Much have happened since the last post, we have changed board members, found new sponsors, prepared new computers, and already spent a full week repairing and donating computers in Hluhluwe!
So, lets start with us, the 2019 board members, we are all very excited to be able to be members of CESA since we all feel that CESA is a great opportunity to contribute while still learn and have a great deal of fun!
As for the sponsors, there have been some change, we are happy to see that Ericsson, Opera, Sigma, Chalmers and Star for life choose to sponsor/collaborate with us this year again as well as to announce New Minds as a new sponsor. Furthermore, we would like to thank Burt and Conmore for their contribution of computers. Unfortunately, Gothenburg city which have been our largest donator of computers could no longer sponsor the programme which left us with only about 50 computers this year. Because of that, we have elected to further focus on recycling of old computers this year.
So, now when we got all that out of the way, lets get into the fun stuff, Africa! Down in Hluhluwe we met Phakamani Nxumalo, who have been a great addition to the team. Phakamani who have been recently recruited by Star for life as an IT manger both for the company itself as well as for all the surrounding schools. By visiting all schools prior to our landing in South Africa Phakamni have been able to gather information where the computers should be donated. We further believe that Phakamani will be able improve the work done by CESA since he will be able to consistently visit schools to educate, repair, and gather information about what is needed.
We started our work on the Monday meeting Phakamani, setting up a schedule for the upcoming week. As soon as we were done we all raced to visit our first school, Kwagiba High School, to donate and repair some computers as well as to educate about computers and recycling.
The school had just recently received their first computers so there was not much to repair but they were missing some computer mice and had some devices connected to broken displays and so five more computers became usable after our visit, furthermore, we donated our first 7 computers to the students and teachers delight!
We increased the tempo the second day, visiting two schools. We started by visiting Malabela. The computer lab was in good shape and it had just enough working computers to teach one entire class. We decided to donate two computers in hopes that they could be used as sources of information since the computers contained the entirety of Wikipedia offline and the school lacked a library.
We continued the day by visiting Mavuso High School. We were very happy to see that they had a dedicated computer teacher which helped the students to learn HTML and much more. But even with all the knowledge of computer science, there was much work to be done within recycling as was evident when they showed us a room filled with broken desktops and screens.
We visited two more schools on the Wednesday to repair and educate, on the first school there stills seems to be much work to be done, only a few of their desktops was still working, while most laptops were still running. While this have been a reoccurring theme at many schools, it was particularly bad at this one, most likely due to the large amount of dust in the room. In cases like this, we believe contacts such as Phakamani are very valuable as he can repeatedly visit the school and educate about computer maintenance and much more.
The second school we visited, Makhasa High School was in inmauclare shape with the computer lab in the same condition so there was no repairing for us to be done. The school had since previously a storage filled with devices in need of recycling. Since there was no need of repairing, we finished earlier than expected and had time for a quick tour of the school! In one of the classrooms they prepared a performance for a cultural event that was going to be held between some of the local schools this weekend. We were impressed to say the least.
During the Thursday we visited Nibela Primary School and we were very pleased with what we saw, all the laptops left last year was still working and ten more computers from the good old days when CESA donated desktops was still running. Since everything was in such a good shape, there was almost nothing to do, we improved the setup for two computers and repaired software issues on two computers which previously had rendered them unusable. We were also glad to meet Mbali, a volunteer computer teacher doing great job educating the students of computer science!
One of the software issues proved particularly hard to resolve, Axel and Lisa spent a good two hours hacking and running system restore until the issue finally gave way.
Friday have been a day of admin (these posts don’t write themselves you know), no but for real, there have been a bunch of admin to do, writing emails, updating social media, researching internet provides, calling recycling companies and much more!
There is so many more pictures of smiles and other fantastic things we would have loved to show you all but this post is already long enough, so we would just like to thank all the sponsors throughout the years for making this all possible!
On a closing note, we found more than 100 devices in need of recycling in the 6 schools we visited and we will do our outmost the upcoming weeks to see them all recycled.
Now we’re on our way to Durban to have the weekend off, have a great weekend and you will hear from us next week!