Franck Belemkoabga

Burkina Faso
ASE 2019

“I particularly liked the lecture about green engineering.  The lecturer said, ‘Solve the solved problems.’ Nowadays, many products have been created to help people with their day-to-day tasks, problems, or needs. As an engineer, it can be difficult to think about what else you can create to positively impact the community or the world. However, this lecture gave me hope, faith, and certainty that there is much more to do in the field of engineering. Many products have been created but not in a sustainable way, not in a way that protects the Earth, the world we all live in.”

Education is an important factor in a country’s development. However, in my community, many children do not have access to good educational resources, and according to national data, 15 out of 100 children do not attend school and the illiteracy rate is about 70%. After studying in a local school, I earned a scholarship at the International School of Ouagadougou. My friends from my previous school desperately ask me how they can learn English since the local classrooms are ineffective at teaching the language.

Noticing that these children have mobile phones, I decided to turn these mobile phones into educational companions. Therefore, I came up with the concept of creating free, accessible, offline, and interactive mobile educational applications to allow them to learn outside the class with good resources. Using our programming and designing skills, my teammates and I created an English educational app (with Android Studio) which helped hundreds of students learn the basics of English. We wanted the App to also reflect parts of our local culture. Therefore, most of the design and the name of the App were inspired by our culture.

The App is called “N’Gomda” which means “I speak” in my traditional language Mooré, and is available on the Google Play Store. We went to different schools to promote the App to teachers and students and talk about the benefits of using it. One user describes the app as “a simple, effective, and fun way to learn English.”

Now we are working on the second version of the app to include games and more interactivity. For this second version, we are adding gamification in all the courses and training to help the user learn efficiently and in a fun way.

For this project, My team and I won the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) service-learning award. We obtained $5,000 in order to expand the project and give access to a good education for everyone.

Ambassador Year: