Tech, book boost for Chintsa

Go! & Express - - ENTERTAINMENT - SIPHOKAZI VUSO

TO PRO­VIDE ac­cess to the in­ter­net, com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy, and books for about 5,000 so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren, youth, and adults, the Chintsa East Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­tre is now of­fer­ing a com­puter hub and book ex­change.

The cen­tre, which was launched last year, also of­fers ba­sic com­puter lit­er­acy, on­line maths pro­grammes, ap­pli­ca­tions for em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion and bur­saries.

Op­er­a­tions man­ager Cath An­der­s­son said the cen­tre is a part­ner­ship ini­tia­tive be­tween African An­gels Trust, Friends of Chintsa, com­mu­nity mem­bers, and the Great Kei Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The cen­tre is man­aged by a board con­sist­ing of Chintsa res­i­dents Honey Pakamile and Zingisile Ngam­n­twini; a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from lo­cally elected non-po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship body Sanco, Siphiwo Gwavu, as well as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of African An­gels Trust, Lou Bil­let.

“The idea be­hind the cen­tre was ini­tially to pro­vide in­ter­net ac­cess to the Chintsa com­mu­nity and sur­round­ing ar­eas,” An­der­s­son said.

“How­ever, we have found that those who use it the most are pupils af­ter school and dur­ing school hol­i­days.

“To re­duce our en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact and in­crease our power au­ton­omy, we are also aim­ing to in­stall a so­lar power sys­tem. We have al­ready se­cured so­lar pan­els, bat­ter­ies, roof sheet­ing and trusses at cost.

“The re­sult­ing cov­ered space in be­tween the two con­tain­ers will also al­low for a shel­tered meet­ing and train­ing space. We are also aim­ing to con­nect to Eskom as a backup and in­stall gut­ter­ing and tanks for rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing,” An­der­s­son said.

She counted Ex­press Pe­tro­leum as a ma­jor fun­der of the cen­tre.

“Our ma­jor sup­porter to date has been Ex­press Pe­tro­leum who has funded most of the cur­rent in­fra­struc­ture and lap­tops. Vo­da­com, through their Change the World (CTW) ini­tia­tive, are also go­ing to be a key fun­der un­til Oc­to­ber this year.

Com­puter lit­er­acy and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy grad­u­ate Nd­wekazi Batyi is em­ployed on a full-time ba­sis at the hub to pro­vide sup­port and train­ing.

Pic­ture: SIPHOKAZI VUSO

CY­BER WON­DERS: The Chintsa East Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­tre of­fers a com­puter hub and book ex­change to the Chintsa com­mu­nity

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