The Hello Hub brings internet and an education to Nigeria

December 5, 2014
IE

While many people around the world take the internet for granted, in a lot of parts of Africa many people have never had an education let alone seen or used the internet. This is due to the fact that there are regions where it isn’t practical to have built a school and take on teachers to provide children with an education.

However, there are now alternatives as the Hello Hub is bringing education along with access to the internet. The Hello Hub is a kiosk that relies on solar power and comes with two touchscreen computers. The computers are packed with an internet connection along with educational software. The first hubs were recently installed in Nigeria and next year the charity, Projects for All, plans on installing more.

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[Image Source: Hello Hubs]

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[Image Source: Hello Hubs]

The Hello Hub has benches that provide seating for up to eight people, with the two touchscreen computers being enclosed in waterproof enclosures and being made of off the shelf parts. They have been designed so that they can be repaired easily and come with remote access software to ensure that if any issues crop up they can be troubleshooted without having to send an engineer.

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[Image Source: Hello Hubs]

They run on a special version of Linux software, called Edubuntu, and come with lots of educational software along with an office suite, tools for media editing and a web browser. People are able to use the computer through the touchscreen and keyboard; there is also a webcam and microphone installed on the computer. All members of the community have a personalised password which allows them to log onto their own desktop, which brings up their own files and activities.

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[Image Source: Hello Hubs]

The Hello Hub is able to run off-grid thanks to a battery array and solar power. Access to the internet comes from satellite or cell-network connectivity. The hub also offers people the chance to access the internet on their own devices as it has acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

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[Image Source: Hello Hubs]

Construction of the Hello Hub in Nigeria didn’t just take place by outsiders; the whole community was involved in building the kiosk. Instead of just giving the community the system, the charity partnered up with them and worked alongside them for the construction and setting up.

Everyone put in the same investment of time, knowledge and their skills. The charity said that, “This ensures sustainability and community empowerment. We open source all of our technology and methods and publish ‘how-to’ guides so that anyone, anywhere can build one too.

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[Image Source: Hello Hubs]

The first of the Hello Hubs was installed in Suleja in Nigeria and the charity plan on installing more in Eastern Nigeria starting from March 2015.

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[Image Source: Hello Hubs]