NW Tech Transformers Banner

Posted on February 26, 2020 by staff

Liverpool hero Mo Salah joins digital team

Mo Salah has become the first Ambassador for Instant Network Schools – which connect refugee and host country students to a quality digital education – as the programme prepares to expand into his home country of Egypt for the first time.

Instant Network Schools was set up in 2013 by Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to give young refugees, host communities and their teachers access to digital learning content and the internet, improving the quality of education in some of the most marginalised communities in Africa.

To date, the programme has benefited over 86,500 students and 1,000 teachers ensuring that refugees and children from the communities that host them have access to accredited, quality, and relevant learning opportunities.

There are 36 Instant Network Schools currently operating across eight refugee camps in Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR are jointly investing €26 million to expand the programme to benefit 500,000 refugee and host community students and 10,000 teachers.

By 2025, 255 new Instant Network Schools will be opened, including 20 schools planned this year.

Salah will visit some of the schools supported by the programme and will help to raise awareness of the need and importance of quality education for refugee children and for more investment in digital technology that provides a connection to the outside world and gives students a chance to shape their own futures.

Salah said: “I’m partnering with Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR to close the gap between the education available to refugees and their peers living in settled communities.

“Instant Network Schools is an important initiative that I am proud to represent which is transforming learning for a generation of young people across sub-Saharan Africa and soon also in my home country, Egypt.”

Andrew Dunnett, Vodafone’s Group Director of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sustainable Business and Foundations, said: “Over 50% of the world’s 70.8 million displaced people are children and they can spend their entire schooling in refugee camps with limited access to a quality education.

“Mohamed Salah shares our passion about the importance of education as a pivotal building block for personal and societal development and will help us to promote and expand the Instant Network Schools programme.”

Salah, who was named by Time Magazine in 2019 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, is well known for his philanthropy in a range of areas including education.