Creative Tanzanian animation emerge the winner in 2017 WISE Awards

Ubongo kids, is a Tanzanian edu-cartoon series, designed to help children "discover the joys of math and science through fun, local stories and songs.

Ubongo Edutainment, a Dar-es-Salaam-based initiative providing fun learning to millions of kids in Africa through animated educational content across multiple platforms including TV, radio, SMS and smartphones was declared one of the six winners of this year’s World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) awards.

Ubongo kids, is a Tanzanian edu-cartoon series aired across East Africa, designed to help children "discover the joys of math and science as well as problem solving skills and self-efficacy through fun, local stories, and songs using humans and animals characters.

“From rural Tanzania and South America to Silicon Valley and Paris, our six WISE Awards winners reflect the wide range of what can be achieved in advancing education ¬–whatever the social or geographical context– when there is a creative solution and a determination to see it through. We look forward to showcasing our winners and runners-up at the WISE Summit in Doha in November, and to supporting their progress as they grow.”Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO, WISE, remarked.

Nisha Ligon, Ubongo Edutainment, CO-FOUNDER & CEO told BBC after the win that Animations was a great tool in bridging the educations gap in Africa.

“so many kids are in school but these schools are either crowded or teachers aren’t trained and in Tanzania where  we are based about 55% of kids aged 10 -16yrs failed baseline level tests in Math and reading set to the level of an 8yr old, so really there is a huge education crisis and we thought okay well eLearning is a way to address it, it has been used  in other parts of the world  the problem is people don’t have access to computers, so what is the technology that people already use that we can try and leverage to bring localize and fun learning to kids and that at the beginning was really weighty on TVs and now more and more it is becoming mobile phones and smartphone” she said.

Ubongo Edutainment currently creates their content in the language of instructions, Kiswahili, English, French and now Kinyarwanda and delivers it across many different platforms so that a kid whether in a rural village, a refugee camp or in the city and just missing out on quality schooling can get a fighting chance to succeed in life.

Ubongo Edutainment plans to fight illiteracy across the African continent by partnering with local indigenous communities and create their content in local languages as well.

“Our goal over the next few years is really to get these programme to more and more local African languages and to do that we really need these partnerships with people who know and speak those languages, you can take what we have and by simply recording these narrations and replacing some images they can create a truly localized version for the kids in their country to learn” Nisha added.

Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote six successful innovative projects from a group of 15 finalists that are addressing global education challenges.

Since 2009, WISE has received over 3,000 applications from more than 150 countries.

To date, 54 projects from a wide variety of sectors and locations have won the WISE Awards for their innovation, positive contribution and potential for scalability and adaptability.

The six winning projects for 2017, along with the runners-up, will be invited to attend the eighth World Innovation Summit for Education, November 14-16, 2017, in Doha, Qatar.

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