The Impact of EduTech in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement’s Schools

Simbi Foundation
4 min readNov 22, 2022

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We have some exciting news! This year, Simbi Foundation is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global movement that inspires individuals, families and organizations to use the power of generosity to transform their communities. Keep reading to learn more about what this special day means to our organization, and how you can give the gift of education to refugee and remote school communities within Uganda.

Bidibidi: A Challenging Learning Environment

Our organization’s mission is to enhance access to education in remote, refugee, and underserved communities, where we provide schools with educational technology, resources, and training of the 21st century, to help their students succeed in their studies.

Why education? For people in marginalized communities, education leads to better career opportunities and a chance to break the cycle of poverty that illiteracy can perpetuate.

Many of the school communities we work in are located in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, located in northern Uganda. With an estimated population of 246,310 refugees (UNCHR, January 2022), it is one of the largest refugee settlements in the world. Most of the people living here have fled war and conflict in South Sudan.

Students attending school in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Northern Uganda.

The number of students who live in Bidibidi is increasing steadily, with over 53% of the population being school-aged children between 5–17 years old (UNCHR, January 2022). However, many of the schools located within Bidibidi lack the basic infrastructure needed for a supportive, quality learning environment. These schools lack access to electricity, the internet, sufficient textbooks and teachers.

Did you know? On average, 8 students must share 1 textbook in Uganda’s refugee settlement schools. (Republic of Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports, September 2018)

What’s EduTech, and how does it help?

At Simbi Foundation, our work centres around deploying educational infrastructure and software to communities in need, such as the school communities in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement, Uganda. The heart of our organization’s work is the BrightBox, a solar-powered, shipping container classroom. The classroom generates solar energy from its roof, creating a micro-grid for the school community. To learn more, click here.

One of many BrightBoxes in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. Click here to learn more.

Most importantly, the BrightBox is filled with EduTech (short for Educational Technology), which includes laptops, reading tablets, headphones, projectors, Wi-Fi routers and boosters, and much more. EduTech allows for schools to utilize virtual learning resources, in addition to sparking a newfound interest in learning for students that boosts productivity. Watch the video below to learn more!

Each installation of EduTech also provides schools with access to over 300GB of offline material on Simbi Learn Cloud. With access to digital educational resources such as Khan Academy and Wikipedia, this abundance of new educational resources reduces the workload of teachers by allowing for students to read with independent support. One example of this would be the Read-A-Long feature on Simbi Reading, where students can read out loud to a narration of a given text. In addition, the large database of educational material minimizes the reliance on limited, physical textbooks. Click here to learn more about Simbi Learn Cloud.

A student in Bidibidi using Simbi Learn Cloud. Click here to learn more.

In combination with the BrightBox, EduTech has the power to transform the way education is delivered within schools in Bidibidi, changing the lives of students forever. The addition of a single BrightBox (with EduTech) has the ability to support an additional 6000 learners in a school. Click here to see how the BrightBox and EduTech impacted the teachers and students of Twajiji Primary School, Bidibidi.

Note: Simbi Foundation was formerly called The Walking School Bus.

Make an Impact this #GivingTuesday!

Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of these students? On November 29th, join us in giving the gift of education to students in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement for #GivingTuesday. Click here to donate towards our goal of $13,000, which will fill the next BrightBox with enough EduTech to support an entire school community in Bidibidi.

If you are unable to donate towards our cause, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways you can contribute to #GivingTuesday, and even our organization. Why not spend a few minutes of your time narrating a book on the Simbi reading platform, our partner software company? Your narrations are re-packaged into offline learning content in the BrightBox, which directly helps students in Bidibidi learn how to read.

Whether you spend a few hours volunteering for a local organization, contribute some money towards your favourite cause, or buy a stranger a coffee — everyone has something to give, and every act of generosity counts. With Simbi Foundation, you can take that generosity to the next level and help bring quality educational tools and renewable energy to some of the world’s most underserved children in the world. Click here to learn more about our campaign for #GivingTuesday, and to contribute towards the cause.

Thank you for taking the time to read about our work, and we hope you have an impactful #GivingTuesday this year!

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Simbi Foundation