September 20, 2012 marked a unique day in Wales, United Kingdom: it was AfriCAN Day.
AfriCAN Day was inspired from President Obama’s elections campaign (“Yes we Can!”), and has now become an annual event that aims to give schools and community a taste of Africa’s rich and vibrant cultural heritage. The day also seeks to explore how African people have impacted and contributed towards United Kingdom and Welsh society, highlighting the achievements made by people of African decent who have made Wales their home over the years.
With the help of an organization known as Wales Liberia Connect (WLC), efforts were quickly made to host an online forum for students in both regions to have an opportunity to learn about the others’ culture.
When Max Kpakio, CEO of WLC and a Liberian living in Wales, reached out to iLab to see how we could assist in linking his Liberian counterparts with students Wales, the answer was easy.
A simple Skype call at iLab provided the real-time platform that connected nearly 15 students from three high schools in Liberia (St. Peter Lutheran, Free Pentecostal Global Mission, and Well- Hair Stone) to students and instructors in Wales. Mrs. Asatu Bah-Kenneth, Assistant Minister of Justice for Administration and Public Safety, was the special guest speaker who discussed her views on Liberia’s civil war that paralyzed the country, providing Welsh students a rare opportunity to ask a Liberian official questions pertaining to the war. For nearly two hours, students took turns asking each other questions about important issues in their respective regions.
Having seen the power of how a simple platform like Skype can engage students from around the globe, iLab hopes to continue to partner with more schools and organizations in the future.