â€œKatrin Macmillan is digitally democratizing education, she recently spoke about it at SXSW and sheâ€™s one of the most aspiring female social entrepreneurs I have ever met.â€ Thatâ€™s how I was introduced to Katrin. I thought, â€œSounds exciting, but what does digitally democratizing education really mean?â€ The answer: Katrin is the 35-year-old founder of Projects For All, a nonprofit that launched â€œHello World,â€ solar-powered digital schools called â€œHello Hubsâ€ that give under-privileged children and adults in Africa access to the opportunities that the Internet provides. These community designed and built Hubs are loaded with computers, educational software, cameras and video cameras. Katrin has a plan for Hello Hub builds in Dominican Republic, Haiti, Peru, Nigeria and beyond. She wants to be so successful that she puts herself out of business.
Hugh Jackman, actor and founder of Laughing Man Coffee & Tea, said, â€œConsidering how difficult it has been for even a wealthy country like the U.S. to bring internet access to its own schools, the accomplishments of Project Hello World cannot be understated.â€
This is Katrinâ€™s story:
Restauri: What needs to be fixed in the world?
Macmillan: We wonâ€™t solve the global education deficit until we find a model that can affordably reach every child. A new paradigm for education is needed. We need an affordable, scalable and sustainable education system that really can reach children in need, no matter where they live.
We live in an increasingly unjust world and the inequality that we see all around us, in every country, is intolerable. 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all children left school with just basic reading abilities, yet 134 million children have never been to school. 32 million of these children are in sub-Saharan Africa â€“ a number equivalent to all the primary school children in U.S., UK and France put together. This needs to be fixed!
Getting connected for the first time. Macmillan helps a young Hello Hub user to register for a personalized log-in to use the Hub — a digital birth certificate! Suleja, Nigeria 2013. Photo Credit Tom Saater
Getting connected for the first time. Macmillan helps a young Hello Hub user to register for a personalized log-in to use the Hub â€” a digital birth certificate! Suleja, Nigeria 2013. Photo Credit Tom Saater
Restauri: What are you doing to help fix it