The Millennium Villages Project

Hundreds of millions of people in Africa are trapped in extreme poverty, and in rural villages many children find it difficult to complete their school education. The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) is a community-led initiative aiming to prove it’s possible to reduce extreme poverty in rural Africa with technology.

Challenge

Use ICT to help reduce extreme poverty in rural Africa.

Solution

Ericsson’s global education initiative – Connect to Learn – began working with the MVP project in 2007. The aim was to increase access to quality education, especially for girls, through providing schools with digital connectivity and digital learning resources.

Ericsson provides cloud-based mobile broadband infrastructure; the Earth Institute at Columbia University monitors and evaluates our projects, and provides access to cutting-edge research on education; and Millennium Promise helps operationalize the research in under-resourced schools and local communities.

Impact

To date, more than 13,000 students in Millennium Villages across eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have benefitted from the program. Connect To Learn has also enrolled 791 students from the Millennium Villages on scholarship programs – the vast majority of them girls.

More facts and reading

A 2012–13 study on Connect To Learn’s initiative to provide schools in Kenya and Uganda with digital learning resources showed that when teachers were given ongoing training and support on how to use technology as an educational tool, their belief in their own ability to enhance learning with technology improved, and they became more likely to use digital tools when teaching.

Since launching its ICT in education program in 2011, Connect To Learn has been working on improving how to deliver ICT tools to enhance teaching and learning. This includes supporting schools in realizing their own visions for ICT integration; delivering the appropriate hardware and software needed for schools in challenging and remote environments; sharing curriculum-aligned, locally relevant digital education content; and providing ongoing development opportunities for teachers.

Lessons learned from Connect To Learn’s early initiatives across Sub-Saharan Africa have been used to inform a large-scale project in Myanmar, as well as other projects across the globe.

Now, with organizations and governments shifting their focus to align with the sustainable development goals, Connect To Learn is well positioned to demonstrate how they can be implemented through tried and tested interventions aimed at improving the quality of education and young people’s preparedness for livelihood through the integration of ICT.

Active SDGs

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

The highlighted Sustainable Development Goals are included in the project.