What’s Nerde?

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Welcome to What’s Nerde?, the newsletter of iNERDE, a social enterprise dedicated to creating opportunity for African youth.

iNERDE does speak French, finally!

For the first time, this newsletter is being published in French, alongside the usual English language version. If you’d like to read the newsletter in its sister language, click here.

Given that iNERDE projects take place in french-speaking countries, a little explanation of why this has taken us until now is in order. iNERDE began as an initiative of expatriate Africans studying in the United States. Determined to give back to their home countries, these young university students got together to bring innovative methods of education developed in North America to Africa. However, having become used to using the language of their adopted country, and having, as well, developed a network of English-speaking supporters, iNERDE naturally fell into using English as its working language. We came to recognize that our exclusive use of English made it increasing difficult to be fully connected to the communities we serve. We’re proud to announce that we’ve returned to our roots, with the opening of an office and a permanent learning center in Bamako and that we are, now, officially a bilingual organization.

APPEX : African Program for the Promotion of Educator Excellence

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To our Malian friends : mark the date December 17 ! iNERDE is searching for the best teachers in Mali (this year, limited to the region of Bamako). iNERDE will award the prize « Ciwara of Education » to three teachers (from primary, secondary, and university levels) at the APPEX Gala – « A night of elegance and excellence ».

While APPEX is a new iNERDE program, it is integral to our core mission to « change the equation » in Africa, starting from its system of education. There are, among Mailain educators, real heros – a lot of real heros – who give everything for their kids and for the future of their country, often in extremely difficult conditions. A country that understands the importance of honoring its best teachers is a country that is on the path to a prosperous future.

For more information on APPEX in French, click here. Go directly to the french-language web form to nominate a Ciwara candidate here. Nominations are open until November 17.

Coming Soon ! The Grand Opening of the iNERDE Learning Center in Bamako

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The iNERDE team is working around the clock to open our Learning Center and office in our Bamako headquarters. It is located in the little « Latin Quarter » of Faladiè alongside the School of Progress, the Ecole Supérieure of Technology and Management, and the campus of Malian Union for the Blind. The Learning Center will boast a climate-controlled Computer Room with 30 desktop computers and a high-speed DSL connection. The preparation of the Computer Room was only possible thanks to a donation from the just keep livin Foundation. The just keep livin Foundation works for the well-being of young people in the United States. It is very unusual for this organization to fund projects outside the United States but it seems that jkl has a particular soft spot for Mali ! EMC Corporation, TechWriters Without Borders, and OvaScience are also valued contributors of hardware that will be essential for our Learning Center.

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Robots will be the centerpiece of our Learning Center will the creation of iNERDE Robotics Clubs. The Robotics Clubs are the continuation of CodeNERDE, the new programming and robotics bootcamp we launched in the Ntomo Innovation Academy 2016. The Clubs are just the beginning! iNERDE is making plans to train national youth teams to represent Mali in international robotics competitions. We’ll have exciting news to report about this in our next newsletter. Stay tuned!

Ntomo Innovation Academy, 2017 Edition

iNERDE’s STEM summer camp program grew in 2016 with the addition of a second camp, CodeNERDE, for older children. Our expansion will continue in 2017 with new learning modules and a range of activities for an even larger range of ages. To be continued …

Recap Ntomo Innovation Academy, 2016 Edition

CodeNERDE 2016 Graduation

CodeNerde 2016 Graduation

We brought the 3rd edition of our educational camps to a successful conclusion, perhaps even a brillant culmination of our best camps ever. We added lots of new lessons to our core camp around computer science, robotics, the internet, and biology. We launched a new camp for advanced students in programming and robotics, CodeNERDE. And we improved the training of our dedicted teachers, getting all of our lesson plans onto an online platform.

You’ll find lots of information about the Ntomo Innovation Academy 2016 here on our website. There are weekly reports and quite a few videos. The videos are in French (and sometimes in the local language, Bambara), but almost all of them have English subtitles.

Meet us at the Bamako Children’s Conference (SEBA), December 22-26

iNERDE will unveil its Learning Center, the Robotics Clubs, and Ntomo Innovation Academy 2017 at the Bamako Children’s Conference (SEBA – Salon de l’Enfance de Bamako), December 22-26. SEBA is a major national conference for and about the children of Mali. It is sponsored by the Malian Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children and Families, held at the City of Children (La Cité des Enfants) in Bamako. iNERDE is going to greet the world there at its exhibition booth. We are also going to hold workshops for children and their parents to give everyone a preview of the activities planned for Ntomo Innovation Academy 2017 and the Robotics Clubs. Our program for the coming year will be available, our Learning Center will be open to the public and we will begin accepting enrollments. If you have the good fortune to be in bustling Bamako at the end of December, be sure to be there!