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
Mellanox solutions accelerate the fastest supercomputer in the worldMellanox Technologies, Ltd., a leading supplier of end-to-end interconnect solutions for data centre servers and storage systems, has announced that Mellanox interconnect solutions accelerate the world's fastest supercomputer, at the supercomputing centre in Wuxi, China. Read More
Achieving full visibility in a cloudy hybrid environmentA growing number of organisations are migrating applications and information stores to public and private cloud solutions, so that hybrid IT architectures have become the norm. Read More
Make way for VAS: The era of VM-aware storageAlong with DAS, SAN and NAS, storage now has another term, VM-aware storage (VAS). Read More
Trisat showcases online platform for schools managementSoftware development company Trisat Communications Limited has launched an online platform, nortify.com.ng, to provide digital tools to simplify school management. Read More
Transforming and maximising existing fibre networksMaximising existing optical fibre infrastructure is a challenge that needs tackling by network operators - both large and small. Read More
Technology leaders join forces to bring an open acceleration framework to data centresMellanox, ARM, Huawei, IBM, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Xilinx, Inc. have joined forces to bring a high-performance open acceleration framework to data centres. Read More
Why going paperless can make you more money – and save some tooThe environment and saving costs when moving a business to a paperless office are the two most popular benefits, but there are many more benefits to doing so. Read More
Airtel chief: Disruptive technologies vital to Nigeria’s GDP growthLeading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has said disruptive technologies can contribute significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if ICT start-ups are encouraged to create innovations that deliver value. Read More
Youths gain fom ICT Dynamix supportBotswana based citizen owned company ICT Dynamix is upskilling and employing youths in the ICT industry. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.