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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Ugandan Teenager Who Is Improving The Minds of Slum Children Through Computer Knowledge

Samuel Lubangakene is the Ugandan teenager who developed a creative computer game project, called The Children Mind Development Project (CMDP). This initiative provides multiple brain training games, such as Sudoku, Space Chem and Braid, as well as computer training, including in game-making software, as an alternative to violent video games for local slum children. 

The 18 year old who lives in a slum in Kampala, Uganda said that the initiative started in 2013, when he realized that most slum children used the few Ugandan shillings they gained by collecting scrap metal or helping their parents with stone quarrying for 25 minutes of video games. The CMDP intends to provide slum children essential computer knowledge, which they can apply in their daily life and to improve their community. Samuel holds computer sessions twice a week for interested children.

The young Ugandan’s CMDP project has been licensed to access some games at no cost from Emblem Entertainment, an independent Australian game development company, established in 2008. The project has also gotten a Zone 40 wireless game system, which is an interactive gaming system with 40 built-in games and two motion controllers, which is similar to the Nintendo Wii.

The project has also been so successful among local children that there are currently not enough computers to accommodate the demand. Speaking of the future, Samuel hopes to provide the children with an income source, by getting them to type documents for local residents on computers, as well as help them set up bank accounts, where they can save their money. When advising other young change-makers and entrepreneurs, Samuel stresses: “Do what develops your community and yourself. Be problem-solvers, not problem-makers.’

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