UNICEF Kenya and Airtel Kenya launch new partnership to promote children’s rights to education and protection
Education, protection and life-saving information during emergencies are priorities
Nairobi, 8 February 2021 – UNICEF Kenya and Airtel Kenya have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote children’s rights to education and a safe and secure childhood, as well as providing vital information to parents during humanitarian emergencies.
The joint work will focus on protecting the most marginalised children from violence and abuse, including online, as well as increasing access to Internet connectivity and digital learning in schools. The partnership will also focus on providing life-saving information to children and their families during emergencies such as droughts, floods and disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19.
“I would like to thank Airtel for joining us on this partnership, which will transform children’s lives here in Kenya and help create change in communities across the country,” said UNICEF Representative Maniza Zaman. “We have already worked together to promote polio and other vaccination campaigns, which has undoubtedly saved children’s lives. Now we have a chance to protect children from violence and also extend digital learning to more children.”
“Together with UNICEF, we want to help children access the Internet, keep them safe online and boost their opportunities to learn,” said CEO of Airtel Kenya Prasanta Das Sarma. “This partnership is a chance for us to leverage Airtel’s technology and reach in Kenya and build on our shared values – aligning our missions and strategies for social good.”
The partnership unites one of the largest telecommunications companies in Kenya, with one of the world’s leading child rights agencies. The agreement, which will last one year initially, will bring together UNICEF’s expertise on children’s rights, advocacy and programmes and Airtel’s technical expertise, range of products and ability to communicate with a wide audience.
Priority projects under the new partnership include:
- The Last Mile Connectivity Project, which aims to increase use of digital literacy tools and connect schools to the internet, in order to provide quality digital learning for children, including those with disabilities.
- A campaign on violence against children, ‘Spot it, Stop it’, which aims to raise public awareness of the different forms of violence – physical, sexual and emotional – including how to recognise and report these. The campaign also addresses violence and abuse against children in the online space.
- Clear and timely information during humanitarian emergencies - crafting SMS to reach children and their families when they are affected by events like droughts, floods and pandemics, such as COVID-19.
UNICEF Kenya and Airtel’s partnership is in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 17, which encourages partnerships for sustainable development.
Airtel Kenya and UNICEF have already worked together in Kenya to connect three primary schools to the Internet and to support immunisation campaigns against polio and measles-rubella. UNICEF and Airtel previously signed a global MoU in May 2020, and in November 2021.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus . Find out more about UNICEF’s work on the COVID-19 vaccines here, or about UNICEF’s work on immunization here.