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South Africa IT Project - developing computer skills in local townships

IT Project in South Africa South Africa is a country of dramatic contrast, where wealth and poverty co-exist. South Africa possesses state of the art medical facilities and a 25% HIV/AIDS infection rate, modern infrastructure and millions living in shack dwellings. It is a place of development and progress, but also has a large population who are still unemployed, who do not have enough to eat or have access to proper education.

In the poorer townships of Cape Town, unemployment in some areas has reached as high as 40%. In the 21st century, computer literacy is a skill which is valued almost as highly as standard literacy! It is therefore a huge advantage when searching for work to have learnt the basics of computer use, and this is something which our volunteers can help with. By sharing their knowledge of IT with students and teachers alike, volunteers increase the prospects of each individual they help.

From developing a better understanding of computers, job opportunities which would not previously have been available, present themselves. With IT skills, children and adults alike also find themselves in a position where they can benefit from all that the worldwide web has to offer.

Volunteers are needed to help teach very basic computer programmes like Word and Excel, however, if you are also able to develop databases and assist with any maintenance work your help will be much appreciated. This IT Project is suited to volunteers of all abilities; you don't need to be a computer whiz to be helpful.

Voluntary Work in IT Centres Teaching Computer Skills with Projects Abroad

Children in South Africa Our IT project in South Africa is based in a centre in the coloured township of Lavender Hill. The IT Centre is run by a local NGO who have limited funding, which results in the constant fear of having to shut the centre due to the lack of teachers. The centre has a single I.T. room with 10 computers, but within the same building there are a number of other tuition rooms which are used to conduct life skills mentoring, counselling for HIV/AIDS sufferers, and health education. Downstairs there is also a large crèche to cater for the children of the parents attending classes or at work during the day.

Volunteering Abroad on an IT Project in South Africa

Volunteers taking part in our IT project spend most of their time teaching young unemployed adults basic computer skills. Just like children throughout the world, South African children are fascinated by computers and eager to learn how to use them, so some classes are also devoted to giving them this opportunity too.

Volunteers teach a variety of practical computer skills ranging from how to turn a computer on and off, to explaining software such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint and demonstrating how to use the Internet for research and communication. You'll normally introduce a topic and have the freedom to devise a way to get the students to practice and consolidate the new technique you've just given them.

There is a set three month term which runs with only a short break, and there is a set curriculum to follow. Due to the relatively high levels of spoken English, you may be left to teach a class on your own, whilst a local teacher will be provided to aid with theory lessons. In other cases, you'll work alongside the local teacher, who will introduce a task, which volunteers then aide by working with small groups experiencing problems. As with all projects, any help you can give that may aid the development of the project, such as cataloguing information and developing new syllabuses or exams, will be gladly received.

Volunteers who wish to help in the IT centre should have a reasonable working knowledge of the main Microsoft packages - but you don't need to be an expert since it is just the basics that you'll be teaching most of the time. The help of volunteers on the IT project is always greatly appreciated; computers are a hugely useful resource and being able to use one is a great advantage.

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