The mobile education programme COVID-19: Adapt and Thrive launched this week in South Africa and soon caught the attention of the United Nations who is declaring its intent to scale the programme across Africa.
Developed in collaboration between Funzi and the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, the four-part programme addresses the physical, mental, social, and financial impact that coronavirus has on people’s lives, their families, communities, and South African society. It forms part of Harambee’s initiative to reach three million young people during South Africa’s three-week lockdown period.
The partnership between Harambee & Funzi is one of many that intends to achieve the ambitious goal of providing credible, consistent, compelling and clear COVID-related information that ensures young people are kept informed, engaged and connected during this time.
Other partners in what has become known as the “3 Million 3 Weeks” initiative include the government’s Solidarity Fund, the National Youth Development Agency, Tshepo 1 Million, Afrika Tikkun, ENKE and over 150 volunteer individuals and organisations.
The four-part course was created in conjunction with medical specialists, digital product designers, and other local learning experts and covers the themes:
- What is COVID-19?
- COVID-19: what can you do?
- How to stay healthy and resilient
- How to maintain your social and financial well-being
“In times of crisis, mobile learning has proven to be incredibly impactful,” says Aape Pohjavirta, Founder of Funzi. “We were able to launch the course in only 10 days, giving millions access to timely and critical information. The Funzi approach is unique because of our combination of technology and way of teaching.”
The company claims that all of its programmes are designed for mobile users in emerging markets and use very little data.
“We are extremely grateful and humbled by the support of the United Nations and the Finnish and South African Governments regarding scaling this initiative. Our next steps include deploying our approach to other countries in Africa, and globally. To be able to do this, we are looking for national partners to create localized versions of the course… Together, let’s beat COVID-19,” reads a statement from Funzi.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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