Gemin-i Just another WordPress weblog Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:08:18 +0000 en hourly 1 Symfony/PHP Developer Thu, 20 May 2010 11:50:58 +0000 admin (6 month fixed term contract, £15k-£20k pro rata)

Closing date 11th June 2010
Location: Aldgate, London
Please click here for job description and instructions on how to apply.

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New partnership Fri, 23 Apr 2010 14:05:59 +0000 admin and the African Pulse announced a new partnership.
The African Pulse and Rafiki will be working together on a new project to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Europe and the sub-Saharan Africa. The project, part-funded by the European Commission, will:

  • increase awareness of HIV and AIDS among young people
  • improve understanding of the challenges within different communities
  • facilitate discussion and learning across cultures
  • mobilise collaborative action on HIV and AIDS

The project will be formally launched to educators and young people in January 2010.

If you or your organisation is interested in finding out more about the project or would like to discuss opportunities for working together in this area, please contact Jenny Owen at jenny[at]gemin-i[dot]org

]]> 0 enrols 122nd country Fri, 23 Apr 2010 14:04:11 +0000 admin The Democratic Republic of Congo has become’s 122nd country.

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Kidogo nominated for ERA award Mon, 08 Feb 2010 13:23:45 +0000 admin Kidogo has been nominated for an Education Resource Award for Best Primary ICT Resource. Last year we were nominated for two ERAs and won one, so wish us luck!

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Fundraising Events Mon, 01 Feb 2010 09:41:38 +0000 admin sumo runners

The Sumo Run

Whether you’re in training for the London 2012 Olympics or you just like dressing up at the weekends, the Sumo Run is your newest hybrid of serious exercise and self-expression. Except, of course, it’s not very serious… To find out more please visit

sucata run

The Sucata Run and Sucata Split

The Sucata events are bargain basement banger rallies where teams of up to 4 people drive to Portugal or Croatia over 4 days in bangers costing no more than £250. They take place over the Spring and Summer Bank Holiday weekends and culminate at the breath taking beaches on the European coast… To find out more about the Sucata Run please visit and Sucata Split here.

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Our past work Mon, 01 Feb 2010 09:41:15 +0000 admin Just some examples of our past projects.

The Young People’s Commission for Africa

“I think it is the story of the future that is here in this Gemin-i project.”
Charles Clarke MP

The Young People’s Commission for Africa (YPCfA) was a project organised by Plan UK and, which linked 25 UK schools with 25 schools in Africa between January and June 2005. It is currently the largest of our Gemin-i Plus Projects.

The Commission for Africa was set up in February 2004 by Tony Blair, to generate new ideas and action for a strong and prosperous Africa.

The YPCfA was designed to give young people the chance to engage in this debate and have their voices heard by the Commission for Africa and ministers of the EU and G8. The project encouraged young people in Africa and the UK to work collaboratively as they explored their impressions of Africa and its challenges and opportunities.


Make The Link Break The Chain

make the linkThis is now our third project with Plan International. The Make The Link Project is a really exciting one as it’s one of the first projects we’re running within

As it’s the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery, Plan UK, Liverpool Museum and launched a collaborative project on slavery. The project involves schools in the ‘slave triangle’ (UK, Africa, Brazil and Haiti). Participants are investigating slavery, freedom, and liberty in history and in modern times to consider what they can do, both personally and globally, to safeguard liberty.

You can find out more by registering (it’s free) and logging into

The Bigger Picture

bigger pictureWe collected 11,500 postcards written by children throughout Africa and the UK answering the question “What matters to me?”

The results were pretty spectacular.

To collect the postcards we were fortunate enough to work with the following organisations: The British Museum, The British Council, CAMFED, UKOWLA, Link Community Development, Dolen Cymru, Gambia One World Linking Association, Malborough Brandt Group, The World Food Program and the Youth Sport Trust.

Bob Geldof on the Bigger Picture Project organised the scanning and meta-tagging of the 23,000 images and the creation of the web-application that displays them. We also helped coordinate the images being turned into giant cloths, which were wrapped around the British Museum for the launch of the BBC’s Africa Season.

The 25 separate cloths have now been split up and are being sent to various locations in Africa.


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Connecting Children: Mon, 01 Feb 2010 09:40:25 +0000 admin Rafiki is a secure, online community which helps young people to learn together and create meaningful global friendships. works with over 60,000 students from over 2,000 primary and secondary schools in 120 countries across the world. The community is growing all the time, and we look forward to welcoming you and your students online soon.

