ALIN Awarded 2011 Access to Learning Award by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
September 22, 2011
ALIN scores a first in winning coveted global accolade stamping its authority in pioneering the use of ICTs to empower remote arid lands communities with knowledge and information, transforming their livelihoods. In a development that marked the global recognition of the organisation’s work, ALIN was declared the 2011 winner of the prestigious and highly competitive Access to Learning Award (ATLA) given annually by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The timing of the award was highly significant for ALIN coming as it did at the time when the organization was celebrating its 10th Anniversary since it started operations in East Africa. The Award was announced at an event held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 during the International Federation of Library Associations meeting at a ceremony presided over by Deborah Jacobs, Director of the Global Libraries initiative at the (BMGF). ALIN was recognised for taking advantage of the benefits of ICTs to empower arid lands communities by locating Maarifa (Knowledge) centres in remote arid lands across East Africa and providing free access to information resources, including the internet and library resources. Communities that receive information resources from ALIN have used them to initiate local social enterprises that have improved their livelihoods over the years. This made ALIN to be the first organisation in sub-Saharan Africa to win the Award. On hand to receive the accolade was Mr. James Nguo, the founding Regional Director of ALIN. ATLA comes with a cash prize of US$1,000,000 meant to help the recipient organisation to scale up the winning concept in order to impact a larger number of people.