Philippi Youth open Computer Centre to equip peers with PC Skills
CAPE TOWN, 23 November 2016: Students of Sinethemba Senior Secondary School in Philippi have rallied together to transform their existing school library into a technology hub and resource centre that will bring basic computer skills training for the 1008 learners at the school.
The Qhubekeka Computer and Resource Centre, which means ‘moving forward’ in isiXhosa, was born out of the Philippi youths’ lack of access to computers, the Internet and basic computer literacy. 16 Grade 11 students from Sinethemba Senior Secondary School recognised this as a basic need in today’s technological age and a great enabler for opportunity. Recognising this as a source of opportunity, these young people set out to establish the computer resource centre to benefit themselves and their peers.
“We don’t have easy access to computers or to the internet to do project research and learn about computer usage. In fact, most of our peers do not know how to use a computer. No matter where you try to find employment, there is a good chance a computer will be a basic tool you will have to use. We need to be computer literate. It will help us to get a job,” one of the students said.
The project commenced in March 2016 and was undertaken as part of the Youth4Change Movement, a community development initiative conceptualised by WNS South Africa, which helps South African youth to make a positive contribution within their own school or community by means of their own efforts. The youth were responsible for the implementation of the project from start to finish, which included, creating and promoting fundraising opportunities, getting sponsorship and providing a hand in the renovation process.
The students at Sinethemba Senior Secondary conducted various fundraising initiatives which saw them raise over R24,000 to plough back into the project. These initiatives consisted of school civvies days, a car wash service, hot dog sales and even furniture sales. The youth were also successful in securing donations from a number of corporates, including their parents’ employers.
WNS South Africa, through the WNS Cares Foundation, invested in the project by providing the youth with starter capital and a group of employee volunteers to act as mentors. Additional leadership development and guidance was provided to the youth by Khulisa Social Solutions, a non-profit organisation WNS had selected to partner with for the initiative.
The youth faced various challenges and obstacles during the 8-month project period that tested them in the areas of patience, perseverance and emotional intelligence. “You have to be 100% committed and dedicated to everything about the project in order for it to be a success,” one of the students remarked.
“I did not just do this for myself but I have helped to empower other youth, and that feels good.”
Megan Meredith, Corporate Social Investment Manager for WNS South Africa, says that the completion of the Qhubekeka Computer and Resource Centre restores hope amongst the youth and allows them to see what they can achieve if they set their mind to it. “Knowing that they have created something not only for themselves, but also for benefit of others, proves their ability to do good and make positive contributions to the lives of others. Those are the characteristics we need to take our country forward,” she concludes.
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