In 2019, UNICEF launched its UpShift programme in Burundi, in the village of Mayengo, home to 50,000 climate-displaced people in the Rumonge region. This social innovation and social entrepreneurship programme for young people, originally created in the Balkans and since scaled up in many countries, is designed to develop the skills and opportunities of young people who are disadvantaged by, for example, poverty, gender, disability or ethnicity.
It is a training and support programme for young people to identify the challenges faced by their community and to co-create innovative solutions. These youth-led solutions also aim to contribute to the development of peace and social cohesion among all in a country plagued by community tensions and demographic pressure.
Kajou complements the face-to-face training programme with 3,000 cards, half of which will be distributed to young people at the end of their training and half of which will be installed in the 1,500 tablets deployed as part of the programme.
These cards contain several hundred contents, in French and Kirundi (Burundi's official language), on agriculture, market gardening, entrepreneurship, digital technology, personal development and citizenship.
The first feedback from the field is excellent and several participants have already underlined the high quality of digital content in this country, which is ranked last in the world in terms of internet access by the Internet Inclusive Index.
We will come back to the first impacts of this deployment and the analysis of card usage statistics in a future article!