MTN has rounded off its annual 21 Days of Y’ello Care employee volunteer programme, which saw employees from Afghanistan to South Africa, give back to their communities, under the theme of “Investing in Education for All”.
“We are hopeful that the employees’ volunteer activities will have a positive impact on the lives of learners and educators in our markets. By leveraging our strengths in technology to enhance education, MTN employees are contributing towards creating a lasting impact in our communities,” says Paul Norman, MTN Group Chief HR and Corporate Affairs Officer.
Addressing a significant need in eight rural schools, MTN Rwanda partnered with Mobisol on an electrification programme, providing the schools with customised 600W Solar Systems. The systems will provide off-grid lighting solutions for educational purposes, including training and educating students about sustainability and renewable energies. MTNers in Rwanda also used Y’ello Care to install digital books in rural schools across the country. They further collaborated with the Rwanda Ministry of Education and Rwanda Education Board to conduct a teacher training programme on the new national education curriculum and ICT skills knowledge.
In South Africa, 170 learners from schools in the Vaal area in Gauteng received school shoes and shirts. While another 50 learners, who walk distances of over 10km to school each day, received bicycles, safety helmets, bicycle locks and chains, as well as a puncture set and tyre pump. MTN SA also invested in the Funda Ujabule Primary School, to enhance learning and teaching through the use of ICT, by handing over a fully-equipped computer laboratory with an interactive white board. MTN volunteers also created a safe play area for the learners.
MTN Côte d’Ivoire embarked on a few initiatives. This included the Y’ello Builders of Hope project, which saw an investment in classrooms and a multimedia room for the Ivorian School for the Deaf, as well as classrooms for the first public elementary school in the country. MTNers also educated Ivorian communities about cybercrime, and volunteered their knowledge and time to introduce students and teachers of Grand Bassam Centre d’Animation et de Formation Pédagogique to ICT technologies, as part of the Discovery Digital Project.
In Cyprus, MTN staff also focused on cyber safety, with volunteers visiting 16 MTN stores to drive education on internet safety.
At the school of sign in Boulbinet, in Guinea Conakry, a team of MTNers undertook painting and renovation activities. MTN also provided the school with 70 tables and benches to replace old dilapidated benches. To enable this donation, MTN volunteers visited a carpentry workshop to assemble and varnish tables and benches.
In Nigeria, Y’ello Care activities included the donation of educational material to identified schools, refurbishing and establishing digital learning facilities, teacher training and reading sessions.
The MTN Bissau team embarked on activities at the Nhima Sanha Kindergarten in the capital Bissau, which is one of those highlighted by the Ministry of Education as in need of rehabilitation. The MTN team helped to ensure the environment at the school was conducive to learning and teaching by clearing bushes and cleaning and painting walls.
MTN Ghana embarked on various educational projects in communities across the country, including basic literacy programmes for female head porters (“Kayayei”) at Madina Market in Accra, Kotokuraba Market in Cape Coast and Takoradi Market Circle. In addition, volunteers in the Northern Business district provided basic training on internet configuration for select public schools. The team also refurbished three ICT centres and volunteers provided ICT training for teachers.
MTNers in Benin gathered at Ecole Alternative at Zogbo to educate students and teachers about the usefulness of ICT in their training process. This was done by helping them discover various e-learning websites.
MTNers of Congo Brazzaville participated in the Y’ello e.School project, which is an interactive computer platform for the administrative management of schools. The platform will help share information with various stakeholders such as students, parents, teachers and administrators. These stakeholders will benefit from a set of interactive services such as the statements of student records, the Mobile Money platform, student timetables, and monitoring of student behaviour among other. MTNers installed computers and related networks, and presented the functionality of the e.School solution and software to students and staff at the selected schools in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire.
In South Sudan, MTN staff engaged in activities to renovate a computer laboratory at the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, which included painting the room and setting up computers. MTN South Sudan also donated 2000 exercise books to Juba County. In addition, the team hosted an ICT Digital Boot Camp, which gave students from several institutions a chance to learn basic computer literacy.
In Afghanistan, MTN employees painted classrooms at Kabul University, and at Ayesha Duranni Girls Higher Secondary School, Sorya High School, Sofi Islam School and Said Jamaluddin High School, among others. The team also engaged in clean-up activities in several major streets.
In Sudan, MTNers held a “Schools Y’ello Road Show” to educate students from primary to secondary level, on issues related to health care, drug abuse, environmental awareness and career guidance.
In Cameroon, Yaounde-based centre for the visually impaired, CEJACR, and its sister school in Douala, CEFPAMAVOC, benefitted from new classrooms built by MTN staff. The team also hosted a training seminar for teachers on inclusive education and ICTs.
“Y’ello Care 2015 was a great success. We are proud of our MTNers for once again coming out in numbers and showing great commitment in giving of their time, resources and skills to make a valuable difference in our communities. I would like to thank each of them for their contribution,” said Norman.
All MTN operations which participated in Y’ello Care 2015 stand in line to win monetary prizes, which are to be re-invested into CSI or community upliftment programmes in their market. These include the Group President & CEO prize of US$100 000, a first runner up prize of US$50 000 and a second runner up prize of US$30 000. Winners will be announced in the third quarter of 2015.