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CNN Hero Project: A Global Network of Young People

CNN Hero Project: A Global Network of Young People

This CNN Hero upcycles old computers to open new worlds for young Kenyans and women worldwide

How to open a computer or laptop for your daughter or son

This post was written by the CNN Hero Project. CNN Hero is a collaborative initiative to build a global network of young people involved in social change.

Most young people in Kenya would be happy to spend their free time playing video games or hanging out with friends. But they might not know that these games would be a powerful tool to help them grow and help others in their community.

“There are a number of African countries that are completely cut off from information technology and lack basic connectivity to the internet,” said Jennifer Nnaji, who is part of the Kenya-based team that developed the first CNN Hero website called CNNGo.

She says these communities face major challenges when it comes to bringing communications and education to their people.

“In Kenya most people don’t have access to the internet, often schools are not equipped to communicate,” said Nnaji. She says the solution is not to just provide people with the tools to access communication tools, but to also teach them how to design and use these tools to educate and communicate.

“ helps you to download the required plug-in so that you can open and run the game on your computer or laptop. That way you not only get the game online, but you also get a learning experience.”

The project launched in early 2012 and is now in four different countries around the world—Kenya, Kenya-born Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. The CNN Hero website has received more than 1 million downloads.

“We are actually building a global network of young people involved in social change, who will be working together to empower their countries to grow,” said CNN HERO director, Shafilea Hussain.

Hussain says CNN HERO’s efforts are being funded through the National Endowment for Democracy

“This is a good example of how we can use the power of technology to make a positive impact on the world,” said Hussain.

Nnaji says Kenya has seen a rapid rise in internet usage in the country, with more than half of the population now using the internet.

“For many people it is not just a tool to access information online

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