Microsoft volunteers take ICT to Malawi schools
COMPUTINGBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Top backup tips for SMEsGreen Apple IT advises on ways to protect valuable data from load shedding problems. Read More
Mainframes: underpinning the cloudContrary to some beliefs that the cloud will replace the mainframe, IBM Solutions Sales Manager Satish Babu points out that the mainframe supports cloud. Read More
Microsoft announces first African female country managerMicrosoft has announced the appointment of Otema Yirenkyi as the company’s first country manager for Ghana. Read More
Cloud uptake set to explode across AfricaNew research indicates that African organisations are taking cloud seriously, with Nigeria set to lead in cloud adoption. Read More
Multichoice Ghana launches 18 resource centresMultichoice Ghana Limited has rolled out 18 Multichoice Resource Centers in 18 senior high schools across the country. Read More
Matching market with satellite servicesQ-KON examines where satellite fits into the market and what services are best for satellite technologies. Read More
Africa’s high end ICT skills shortfall growsWith a skills shortage of between 20,000 and 70,000 high-end ICT professionals in South Africa alone, business and education must work together to close the gap, say stakeholders. Read More
African insurers must address looming technology challengeLack of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure is holding the African insurance market back, says SSP. Read More
Network outages, downtime can cost Egyptian enterprises millionsWhile downtime can cost enterprises millions in lost revenue, many organisations still depend on antiquated data centre infrastructures, says Brocade Communications. Read More
Wearable Smart Glasses shipments to reach 10 million by 2018New findings from leading hi-tech analysts, Juniper Research, has revealed that global wearable ‘Smart Glasses’ shipments will reach 10 million per annum by 2018, compared to an estimated 87,000 this year. Read More
FEATURED STORYGaming app introduces investors to trading
A new virtual stock market app is equipping would-be investors with the skills they need to trade.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHText messaging makes mama mbogas’ lives easier
Innovative students have initiated a programme using text messaging, to aggregate demand and save money for Nairobi’s ‘mama mboga’ vegetable sellers.