You can’t move on crowdfunding sites without coming across something Arduino-related these days, but if you’re going to back one crazy hacking project this week you might want to make it this one. Afrimakers is a plan to distribute Raspberry Pis, Arduino boards, soldering kits and other tools to as the founders pass through seven countries across the African continent in an effort to create a network of maker communities in schools and tech hubs as they go.
The project has been borne out of HacKIDemia, an international project founded by Stefania Drufa which is aimed at getting children interested in technology and experimentation. HacKIDemia trains mentors and supplies classrooms with low cost maker-tech to “help kids use curiosity, empathy and play to change the world”. The need to help African children tap into their creativity and become the inventors of tomorrow was brought home to Drufa when she met members of the AfriLabs community at Re:publica in Berlin earlier this year, and Afrimakers was conceived at a meeting of Singularity University after that.
HacKIDemia was also at Maker Fair Lagos last December, where they trained 400 children. Worldwide, more than 8 000 kids have been involved.
I’ll be catching up with Stefania next week to find out more about the plans for Afrimakers, which will be visiting South Africa on its tour. In the meantime here’s the obligatory link and video about the Indiegogo project below. Tech hubs wanting to get in touch and run HacKIDemia courses can mail Stefania and her team here. There’s also Facebook and Twitter links for the project.