are facing. Angelique, Franz and me will interact with Dreamoval foundation. It is set up by a mid-size software company called “Dreamoval”. Related to their expertise they have a program called “iTeach” which educates teachers on basic IT knowledge (use of PPT, Excel, apps etc.). They started it six years back and so far trained 360 teacher – one class of 60 teachers per year. The course duration is one week. All training is provided by employees of Dreamoval. Teachers to be educated come from all different regions of Ghana and stay for this one week in Accra. Most of them have not touched a computer before, did not use a mouse before, do not possess an e-mail-address etc. The idea is that when they return to their hometown they can transport some of their newly gained knowledge to their pupils.
It is a great initiative, all driven by two full time employees (Keren, the young lady in the middle of the picture attached, and Mina, to the right), plus Francis. In his day job he is the Sales Director of Dreamoval, in addition he drives the foundation with a lot of energy. Just amazing! He is the one who wrote the beautiful e-mail I was referring to in my first blog.
Keren, Mina and Francis started our interaction with giving us local first names. These names are related to the day of the week you are born. But one thing is guaranteed: I will blog about everything we do here in Ghana, but I will never ever disclose this name!!! And if Angelique or Franz are doing this, then they will be in deep trouble! 🙂
Let´s now come to the real challenges: In Ghana there are 170,000 teachers. iTeach so far reached 360 of them in six years. This will not scale. Many teachers in the rural areas do not have access to computers, sometimes there is even no electricity. So even the ones who have gone through the initial training will not necessarily pass their on the knowledge. As a side remark: Average monthly income of a teacher in Ghana is 200 Euros.
So how to scale, how to overcome this limiting conditions?
Angelique, Franz and I are now working on it, let´s see what we can achieve within two weeks. The good thing is that our CSR team at SAP is clever: They already plan to bring a “normal” Social Sabbatical to Ghana for four weeks in October, most probably to continue working with Dreamoval. So they then have the opportunity to repair the damage we super-clever executives caused to Dreamoval foundation. 🙂