Rwanda/Burundi: iKonekt - ICT trainings for Burundian refugees
Since the outbreak of the political crisis in Burundi in April 2015, more than 400,000 Burundians have fled their country and sought shelter in neighboring countries. The Mahama refugee camp in Eastern Rwanda is currently hosting more than 50,000 Burundian refugees without access to information and communication technology. Especially teenagers and young adults suffer from limited access to modern ICT infrastructure.
The skillful use of IT hardware and software, internet and social media provide refugees with important employment skills, and enable them to access online courses and low-cost communication with families left behind. In September 2017, GFA Bridges launched the iKonekt project. GFA funds the establishment of an internet café and ICT trainings to camp inhabitants through a train-the-trainer (ToT) scheme. This creates employment and education opportunities for young adults, promotes social inclusion and alleviates the growing digital divide.
The project is managed by Pauline Krebs, consultant at GFA’s Financial Systems Development department, together with Burundian friends and founders of YUULY (http://yuuly.rw), a social IT start-up, and the volunteer network In-for Refugee.