We chose Turkana, a region in remote north-western Kenya, bordering Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda as a starting point for our program. The region suffers from poor infrastructure and very few job opportunities - if the model works here, it could work anywhere.
The county’s infertile soil does not allow for sustainable agriculture, so that the majority of food supplies have to be transported from cities several hours away. Most of its population still follow traditional living habits in relatively poor conditions. Local businesses include basket weaving, mechanical repairs and small kiosks, however none of these scale to provide widespread employment opportunities or meaningful wages. The youth are the most directly affected, having little opportunity to find a job and move beyond subsistence livelihoods in their home region. And yet, with around 900,000 inhabitants, Turkana holds an untapped potential of human talent with the chance of internet access even in some of the most remote areas.
Since our start in 2015 we have come far, but there is much work yet to be done. Have a look in our Annual Report 2017 to get an insight into our achievements so far and our plans for the future.
In order to give the students the possibility to completely focus upon their training and run several classes at the same time, we are planning to build a large ICT Centre on the shore of Lake Turkana where Learning Lions, Digital Lions and Startup Lions can operate.
We envision a self‐sustained IT campus which will board up to 100 students, respectful of the environment, constructed with bio sourced material and employing local manpower.
Now the grounds at Lake Turkana are available, a team of Kenyan and European architects and Master students from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles ENSA‐V is currently working out the architectural concept.