The Samfya Resource Centre in northern Zambia is a remarkable business. Established and run by a group of former Camfed bursary recipients who had never previously used computers, the centre is now a thriving enterprise, providing crucial services to the whole community for this rural fishing area.
Goldman Sachs-Fortune Global Women Leaders Award winner Penelope Machipi manages the centre — and is looking for your support to take her business to the next level.
"As Samfya Resource Centre trainers, we are trying to raise funds to buy solar panels. This is so because we are experiencing a lot of power outages — in a week, we normally have power for just two days. This disadvantages the community who depend on the centre to photocopy and browse the net. Even when we have power in those two days, the voltage is very low therefore the computers cannot work as expected.
"Apart from the power outage challenge, the centre is working very well now. Our customers are mainly teachers, businessmen and women, school pupils, Cama members and people from the community.
"The teachers and pupils use the Internet for their research and assignments. The businessmen and women use the Internet for trading, while the community and Cama members use it to download application forms for various colleges and universities. The Cama members also use it to communicate with their fellow Cama members.
"The centre has made it easy for community members to access ICT services within Samfya district. They don't need to travel to another town to access Internet. This means that they can save their money, which they would have spent on transport or other things."
Solar power will make the Samfya Resource Centre reliable and effective. With your generous support, we are already half of the way towards the cost of buying and installing solar panels for the centre so it can continue to provide training and career opportunities.
As we are now seeking new means of supporting this center, we will be closing this project. Thank you to the Global Giving community for all of your generous support for this initiative!
The Samfya Resource Centre, located in a remote fishing district in Northern Zambia, provides essential internet and computer training to over 480 students and community members a month, and is the only such facility for hundreds of miles.
The four IT managers at the Centre, all members of Camfed’s alumni network Cama, are fast becoming role models in their local community as they demonstrate the power of technology to provide skills and confidence to the approximately 6000 students, graduates and community members per year who will benefit from greatly increasing their access to educational resources and providing students with the necessary computer skills and training to succeed in a modern and globalized world.
We recently spoke to Penelope Machipi, the centre's Head of IT, who told us about the critical service that the centre is providing to this isolated community:
"There are no libraries in Samfya, so there is no way to access information for the teachers, students and general community. People here need education to survive, so internet services are essential to helping the community develop. The center helps teachers deliver and prepare for lessons. They can search online for subjects, especially as books are not readily available. Students can also search for material online and have answers to topics at the touch of their fingers.
Power is a problem for the whole district. Therefore if we can fill this need it will provide a mainstay service for the whole community".
By helping to equip the center with faster, cheaper, and more reliable and sustainable technology, you will be making it possible to open up the world to many more students and, at the same time, help this isolated community reduce their carbon footprint. Will you help?
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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