The Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) in collaboration with Dell yesterday, officially launched the ICT lab in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. This is one of two such ICT labs; the second lab is in Manenberg. Dell invested approximately R600 000, which was spent towards the revamp of the infrastructure of the centres, providing state-of -the -art hardware such as new computers (30 for each lab), two servers and two projectors with smart boards, new furniture and fittings.
“Dell South Africa’s Transformation initiatives support the objective of improving learning to empower new possibilities for the youth. This is achieved by bridging the gap between the technology ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. By placing state-of-the-art technology into these underserved communities and working with non-profit organisations we hope that our action helps young people to discover new possibilities, change their lives, and unleash their true potential” said Karen Matthews, from Dell.
This project forms part of the ‘Dell Powering the Possible programme’. Through this programme Dell aims to:
Provide access to quality teaching by creating a positive learning environment to participants.
Provide a pool of potential applicants for bursaries.
Equip and provide students with skills to increase their opportunities for a higher education.
Provide business opportunities to local small businesses.
Provide IT training, internet access and facilities to the local community and other surrounding non-governmental organisations.
The ICT labs at SHAWCO will be accessible to the local small businesses and school students in the surrounding communities to provide basic internet services, software programs and social media platforms to ensure growth in enterprise development and education, reaching approximately 600 people. Computer literacy training will be offered to adults boost skills to increase their opportunities for higher education and for entering the job market. Participants of the SHAWCO education projects will also have daily access to the labs to do their projects and homework.
“The challenge of bridging the digital divide and providing affordable, high-tech internet access and IT training to the very bottom of the economic pyramid will now be realized through Dell’s generous donation. With the help of the Dell Development Fund we believe that we can now contribute to better trained people entering the job market, connecting more people to the internet highway and introducing computers to children who may never have touched a keyboard”, said -Eltena Dirks, Fundraiser for SHAWCO.
Ever since its establishment, SHAWCO has had a long history of welfare, development, and education interventions equipping participants as well as volunteers with life-long skills to improve their access to further education. Currently, their computer training reaches about 600 individuals over the age of 18 in the broader community.
SHAWCO remains committed to their core function, adding value through social innovation that enhances self-sustainability, by continuing their collaboration with the public sector, community stakeholders and most importantly their project participants.