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Young Ugandans gather around to use UNICEF’s unique innovation the solar-powered Digital Drum, at Bosco Youth Centre in Gulu, Uganda. The Digital Drum was this month chosen as one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2011.

About 10 per cent of Ugandans currently use the Internet, and a majority of Ugandans live in rural settings with little to no access to information across areas of health, education, job training, and protection from violence and abuse. The poorest, most isolated and vulnerable children and youth are hit hardest from this lack of access when they do not benefit from crucial services and resources that could improve their health, safety and future.

In response, UNICEF is developing these rugged computer kiosks that will serve as information access points aimed at youth and their communities. The computers will be pre-loaded with dynamic multimedia content on health, job training, education opportunities, and other services. The innovation is being developed and tested in Uganda by UNICEF’s Technology for Development unit.

The Digital Drum is a computer built into an oil drum. It was designed by UNICEF Uganda’s Technology 4 Development Unit in partnership with other companies. The drums have been installed in youth centers and other areas so that kids can have access to computers. The computers have preloaded content that youth can access. (Bosco Youth Center, Gulu)