Girl using RafI.kiWe offer an exciting and ever-changing collection of cross-curricular educational resources on topics such as Global Health, Environment and Peace and Conflict. Students engage with one another directly using fully moderated instant messaging, video conferencing and drag-and-drop page creation tools.

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Meet the Team Thu, 28 Jan 2010 14:10:08 +0000 admin Henry Warren

Henry Warren

Henry is a multi- award winning social entrepreneur and founder of Gemin-i. Henry is also Chair of the charity MyBnk and sits on various other exec boards around his passions of innovation, education and international development. Henry is married to the ever-patient Emma and is an avid fan of the much maligned Ipswich Town FC.

Tamara Nelson

Tamara Nelson

Tamara is Development Director at Gemin-i. Before joining Gemin-i she worked as a project coordinator for an education charity in Tanzania. Her interests include traveling, hiking, and the odd game of scrabble.

Oli Watts

Oli Watts

Oli Watts is the Programmes Director for Gemin-i, responsible for all the activities that deliver our charitable objectives. When not doing this he teaches and performs Brazilian percussion for the London School of Samba.

Ben Haines

Ben Haines

Ben is the IT Director at Gemin-i and in addition to his fanaticism for all things IT, he is mad about motorbikes.

Mélanie Rieder

Mélanie Rieder

Mélanie loves multi-tasking so she got two jobs: she works as a programmes co-ordinator on Kidogo as well as being the office manager for Gemin-i. Having graduated in development studies, she completed a Masters in International Education and Development. Mélanie loves Haribo, sports, travelling and has experience of volunteering in Tanzania and Chile.

Chris Vaughan

Chris Vaughan

Having graduated from a background of Art History and Film, Chris decided to give that all up and opt for a career in the charity sector. He is now Events Manager at Gemin-i after previously working with Oxfam and completing a volunteer placement, for the Earthwatch Institute, in the Usambara mountains, Tanzania. He likes John Fahey, Captain Beefheart and being outside.

Jenny Owen

Jenny Owen

Jenny joined Gemin-i in January to manage it’s exciting new HIV/AIDS project. She has an MA in International Development and has worked with young people in Southern Africa and Central America. When not at work she can be found at the gym, the Army Cadet centre or her fabulous local cake shop.

Tom Custance

Tom Custance

Tom heads up the trusts & statutory grants programme at Gemin-i.
He has previously worked in the Philippines as a researcher for an indigenous human rights organisation (PIPLinks) and for the medical research charity Tommy’s. A graduate of Nottingham University with an MA in International Relations, his interests include collecting vinyl, biking, dog walking and hustling at table-football.

Anne O'Connor

Anne O’Connor

Anne is the newest member of the Gemin-i team.

Chris Llewellyn

Chris Llewellyn

Chris works on as a programmes co-ordinator for which he won The New Statesman’s ‘Trainee of the Year’ in 2008. He has a background in Law which he studied at Manchester after completing his BA in history at Oxford. He is mad about rugby, good food and all things Welsh. He lives in sunny Brixton with his wife Kate.

Emily Schofield

Emily Schofield

Emily recently completed her MA in International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS and is now a member of the programmes co-ordination team. She grew up in snowy Switzerland but prefers warmer climates and sunnier shores. Emily loves political satires, cocktails and Swiss chocolate. Her favourite pass-time is cooking and eating.

Adam Priest

Adam Priest

Adam is head of IT and does lots of techie stuff. He works night and day to keep the servers running and the code up to date and he likes to spend as much of the summer as possible traveling around the countryside dancing in wellies in muddy fields at festivals. During the rainy season he does more or less the same, only indoors.

Shreya Kumra

Shreya Kumra

Shreya is the Fundraising Officer at Gemin-i. Before joining us she worked at Lemos & Crane, a London based social research organisation, and at the One World Trust. She has experience of the charity sector in India and holds a Masters in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London. She loves the countryside, postcolonial literature, odd films, masala chai, morning ragas and random dialectical discussions.

Ester Monfort

Ester Monfort

Ester joined Gemin-i as a volunteer in Events and is now working as a programmes co-ordinator for Kidogo. She has a degree in Tourism and a Masters in Conference Management as well as experience organising cultural events in Barcelona. Ester enjoys traveling, eating food from different countries and singing karaoke.

Colleen Hemsing

Colleen Hemsing

Colleen is a programmes co-ordinator. She is originally from Calgary, Canada and though she misses the mountains, she enjoys the plethora of cultural offerings in London. Future plans include teaching literature, writing plays, and being an international hip hop star.

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Mission, Vision, Values Thu, 28 Jan 2010 14:09:39 +0000 admin Mission

gemin-iTo empower, educate and inspire young people through developing and implementing innovative and accessible web-based solutions, and by using collaborative learning environments to facilitate the exchange of ideas between them.


To ensure future generations understand and experience diversity across the world and that through education, young people will comprehend the nature of conflict arising through lack of understanding.


  • We pride ourselves in developing and delivering quality programs and services.
  • We are responsive to the needs of stakeholders.
  • We value young people’s voices and believe in their capacity to promote change.
  • We believe in the potential of innovative ICT usage to bridge the digital divide.
  • We believe in dispelling cultural myths and stereotypes through communication.
  • We strive to work with other organisations rather than in competition with them.
  • We work at giving disadvantaged or excluded groups a voice.
  • We embrace open, honest and effective communication.
  • We value the essential contributions of staff and volunteers.
  • We embrace change and pursue rigour in our actions.
  • We respond to external environments and continually seek ways to improve.
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Our Story Thu, 28 Jan 2010 14:08:52 +0000 admin

Part 1

In 1997 our founder, Henry Warren, was teaching in Uganda, Africa. When the school he was teaching in was burnt down in a riot, Henry made a promise to help rebuild the school by replacing all the lost books. Henry and his friend Marsha set up our charity to do just that - they called it Africa Bookcase.

Part 2

We started shipping used books from schools in the UK to the school that burned down in Uganda. Soon we were supplying books to dozens of schools across the country. As we did this, the children started asking questions: Where were these books coming from? Where are they going to? Even questions like What language do they speak? What religion do they follow? We immediately saw the value in getting these children learning from each other, it was clear that it helped avoid cultural misunderstanding, bullying and even conflict.

“They (adults) have already made their mind up. To stop wars you have to start with kids. They haven’t decided yet.”

Year 8 Student during the Gemin-i ‘Roadmap to Peace Project’

Part 3

We wanted to find a way that the children around the world could talk to each other and learn about each others’ cultures and beliefs directly. However, we couldn’t afford to fly children and there were logistical difficulties surrounding traditional pen-pal schemes because postal services in many countries were often slow and unreliable.

So, as a solution to connecting these children and building cross-cultural understanding, we started using the internet, and we explored new and exciting ways of using this technology.

Part 4

Unfortunately, using the internet was not easy because connectivity in Africa and the developing world was often slow and unreliable. To help overcome this issue we developed our very own computer software that would work on the oldest computers and the slowest internet connections. It was a cutting edge social network just for schools. It included tools such as chat rooms, forums and even video conferencing…

Part 5

Pupils could, for the first time, talk to other students across the world about issues that mattered to them - and all in a fully safe and moderated environment.

We called this community (the Swahili word for friend).

Part 6 also contained dozens of lesson plans and projects to study online, focusing on topics including global health issues like malaria, and HIV and Aids and others such as climate change and human rights. We created these projects in partnership with other experts such as the Medicines San Frontieres, Plan International, The Red Cross, and Oxfam.

We had children learning about Fair Trade by talking live to pupils in Ghana and conflict resolution by working with others in Iraq and Palestine. And it really worked…

Part 7

Children came up with ways that they could help to combat pressing issues together, taking action in their own communities and promoting positive change around the globe.

Independent evaluations have shown that over 80% of the children on have dramatically increased their knowledge of global issues. They have also improved many of their key skills too, such as communication, literacy and IT skills.

“Brighter Children = Brighter Future”

Part 8

Before we knew it we were using to connect schools in over a hundred countries. We stopped providing text books and changed our name to Gemin-i, after the Latin word for twins.

Part 9

Our aim moving forward is to have more impact on the education of young people around the globe. To do this we need to establish more collaborative partnerships, create more of the best educational projects and involve as many of the world’s children as possible.

We are currently looking at ways in which we can use innovative technology and connectivity solutions to enable children in remote areas to connect and learn with other students around the world. These include developing mobile phone technology and offline versions. If you would like to find out more then please get in touch.

“Rafiki is the perfect place to share ideas – my hopes for the future are that everyone will be equal and that third countries will be lifted out of poverty.”
UK Student on, 2008.

Connect, Learn, Change

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