The Climate Change Virtual School

The Climate change Virtual School is the premium DRI learning platform dedicated to climate change and social innovation issues. This catalytic and innovative capacity building platform has grown from strength to strength. Having been launched in February 2010 with just 18 students, the platform now offers 6 development oriented courses to an average 2000 participants every year, and is expected to double its enrollment by 2015.

The e-learning platform was launched in partnership with the United Nations Volunteer Program in Zimbabwe with a particular focus to serve young people in Africa. The UNDP Country Director Dr. Christine Umutoni, UNDP Country Director had this to say at the launch “The Virtual School is an effective tool to raise awareness of the climate change challenge among practitioners, government and civil society representatives and the public at large. The use of e-learning is a game-changing innovation, which collapses not only an effective instrument for awareness raising, it is as well climate friendly as it reduces transaction and transport costs, the use of paper and other resources necessary to reach the same amount of people and to disseminate a large amount of information”,

In 2010, the Virtual school launched with one course “Mainstreaming climate change in development planning and implementation with initial financial support from YETT and Swedish International Development Agency. The first intake had only 18 participants from Zimbabwe. To date the platform enrolls a staggering 2000 participants from 32 African countries every year. New strategic partners have thrown their weight behind this innovative capacity building platform, the first of its nature in Africa run by youths for youths. Among notable partners was African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) which in 2011 – 2012 supported DRI with an capacity innovation grant of US$100 000. Other partners actively supporting the initiative include the leading social enterprise organization ASHOKA, Global Development Network, the Government of Zimbabwe and the American Business Council.

The virtual school prides itself on 7 global awards and recognitions,

2010 2010 2010 2011 2012 2013
World Summit youth Award ICT Achievers Awards Stockholm Challenge African Capacity Market Place Award – ACBF Japanese Award for the Most Innovative Award – GDN abc* Continuity Forum award

The Virtual School now offers a wide range of courses, thanks to the support of our partners.

courses

CCV table 2

The Scholar Grant

DRI, thanks to its partners, is able to offer a scholarship to 30% of the participants. The grant is awarded to youth unable to pay for themselves and to government employees.

The Virtual School attracts people of various backgrounds, a trend DRI is proud of, for climate change is a subject that cuts across all sectors. Participants range from journalists, development workers from CSOs, NGOs and International Agencies.

What our Students have to say

  • Jesse Owino, Manager of Sport Stadia Board- Kenya
    This training allowed us to also understand the responsibility of man on climate change and the various challenges ahead. Finally, what concerns us most, we acquired the various changes and opportunities in Africa.
  • Jeffrey Gogo, Journalist – Zimbabwe
    The strengths that l can apply in future and work environment are research initiatives in the line of climate change. The discussion topics we handled are very fertile areas of research and as an academic l am going to use this knowledge in carrying out a variety of climate change research studies as well as writing papers to present at climate change workshops and conferences. As a journalist l will use this information to write to the print media.
  • Mahah Vladimire, Environmental Conservation Educator – Cameroon
    This training was very rewarding in terms of knowledge. First I learned what it is climate change, we talked about everywhere, but we do not know really what it is, this training has given me the practical and scientific definition. Then there was issues touching the realities of climate change, this is done through illustrations and explanations of phenomena (disasters) whose natural world suffered lately. The most important thing now is to know the causes of this climate change thing we learned during this training.
  • Worku Alemayehu, Development Partners Officer (AUC) – Ethiopia:
    The course helped me understand that people especially the youth are willing to listen, learn and act on any matter including long-term issues that bear on the well-being and prosperity of society.  I also appreciate the critical role internet (ICT) as a tool for environmental management (awareness creation). I hope there will be greater investments and adoption even in other problematic issues. Week two on Meteorological aspects of climate change helped me understand the mechanisms of warming in a very deep yet simplified manner.

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