After receiving a one-time grant of $125,000 from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Burundi Friends International is laying plans to create IT centers and advance STEM education in the tiny East African country.
Burundi Friends International expects to launch “Project 2020: Education, IT Think Tanks and STEM” this fall.
With the grant from the Boston-based McGovern Foundation, four of those libraries will be retrofitted with electricity, plumbing and Internet access to create “IT Think Tanks,” where instructors can use computers to support lessons in science, technology, engineering and math.
Burundi Friends’ Executive Director, Julie Marner said, “Building IT Think Tanks paves the way for solutions to Burundi’s toughest challenges. The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation understands that education leads to economic empowerment and self-sustaining communities. I am confident the Foundation’s investment will pay great dividends for Burundi.”
The Foundation’s president, Liz McGovern said, “The work of Burundi Friends International is made-to-order for a partnership with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. Their commitment to improving lives and embracing technology aligns squarely with our culture and values.”
In addition to technology, support from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation will allow Burundi Friends to open more English Clubs across the country, to train volunteer instructors and pay for basic equipment and supplies, such as cell phones and chalk.
During its 10-year history, Burundi Friends International has formed English clubs and provided English instruction to youth and children in each of the country’s 18 provinces. To support that effort, the nonprofit group has transported shipping containers filled with books to create simple libraries.
Burundi Friends International works closely with Project Concern International and has received grant support from Hewlett Packard, San Diego Rotary and Del Mar Rotary.