LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Nikhil Uchil is a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, and he is among a dozen students at Stevenson working with the Angaza Center to provide “peer-to-peer” training for students in rural Africa.
“I’ll join a meeting at 7 a.m. before school and we’ll have these presentations that will teach the students how to use technology, Google Slides, Google Docs,” Uchil said. “We also have lessons on safe use of technology — how to write an email, how to write a resume.”
Michael Odongo, co-founder and president of the Angaza Center, said the non-profit was born in 2022 after he received old tech devices from a school district looking for somewhere to donate them.
“I donated them to a school in Kenya,” Odongo said. “I grew up there and after the donation, the school came back to me and said, ‘okay Michael, this is great, but how do we use these things?'”
Now the center is working to share critical digital skills and resources with students in more than a dozen schools in Kenya, and one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with plans to expand across the continent by 2035.
In the meantime, Uchil said the connections being forged by Chicago-area students across the globe are helping build bridges between cultures.
“we’re also learning about their culture [and] they’re learning about our culture,” Uchil said. “I think that’s equally as important.”