Gracit Technological Foundation
Gracit Technological Foundation (the “Foundation” or “Gracit”) is a community of people passionate about making significant contributions to improving the lives of unprivileged young people within Africa by training and mentoring them on technological skills. Gracit has embarked on a journey to improve access for the unserved by spreading required resources to people who are not able to afford them.
Through the Tech4Charity Initiative, the Foundation is focusing on orphanage homes across the country. However, the local communities at large are targeted through the Community Digital Empowerment Initiative. So far, Gracit has successfully set up four (4) computer laboratories in four orphanage homes and has reached over 120 beneficiaries of varying age categories.
In a bid to achieve a goal of reaching 70 homes in 3 years and increasing its reach to a minimum of 1,500 beneficiaries, Gracit intends to set up new computer laboratories in 7 orphanage homes and revamp 3 of its existing laboratories to enhance its training sessions for the year 2020 and beyond.
Many orphans have inadequate support and are forced to fend for themselves as well as their siblings. This includes maintaining a household, providing food and working to support themselves as well as funding education and medical costs. Donations to this segment of the society have largely been focused on meeting their immediate needs (food, clothing, etc) with little regard for their economic empowerment needs. In the face of limited job opportunities, orphans are usually disadvantaged to compete with those with adequate parental care and support due to the lack of the required skills.
According to the UNICEF, there are an estimated 52 million orphans in the entire continent of Africa with 17.5 million (34%) of them in Nigeria alone. The negative impact of the digital divide has caused orphans to be far behind in the face of rapid technological advancement. Majority of these orphans lack access to technological trainings, tutors, and resources due to the high costs of obtaining these. Furthermore, the closure of schools due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened learning experience for pupils with no access to alternative learning resources, and already disadvantaged orphans struggle to keep pace with their counterparts within the society.
Many attempts have been made by different empowerment initiatives to help orphans and the unprivileged secure good living with traditional vocational skills (barbing, tailoring, crafts, etc.) but these spaces have become saturated and unlucrative. In the face of rapid technological advancement, the workforce needs to position itself to remain relevant over the coming decades. Gracit plans to achieve digital literacy spread, incubator for beneficiaries and skilled workforce ready to exploit the tech opportunities prevalent today.
To this end, the Foundation has identified the immense benefits of ICT skills and rolled out trainings for this marginalised segment in preparation for an independent life after foster care. It plans an expansion of the Tech4Charity project that would create and equip computer laboratories across 7 new orphanage homes (with necessary spaces provided by the homes) and refurbish the laboratories in 3 existing orphanage homes, training over 200 orphans between the ages of 7 and 23 years on ICT/STEM packages leveraging on its vast base of 100+ tech-savvy college student-volunteers and professionals. The Foundation would also link up eligible beneficiaries to ICT job opportunities and offer necessary advice to those who show interest in building a career within the tech space.
Please find below a list of the existing and proposed orphanage home:
|SN||Orphanage Home||Location||No. of Children||Status|
|1||Red Cross Orphanage Home||Makoko, Lagos||Existing|
|2||Lord’s Heritage Home||Ota, Ogun||Existing|
|3||Heritage Home||Lekki, Lagos||Existing|
|4||Little Saints Orphanage||Palmgrove, Lagos||60||Proposed|
|5||House of Mercy Children’s Home||Egbeda, Lagos||15||Proposed|
|6||Living Fountain Home||Oniru, Lagos||15||Proposed|
|7||Royal Diamond Orphanage Home||Ojodu-Berger, Lagos||12||Proposed|
|8||Missionaries of Charity Orphanage||Ketu, Lagos||69||Proposed|
|9||Vigilant Heart Charitable Society Orphanage||Lekki, Lagos||80||Proposed|
|10||Home of God’s Grace Orphanage||Agbowa, Lagos||40||Proposed|
Expected Impact & Benefits
Calculated with a goal of an average of 20 trainees per ICT lab, the expansion project would reach 200+ beneficiaries in 2020. With its proposed incubator and recruitment programs, the Foundation would also mentor its beneficiaries on starting up businesses and expose high-performing beneficiaries to job opportunities within the tech space.
– Increase in access to technological resources is expected to improve development ratios within the communities of the orphanage homes through:
- improved digital literacy
- reduced unemployment
- improved financial inclusion
- reduced crime rate (due to a reduction in the number of idle youths)
– The beneficiaries are also expected to benefit immensely through:
- skill development
- improved of living standard and economic earning power
- enhanced social norms (self-development, self-esteem, social integration)
Click to view:
- Project Proposal
- The Impact of Technology in African Youth Communities (Gracit Quarterly Publication)
I love this initiative. Thank you for providing a platform for this!