As dissemination projects advanced in Zambia and Ethiopia, specific requests were made for adding local content and resources which would require a more flexible framework for e-content delivery including readily moving content to tablets and other portable devices.  Projects and groups have been developed in both countries for these purposes and will be described below as country specific Sparkman eLearning Projects (SeP).


Sparkman eLearning Project: Zambia

A group of computer technology innovators was developed as part of the VVOB activities within the Zambia Ministry of Education and came to be known as BongoHive (BongoHive). With initial investment from SCGH in 2011, BongoHive became an independent non-profit under the leadership of Lukonga Lindunda (About BongoHive). They have flourished and are now part of many regional and international tech groups and have become very impactful locally in the areas of tech and business innovation and early development. Support for SCGH Zambia eL activities were all arranged in collaboration with BongoHive leadership including the Peace Corps project described above and discussions around potential synergies are continual.

The desire for a more flexible eG delivery framework as well as being able to add and organize local content led to the development of a new framework locally called Mano-app. With a desire to focus on development of local computer coding talent as well as dissemination projects, a new non-profit entity was developed in June 2016 called Hacker’s Guild (Hackers Guild) and led by Charles Mwanza and Bornwell Mwewa. Supported by SCGH, a more flexible Ubuntu-based framework for local content organization and presentation was developed in early 2016. This framework, which is still under development, has now been used for a Vanderbilt University Nurse Anesthetist training program in Kenya and plans are made for projects with Chainama College of Health Sciences in Kabwe and possibly with the Zambian Ministry of Education. eL content is also now catalogued for subset delivery in various settings. 

Hacker’s Guild is also partnered with SCGH and Peace Corps Zambia and Daniel Bevington (Daniel Bevington) in the development of a Girls Can Code (Girls Can Code) project to be delivered in a northern rural setting in Zambia in January 2017. 


BongoHive 3Pictured above (left to right) Charles Mwanza (BongoHive), Mulugeta Assefa (Ethiopia Ministry of Health), Bornwell Mwewa (BongoHive)

Members of the non-profit organization BongoHive Members of the non-profit organization BongoHive

BongoHive 2Pictured above: Simunza Muyangana, Bornwell Mwewa, Charles Mwanza, and Dr. Craig Wilson


2016 DEC Bongo Hive Craig WilsonDr. Craig Wilson stopped by the Bongo Hive offices and met with Scott Russpatrick, a UAB MPH (Uab Soph) graduate, who completed a Peace Corps stint in Zambia with his wife Carrie. Mr. Russpatrick has continued to work for Akros. Pictured: Silumesii Maboshe, Bornwell Mwewa and Scott Russpatrick.

2016 DEC Chainama College Craig WilsonDr. Craig Wilson visits the new campus of Chainama College in Kabwe, Zambia to discuss new e-learning platform installation. Mr. David Lusaka (next to Dr. Wilson below) is Head of Programs. Pictured: Charles Mwanza and Bornwell Mwewa.


Sparkman eLearning Project: Ethiopia 

Support of eL activities in Ethiopia began in 2013 when Dr. Wilson began working with Addis Ababa University as part of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative. Trainings were needed for donated eG units and these were done by Lukonga Lindunda from BongoHive, Zambia.  Subsequently, SCGH Dr. Wilson met an eL associate, Mulugeta Assefa who was already involved with a USAID Girls Can Code project. Mr. Assefa supported the eG installations in four medical colleges involved in the MEPI project. 

As the work in Zambia progressed in early 2016, the Ministries of Health and Education of Ethiopia each expressed interest in supporting dissemination of any e-learning tools and platforms that could be developed. With this in mind, Mr. Mwewa and Mwanza from BongoHive, Zambia traveled to Ethiopia in March 2016 and trained Ethiopian programmers on the development of the new Ubuntu-based framework.  

With these developing set of projects, a new NGO named Support Education (Support Education) was formed in Ethiopia to carry out these activities under the leadership of Mr. Assefa.

