The iMlango Junior Debaters Contest Season 3 is here!

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We are excited to announce that Season 3 of the iMlango Junior Debaters Contest has now begun!

All groups taking part have now received their iMlango group account logins ready for Round 1, which will run from Monday 10th to the end of Friday 21st of September.

Schools are advised to remind the student groups that are involved to login to view the debating motion, prepare their responses and submit them within the deadline.

Good luck to all who are taking part!

Best wishes,
The iMlango Team

iMlango invited to speak at UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s roundtable meeting on girls’ education

We were delighted to be asked to contribute to the recent Wilton Park discussion led by the Foreign and Commonwealth office centring on issues of girls’ education, where we were able to share some of our insights, especially on literacy, from our experiences in Kenya.

Girls continue to face barriers in accessing education at all levels throughout the world. According to UNESCO, 130 million girls between the age of 6 and 17 are out of school and 15 million primary school aged girls will never have access to education. Yet girls’ education is a human right which not only benefits girls themselves, but positively impacts wider community wellbeing and economic prosperity at local, regional and national levels.

   iMlango's Simon Bruce Kaniu at Wiston House in Sussex, seated on the front row, five in from the left.

iMlango's Simon Bruce Kaniu at Wiston House in Sussex, seated on the front row, five in from the left.

Simon Bruce Kaniu, iMlango Local Project Lead and sQuid Kenya General Manager delivered the talk at the Wilton Park conference, and said: “We believe the role of technology in providing an education platform accessible by all students is vital. It can’t work just on its own; there will always be a focus on the human elements of teacher skills and motivation, and the out of school factors that affect the marginalised. In Kenya, we have been trying to bring all of these components together with our iMlango partners.”

On the role of the private sector and how it can partner with governments and NGOs to improve girls' education, Simon added: "I believe that the private sector can play a key role in improving girls' education by utilising its experience in devising and driving commercial activities within programmes, to ensure that they are sustainable and continue to impact schools and the surrounding communities after initial funding has finished.

"To reach and support the most marginalised children, the private sector, governments and NGOs must work together collectively to continue to innovate, improve delivery, and drive scale within educational development programmes."

The three-day roundtable at Wiston House in Sussex aimed to produce a set of recommendations for a transnational collaborative campaign; it achieved the following:

  • Identified options and recommendations to develop a new, transformative UK-led diplomatic campaign in support of 12 years of quality education;
  • Identified what success looks like, including good practice and policy from the education sector and beyond on diplomatic transnational campaigns;
  • Highlighted the successes of international efforts to improve girls’ education so far, map where gaps remain and recommend actions to address them; and
  • Developed lasting partnerships between varying sectors and agencies to collaborate in successfully delivering campaigns leading to improvements for girls’ education

We'd like to thank Wilton Park for the invitation and for providing us with the opportunity to share our experiences and insights from the programme.


For more information on Wilton Park, please click here

iMlango Microloans: Providing Hope to Women in Kiambani

Tumaini Women group is a group of parents from Kiambani Primary School. Tumaini means hope in Kiswahili, and the name was chosen to inspire other groups and their children; the group was formed in January 2018.

Group members are involved in various small businesses in Makindu town: salons and cosmetic shops, honey-selling, grocery stalls. 

In an effort to improve financial literacy and to economically empower members, iMlango field officers introduced table-banking, also locally known as Zangule, to the group. In this arrangement, each member is asked to make a weekly contribution during the group meeting.

  Tumaini Women group at formation stage

Tumaini Women group at formation stage

This collection is borrowed by members at an interest of 10%, and is repayable in the next group meeting. Weekly meetings result in more frequent collections, with more money in circulation and available to recipients.

From January to the end of May, the group has accumulated Ksh150,000 in their Zangule. They can now lend each other up to Ksh30,000, stemming from prudent and responsible financial management as guided by the loan officer. Members borrow to pay school fees, transport to school, pocket money for their children, business support, and emergency needs. 

In support of iMlango’s microloans initiative, the group officials have ensured that only borrowers who are active in their Zangule, and have consistently saved, are approved. They also warn members that in the event of a default, they would recoup their Zangule contributions to repay the loan amount due. This has helped to instil a high level of local financial ownership of the collective management of loan repayments.

  The iMlango team with group members, June 2018

The iMlango team with group members, June 2018

The group intends to open a bank account to save whatever remains in every sitting that isn’t borrowed by members. At the end of the year, they would pay out each member her interest earned for the entire period. Pay-out would be done in the first week of January 2019 so as to coincide with school opening, which will help support on school-related costs for the beginning on a new academic year.

Tumaini is one such example of a group driving their own financial development; as we are not prescriptive in our approach to developing financial capacity, only providing assistance where appropriate, and allowing for differing contexts at the local level.