Not even a language barrier can stop the connection of feminine spirits.

“Come, come”, she says to me as I enter the cramped apartment and breathe in the spicy, yet comfortingly sweet scent of what I would come to know was qabli pulao. Before my eyes adjust to the light, I am presented with an intricately painted cup filled with steaming hot green tea. Six pairs of eyes meet mine as I thank my host for having me. …


Sometimes joy is found in the dustiest of places.

By the fourth playing of the Kenyan version of “Jesus is Marvelous”, I knew I was in for a memorable road trip. My driver and colleague, Wilson had offered to drive me to Naivasha, about an hour and a half outside of Nairobi where we both lived. Wilson was a Security Coordinator and I don’t know if it was his title or his contagious spirit, but talk to anyone and they will tell you that just being near him makes a person feel safe.

Kwa!”, yells Wilson as we speed steadily down the steep escarpment that carves into the Great…


In a small village in Northern Namibia, young warriors come to life.

“We have to kill it, Miss,” Susanna, my most miniature of students said, staring at me as I clutched my throbbing ring finger. I was a teacher in a subsistence farming village in Northern Namibia. A teacher who had just been stung by a scorpion.

I started my day just as any other — walk across the dusty road from my house to the school, dodge squeaky donkey carts and puddles that could pass as lakes, see my Namibian colleagues dressed to the nines in heels and perfectly tailored skirts and blazers that put my 5 rotating outfits to shame…


In honor of Namibian Independence Day, I scoured my old journals to find stories that bring back the sounds, smells, sights, and feels of Namibia. Here is one of my entries from 2010.

In honor of Namibian Independence Day, I scoured my old journals to find stories that bring back the sounds, smells, sights, and feels of Namibia. Here is one of my entries from 2010.

To the average woman, being proposed to is something that typically happens once in a lifetime and usually involves a person, possibly down on one knee, presenting him or herself and the offer of…


With several apps and programs centered around mobile learning, what makes SmallScreens.org different?

Most mobile products and services are built for digital natives- people who were born with the internet and smartphones. These products assume a baseline knowledge of how a smartphone, the internet, and technology works.

The Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA), a group that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, just released their Mobile Economy Report showing the number of smartphone connections will grow from 57% in 2017 to 77% in 2025.

GSMA, Mobile Economy Report, 2018

As smartphones become more ubiquitous around the globe, there will be a growing need to…


Mobile agent in the central market

Cell phone usage, even in the remotest of areas, has grown exponentially over the past decade. Today, more people have access to mobile phones than clean water and electricity (U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, 2016). In few places is this truer than in Sub-Saharan African refugee camps. Camps are typically set up in remote, difficult to reach areas, far from major towns and cities.

Established in 1996, Nyarugusu refugee camp in Western Tanzania is home to more than 136,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Refugees live in 142 villages across 28 square kilometers. …


In more than one hundred countries around the world, the number of cell phones exceeds the countries’ populations (Beatty, 2013). Mobile phones are ubiquitous in today’s world. Regardless of geography, socioeconomic level, language, religion, or gender, individuals around the world are using mobile phones. The spectrum of uses for a mobile phone is as diverse as the users themselves.

No longer is a phone solely for making a call; phones have become pocket computers, complete with internet access, navigation, translation, platforms for all types of expression, entertainment, and limitless learning tools. The “mobility” of a mobile phone means that any…


The Tanzanian government’s newest attempt to repatriate Burundi refugees

Refugee camps do not represent durable solutions to the refugee crisis. However, they were created for a reason: to shelter individuals fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. The ideal next step after an individual requests refugee status is for them to repatriate. If that is not an option, the next solution is to integrate into the new host community. Where that is not available, resettlement is the final option. In modern conflict, it is not easy to identify the precise time when war or violence is complete — when…


A Comparison of Namibia and South Africa

Education represents a significant policy area for countries around the world. Not only is education considered a basic human right, but education is also linked to sustainable development, economic growth, and a healthy democracy. Countries around the world are engaging in public policy reforms to improve educational opportunities for their citizens. In non-industrialized countries, education is often a top priority for policy makers who view education as a means to both economic and democratic development. …


Humanitarian assistance in times of conflict and war was created as a short-term solution to short-term problems. The entire humanitarian sector has been built upon the idea of maintaining “permanent temporariness.” This short-term mindset has led the international community to prioritize only those services seen as “life-saving.” While there is no denying the importance of these services (such as food, water, shelter), it is critical to take note that modern conflict is spurring protracted crisis situations. The average time spent as a refugee has doubled from 9 to 17 years over the past decade (Wright & Plasterer, 2012). …

Hannah Wilkinson Joos

Int’l education + curriculum builder | Founder of @ESLForEquality | Co-founder of @SmallScreensOrg | Follow for #Refugees, #MobileLearning, #ESL, and 🌎events.

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