We currently have 18 laptop computers set up to serve two secondary schools in Mpumalanga, South Africa, reaching over 1300 students. We have also established a lab with 17 laptops in a local church in Uganda.
Computer literacy is essential for students that have the potential for attending university. Most students in this district do not have access to a computer and this is a major hindrance to their future goals and dreams of attending university, so this is a powerful opportunity to impact the future of hundreds of students. We trained a core team of high school students on a Microsoft Office syllabus. These kids worked hard…many times even late into the night and on the weekends!
Some of the students are from Mpumalanga Province, where less than one percent of the student population has the opportunity to go to university. This is for many reasons, but one major reason is that this is one of the poorest areas in South Africa and is faced with one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates. The schools have very minimal resources for students coming from poor families, and without a good education the cycle of poverty continues. These students must compete for university placement with students from very developed provinces that have resources such as computer access. Without basic computer skills and the ability to type, students are simply not able to compete at university.