Ethiopia MoE New WEbsiteMeeting at the Ministry of Education (MoE) for planning of dissemination of education tools into Secondary Schools with Mulugeta Asefa (Support Education), Dr. Negussie Beyene Belew (Head Minister's Bureau, MoE) and Dr. Craig Wilson

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education (MoE) in early 2016 for the development of a resource for Secondary Schools in Ethiopia. MoE agreed to turn over all of their resources for grades 9-12 including textbooks, lecture videos and all other complimentary resources so they could be organized by grade, curriculum and ultimately syllabus on the Ubuntu-based framework. These full resources will then be supplemented with eG based resources and loaded for delivery onto appropriate servers and hard drives for use in secondary schools. The delivery concept is the same as that for eL and is based on web based content delivered on a LAN. In this case we will be using 7 inch tablets for the end user platform. SCGH has agreed to provide support for this resource development and a pilot project which will be initiated in October 2016 in Burayu Secondary and Preparatory School in Burayu, Oromia state (Burayu Secondary and Prepartory School) just outside of Addis Ababa. Once this platform and pilot is assessed, further plans will be made for more rural dissemination. Overall plan is for dissemination to all 3800 secondary schools. 

A similar MOU was signed with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) in early 2016 for the development of a resource around the curriculum for training doctors (MBChB). The first phase is for setting the full medical curriculum into the Ubuntu-based framework and uploading all available textbooks for dissemination to all 24 medical schools. This framework was completed in early September 2016 with plans for training in late September. The MoH is providing servers for all schools without them and had previously purchased 2200 tablets for use by the medical students. The second phase of this project will be continuing to develop materials to the level of Moodle for actual course organization and presentation. This is expected to be an ongoing project for the next 12 months.



Burayu Senior Secondary and Prepartory School pilot program meetingDr. Wilson met with local and regional leadership at the Burayu Secondary and Preparatory School. Burayu will be the site for the Ubuntu based pilot program mentioned above

Burayu Grp 2Dr. Craig Wilson was presented with an Oromia outfit

.Burayu 3Dr. Wilson with Oromia Bureau and Burayu Secondary School leadership including Parent Association. Dr. Wilson is having Ethiopian coffee before visiting the pilot project site

Ministry of Health Pic 1Meeting at the Ministry of Health for the dissemination of education tools into Medical Schools with Netsanet Animat (Addis Ababa University MEPI Program), Dr. Craig Wilson, Mulugeta Asefa (Support Education) and Dr. Mengistu Kifle (Head of Education Programs, MoH) 


 SeP Ethiopia: May 2017 Update

The collaborations with Support Education and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education continued to develop and a delivery model using only tablets containing complete content for each grade was tested further at Burayu Secondary and Preparatory School and at a new placement at Chacha Secondary and Preparatory School in Amhara state. Dr. Wilson made visits to each school to get feedback and discuss further plans with local leadership. We hope to have tablets for all students in grades 9-12 available for the new school year starting in September 2017 at both Burayu and Chacha.


Burayu IT leadership Dr. Craig Wilson pictured with Burayu IT leadership for the Burayu deployment. Pictured left to right: Abnet Seife (SuppEd programmer), Girma and Ali Mume (Burayu IT and Computer Instructors), Dr. Craig Wilson and Mulugeta Assefa (Project Leader SuppEd)



Burayu indoors Dr. Craig Wilson talking with students at the Burayu Secondary and Preparatory School. Pictured standing from left to right: Mulugeta Assefa, Dr. Craig Wilson and Mr. Mekuria (Principal Burayu Secondary and Preparatory School)

Burayu girlsPictured: Burayu students exploring the new tablets


Chacha leadPictured among students: Mr Tsagaye (Chacha Principal, light suit), Henok Tesfaye (blue sweater, Supp Ed system developer), Dr. Craig Wilson and Mr. Miliard (right of Dr. Wilson)

Chacha all studentsPreparatory School (turquoise) and Secondary School (purple) students with tablets. In the middle: Dr. Craig Wilson, Mulugeta Assefa (kneeling) and Mr. Miliard (behind Dr. Wilson), Chacha school board.

