Digital opportunities for low-resource schools

When Shaat Lulu King’ori participated in a DOT Tanzania social enterprise competition in 2016, her idea immediately stood out. She was enthusiastic and had a clear understanding of a need in her community and how she could solve it.

Many schools in Tanzania do not have the resources to give their students access to technology. This widens the digital divide and makes it hard for students to develop the digital skills necessary to thrive in today’s technology-driven world.

Lulu saw the problem and had a solution. She wanted to provide schools and students access to digital tools and training on how to use them.

Through DOT’s programs, Lulu identified potential resources in Arumeru District. DOT coaches helped her develop her idea, refine her business model, and test and prototype her idea in her community.

“DOT has been absolutely instrumental in helping me launch my initiative,” says Lulu. “It has provided a good support system that refined my ideas and helped me develop prototypes and test them.”

Lulu founded Suye After School Centre, a social enterprise that provides digital tools to schools with limited resources. Using open-source platforms, the centre equips students with computer literacy and digital skills, such as coding and programming. It also uses technology to foster innovative thinking.

Currently, Suye After School Centre works with the nearby Moshono Secondary School, providing one-on-one training to students after school, with laptops custom designed for students in developing countries.

This partnership with the school is serving as a pilot for Lulu to learn more before she expands Suye After School Centre to three more schools and works with at least 50 students. Lulu is also hard at work on creating a curriculum for three different courses, and is finding tutors who love working with students as much as she does.

As it grows, Lulu’s centre will make a critical difference in bridging the digital divide and ensuring that students in Arumeru District can receive a quality, technology-integrated education, regardless of their income or background.

Lulu is a wonderful example of a daring social innovator using digital technology to create opportunities and transform her community, but she doesn’t have to do it alone. DOT continues to support her with resources and mentorship, and connects her to a wide network of social innovators, all working to have positive social impact in their communities.

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