Digital Private Diplomacy
TweetMozambique is rebuilding its education system starting from the ground up, quite literally. The country just initiated the launch of Educate Mozambique which is a broad and global online, social, mobile and offline campaign to both educate and crowd-source the world about the current situation faced by millions of school children in Mozambique. Educate Mozambique is a first of it’s kind pro-active social media campaign run on behalf of an entire nation in Africa.
This project was conceived by Former President Joaquim Chissano and Celio Mondlane of Fundação Joaquim Chissano and mandated by Dr. Zeferino Martins, Minister of Education in Mozambique. Silberberg Innovations is managing the project.
The primary mission is to help bring promised funding into the Mozambique School system from western donor groups who due to the global financial crisis, have not been able to keep their promises to provide the much needed financial assistance to the schools. This story of promised funding not materializing is far too common in the development funding world. The secondary mission is to educate the world about the success stories Mozambicans have achieved and how the country is constantly innovating its education system to bring its workforce into the 21st century. At the same time the country will be utilizing crowd-sourced information and assistance to push some of the western financial powers to make good on their initial promises of funding and will be creating both online and real world coalitions through multiple media channels.
Many countries are constantly at the risk of committing capital to projects based on promises of western donor groups and other philanthropic and aid organizations, only to find after commencing work that the funding source is far less than was promised. Many of the same companies that are making “promises” about aid and donations/grants for education are simultaneously holding these same countries in toxic or close to toxic debt and interest payment cycles.
Former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique had this to say about the “Educate Mozambique” project: “With proper education anything is possible. Mozambique is a prime example of that. Although there is much to be done, if we examine how the Mozambican Education system has evolved since our Independence in 1975, we can clearly see that proper education is the main determinant factor in the destiny of a Nation”
Celio Mondlane had this to say: “It is amazing to see the thirst for knowledge and the desire to learn in these kids eyes despite the adverse conditions that they face on a daily basis. Once you witness what they go through in order to get to school on time, the limited academic resources that they have access to, the conditions under which they are forced to learn, and the adversities they face once they go home…….You can’t help but to be driven to act in a way that provides some relief to them and their local communities along with solving some of their existing problems. There is absolutely nothing worse than to go through childhood without having the opportunity to be and act like a kid. These kids deserve at least a chance to be properly educated and they will amaze as all with their creativity and productive contribution to society. Let’s Give Them a Chance”
Alan W. Silberberg had this to say: “Silberberg Innovations is honored to be under mandate with the Education Ministry of Mozambique. There are over one million children in Mozambique without schools to go to in 2011. Western financial powers have promised funding to build schools that has yet to appear. We are working with the Education Ministry of Mozambique and Fundação Joaquim Chissano to create a social media, mobile and online framework that will partially rely on crowd-sourcing to build coalitions. This historic campaign for Mozambique; and much of the developing world, will tell the story of the struggles and successes that Mozambique has been able to achieve even without this funding.”
For now the hub of this activity will be on the Educate Mozambique blog until the full website is finished. Additionally, the initial social media push will occur from the official Twitter handle and ultimately the online experience will be bi-lingual.
Educate Mozambique will in the next coming weeks and months spread the word about this developing country, and its march towards sustainable development through education. In the coming months we will be providing information about the coalition of governments, universities and foundations that are committed to this project and what you can do individually or through your groups to assist.