Camara - Transforming Education

Camara is a Not-for-Profit operating a social enterprise model that uses technology to deliver 21st Century Skills to improve education in disadvantaged communities in Kenya. Camara eLearning packages offer an holistic ICT approach including hardware, Software/educational packages, teacher training, technical support and e-Waste.
2006Kenya

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Camara places educational institutions at the center of its model as both partners and customers. Camara distributes refurbished computers to approved educational institutions as an eLearning package. Camara collects computers to recycle as eWaste. Costs are covered through recycling revenues, sale of computers, services to the Hub, and fundraising. Thus, Camara in Kenya operates as a sustainable social enterprise model.

Educational institutions across Kenya apply to Camara or are contacted by Camara Marketing and Sales teams. A robust vetting system is used before signing a contract with a school. Camara is designed to benefit the whole school community and thus items are sold in packages to avoid individual gain. Furthermore, a vetting team will visit the school before delivering computers to ensure the school has adequate conditions to look after the equipment and maintain good condition. The educational institution must designate a room for the e-learning center and prepare it to Camara’s standards in safety and security. The criteria are: Electrical Safety, Ventilation, Furniture, and Fittings. Upon delivery, Camara keeps close contact with all schools with regular visits (which fall under maintenance and training) and ensure the computers are being used and cared for to a good standard.

The Camara eLearning package has 6 key pillars:

1.       Equipment

Computer packages are sold to schools at heavily subsidized prices. All computers supplied by Camara are branded and contain a Pentium Four processor. Each lab will receive a high specification ‘Server PC’ containing a minimum hard drive size of 100GB and at least 1GB of RAM. This machine will hold a repository of shared educational content and software, which will be shared with all the other computers when the lab is networked.

2.       Educational Content

All Camara computers come with their own versions of Ubuntu, called Camarabuntu, and includes educational tools, content, and games. This includes Maths, English, Science, and Geography learning tools, an offline version of Wikipedia, and typing, keyboard, and mouse training software. The Server PC also contains thousands of e-books, video lectures (Khan Academy), reference materials and videos, and the installation files for thousands of pieces of software for the other computers.

3.       Maintenance

All Camara packages come with a maintenance contract (including replacements of any non-working computers) for six months. A team of 40 volunteers (mainly school leavers) are trained by Camera in technology, maintenance, networking, and soft skills to provide over the phone and on-site support (either in the educational institution or at Camara facilities). Wherever possible, the volunteers train teachers or technicians at the school to create ownership at the school level.

4.       Teacher Training

A minimum of five teachers must be trained in Camara’s Basic ICT Literacy Course. A minimum of two teachers must be trained in one of the more advanced training courses: either Hardware and Maintenance or the Intel Teach program. These courses are included as standard in all Camara packages and are a mandatory requirement to purchasing computers.

5.       Monitoring and Evaluation

All Camara partnered educational institutions are visited at least every six months in order to gather feedback. This is to improve services and products, as well as to provide more personalized and needs-based support to the educational institution.

6.       Recycling and replacement service at the end of the computer’s life

Camara use MIS to track all equipment, and, at the end of a computer's life, Camara takes back all equipment from schools and ensures that they are recycled in line with international standards and regulations on environmental protection.

Who we work with: