Microsoft volunteers take ICT to Malawi schools
COMPUTING| Sept. 2, 2012, 8:07 a.m.
A team of Microsoft staff members is installing ICTs and carrying out fundraising for communities in Malawi as part of Microsoft’s employee volunteer programme.
The initiative sees 15 skilled staff members from various regions working together to make a difference.
John Nielsen General Manager, EMEA, Customer Service & Support at Microsoft, spoke to Biztechafrica en route to Malawi through South Africa last week.
He says the school initiative, launched at the St Andrews Secondary School and nearby schools in the Blantyre area last year, will now be extended to include seven schools. Twenty-three teachers from 13 schools will also be trained to set up and maintain their schools’ networks. The team will host five DigiGirlz training courses, and stage a Masterclass for high school students interested in pursuing a career in ICT.
In addition, the team raises funds for other community initiatives. Last year, 5000 mosquito nets were distributed as part of the programme. This year, the aim is to install 10 boreholes in TA Mphuka, Southern Malawi, to take clean drinking water to around 2,500 people.
Nielsen is enthusiastic about the life-changing benefits of the programme – not just for the communities where it is rolled out, but also for the Microsoft volunteers. “For example, at least year’s Digigirlz workshops, we saw young girls who had hardly been exposed to ICTs building their own websites and games within a very short time. It is wonderful to see their faces light up as they discover ICTs.”
And for the volunteers, the programme is infinitely rewarding, he says. “You get a different perspective on life,” says Nielsen. The programme is so popular that while around 50 staff members volunteered to be in the first team to Malawi last year; this year saw over 140 applying to take part. The volunteers from year one were disappointed that they could not come back for a second year, having thoroughly enjoyed their work in Malawi.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Seagate ships world's first 8TB hard drivesSeagate Technology has announced it is shipping the world’s first 8TB hard disk drive. Read More
Myth-busting the cloud for SMEsThere are still a few myths that prevail about the risks and benefits of cloud computing, says Ivan Epstein, co-founder of Softline and CEO of Sage AAMEA. Read More
Sage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growthUmsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform. Read More
Africa risks ‘new digital divide’According to the WEF Global Information Technology Report 2014, a more solid ICT infrastructure and improving the framework conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship will be crucial to avoid the emergence of a new digital divide in Africa. Read More
VMware delivers new innovations for the open, agile, secure software-defined data centreIndustry’s most complete software-defined data centre portfolio helps customers slash CAPEX by nearly 50 percent and improve IT productivity by 100 percent or more. Read More
Gartner: CIOs must embrace digital ethicsThe need for CIOs to consider digital ethics has become paramount as the pace of technology change accelerates, says Gartner. Read More
The blueprint for BYOD successJust like mobile analytics, big data, the internet, and social networks changed the way companies do business, so the adoption of mobile devices has become a catalyst for change in corporations and SMEs, says SAP Africa. Read More
Orange, GESCI to train teachers on ICTs in educationOrange has partnered with the Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI) to support e-learning and integration of ICT in education. Read More
Cisco: the ICT behind the Commonwealth Games240km of fibre underpins the most connected Games ever to a wealth of bandwidth, says Cisco. Read More
Ghana to benefit from Solar Powered Internet School projectGhana is soon to benefit from Samsung's Solar Powered Internet School project, which is taking ICTs to schools across Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYSafaricom-Equity battle for mobile banking hots up
Equity bank's entry to the mobile banking and telephony industry is still hanging in the balance with London-based global association of mobile operators (GSMA) calling for independent audit.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.