Chacha sign


SeP Ethiopia: August 2017 Update

Dr. Craig Wilson completed a follow up visit to Ethiopia that included meetings with Support Education Staff, the Ministry of Education main office, plus visits with Oromia and Amhara Bureaus, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Department for International Development (DFID). Considerable interest and support has been generated for the Secondary/Preparatory as well as Medical and Veterinary digitization projects. The visit was made more colorful and interesting as it occurred during the Filseta Miriam (Assumption) 15 day fasting period. 

UNESCO2Meeting with UNESCO Education leadership to discuss SparkEd project. Bizuna Takele (Education Consultant and Project Leadership SupEd), Craig Wilson, Mulugeta Assefa (Project Director SupEd), and Samuel Asnake (UNESCO Chief of Education in Addis Ababa)

Amhara Bureau Meeting with leadership of Amhara Education Bureau in Bahir Dar: Tefera Feyissa (Amhara Ed Bureau IT leadership), Mulugeta Assefa (Project Director SupEd), Yilkal Kefale Asres (Head, Amhara Education Bureau) and Craig Wilson

.SuppEd DinnerSupport Education wrap up dinner with leadership and development team for SparkEd project: Abnet Seife (main development programmer, SupEd), Henok Tesfaye (programmer and developer), Selamawit Tekeleyared (programmer and developer), Mulugeta Assefa (Project Director), Craig Wilson, Bizuna Takele (Education Consultant and Project Leadership SupEd)

Priests St George copy Priest and Monk at St. George’s Church just after mid-day service during Filseta Miriam observance (which breaks the fast) in Bahir Dar 


 SeP Ethiopia: November 2017 Update

Dr. Craig Wilson completed a follow up visit to Ethiopia earlier this month that included meetings with the Ministry of Education and with Oromia and Amhara Bureaus. The visit concluded with a recognition that a significant milestone had been reached in the collaborative project that had been ongoing for nearly 18 months. The milestone was the completed digitization of all of the Grade 9-12 general education resources plus the creation of a supplementary set of resources that could be used as a library at each school. Pilot projects had also been successfully completed in Burayu in the Oromia Region and Chacha in the Amhara Region. Delivery systems have been tested in each school and visits by MOE and Bureau leadership including curriculum and IT staff were made during the visit. A ceremony marking the milestone was held in Addis Ababa on the 16th November.  Special recognition of the Support Education staff led by Mulugeta Assefa (Project Director) and Abnet Seife (main development programmer), Henok Tesfaye (programmer and developer), Selamawit Tekeleyared (programmer and developer), Bizuna Takele (Education Consultant and Project Leadership). Some pics of the visit are below.

Burayu mtgBurayu Meeting: A meeting recognizing the accomplishments of the collaboration was held at Burayu, Oromia Region. Pictured L to R are: Berhanu Moreda: Adviser for the General Education State Minister, Asabu Werkineh, Director of School Improvement Directorate at the Ministry of Education, Negusse Belew, Head of Bureau, Ministry of Education, Craig Wilson



Burayu indoors Chacha students giving testimonials

Burayu girls Group picture after the Milestone Recognition meeting. Pictured L to R: Tamar Kevorkian of Instigate Design, Armenia; Prof. Craig Wilson, Director of Sparkman Center for Global Health; Asabu Werkineh, MOE Director of School Improvement Directorate; Mulugeta Assefa, Chief Executive of Support Education; Elias Girma, MOE Director of Planning and Resource Mobilization Directorate representing the Minister of Education; Ephrem Tessema, Head of Amhara Education Bureau; Ato Birehanu Moreda, Adviser to the State Minster for General Education; Zelalem Assefa, MOE Ethiopian Education and Research Network (EthERNet) Directorate Director; Samuel Asnake, UNESCO Chief of Education in Addis Ababa; Ali Mume; Burayu IT and Computer Instructor.


Group AA ChachaHenok Tesfaye, Support Education; Asfawesen Adenew, School Principal Chacha Secondary and Preparatory School; Craig Wilson, Director of Sparkman Center for Global Health; Chacha students Genet and Bekele; Samuel Asnake, UNESCO Chief of Education in Addis Ababa; Ali Mume; Burayu IT and Computer Instructor; Mulugeta Assefa, Chief Executive of Support Education.