My adventure with Camara initially started in September 2008. I was about to pick a company for my one month long work experience at the end of a FÁS course. As I was reading the information about Camara on their website and was amazed by the amount of good things they do for people in Africa (they are a non-profit, charity organisation that refurbishes and send thousands of computers and free educational software every year to Africa).
Also they seem to truly believe in what they were doing. This company is an Irish “helping-hand” reaching to people in Africa through computer hardware and software training programs.
At first glance, I was somehow skeptical if their vision can be successful but once I started volunteering with them I realised that this organisation has got huge potential but also a well organised, fully working environment to make this vision come true.
I picked Camara mainly because of the lofty ideas that this organisation believed in. I thought I could use my skills in IT to help Camara help people in Africa. With this in mind I started as an IT Assistant and as I was taking on more tasks and responsibilities I become a Technical Support person involved in many aspects of supporting a computer-based company. In summer 2009 I was given the prestigious position of Head of Camara IT. From that moment on I was responsible not only for the smooth running of the internal network infrastructure and Help Desk, but also the company’s IT Department that refurbished server and network equipment before being sent to Africa.
As we know, there’s a big gap between a theory and a practice. Thanks to Camara I had a hands-on experience, which no book could substitute. They gave me multiple opportunities to practice steps to resolve issues with the whole IT infrastructure including but not limited to, network equipment, servers, printers and desktops. Together with other volunteers we built server cabinets that will be sent to and used in school across Sub Saharan Africa.
When my one month FÁS work experience came to an end I couldn’t resist to keep coming back to the Camara workshop. Every single day, working in Camara brought new challenges that gave me a lot of satisfaction upon successful completion.
In November 2009 I was hired by a big computer manufacturing company based in Dublin (and throughout the world), as the Server Support Analyst.
Over a year of work experience in Camara gave me the opportunity to co-operate with employees from various departments. I had a chance to work in a multi-cultural environment with a well organised team. All of this now comes to play in my new position. Testing and troubleshooting a huge variety of different hardware and running a Technical Support Help Desk in Camara allowed me to further develop my expertise in wide areas of IT systems. My current position requires that kind of knowledge.
All equipment Camara sends to Africa can now have a second life and can be reused instead of being recycled or being dumped and polluting the environment.
So if you have couple of hours to spend and wish to help making a significant change to the environment, don’t be shy and go to www.camara.ie
I like to come back to the workshop for the satisfaction it gives me and positive thoughts about everything people in Camara do for Africa.
About the author:
Name: Krzysztof “Chris” Mustwilo
Home town: Brzeg. medium size-city (40K population), middle-south.
Education: Bachelor of Electronics & Telecommunication
Qualification: MCSA, Network+, Security+