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Donating to VSO just got easier!

Making a donation to VSO via Apple Pay on an iPhone VSO

VSO is upgrading the way it fundraises with ‘Apple Pay’, following the recent launch of Apple’s charity partnership with VSO.

Apple Pay has revolutionised the way we pay for things. Now it will make donating to VSO much quicker.

You will now be able to support VSO simply by using your thumbprint. Here’s how: iPhone - Guided Tour: Apple Pay

This secure donation method is available through your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

Fighting poverty with technology

This is not the first time that VSO has rolled out Apple technology. Since September 2015 - in partnership with education software experts ‘onebillion’ - solar powered iPad Minis in Malawi have been helping school children improve their literacy and numeracy.

The project, called ‘Unlocking Talent’, trains teachers to deliver tablet technology-based educational courses to their students.

Challenge of education

In Malawi, just 35% of children finish primary school. Although primary education is free, demand has outstripped supply meaning that the average class size is 90 children with few resources.

This makes teaching and learning incredibly difficult, but when a child follows a bespoke comprehensive course on an individual iPad in their own language, at their own pace with their own headphones, significant progress is made in their reading and maths ability.

The courses are designed for minimal adult supervision. Children don’t have to be literate to access them, as everything is explained through audio instruction.

Pupils waiting to log in to their Unlocking Talent Through Technology class session at Ngwenya Primary School in Lilongwe, Malawi. VSO / Amos Gumulira

Revolutionary results

Every iPad lesson engages the young learner with colour, sound effects, praise and instant feedback, enabling them to move onto the next level when they get something right. This one-to-one instruction is vital to a child’s progress, which is not possible to achieve in a class of 90.

Research from Nottingham University shows that the progress these children make in eight weeks using this interactive tablet technology would have taken them a whole year previously in an overcrowded classroom using the conventional ‘chalk and talk’ method. As a result, children want to stay in school and learn. Drop-out rates are declining and grades are on the up.

Over 20,000 children in 68 schools across Malawi are currently benefiting from VSO's Unlocking Talent project. Every one of these children has the opportunity to access two half hour sessions of fun iPad learning every week.

Plans for expansion

These lessons are aligned with the Malawian national curriculum and local language education apps can be downloaded for numeracy, literacy and English language learning. As part of their technological training, Teachers are able to manage various modules and track their students’ progress.

The Unlocking Talent project is currently being expanded to reach a further 35,000 children in Malawi. Work has also begun in Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania and Sierra Leone to reach the children there.

An Arabic version is being rolled out with the hope of reaching children in Syrian refugee camps. Despite their displacement, children would be able to access an education using this technology.

Will you support VSO's work by making a donation?