This morning before the heat engulfed the day, we departed the port knowing that the container had cleared through customs and would be arriving at the newly established Skomara (Camara & SKOSA*) technical center before noon.
At 10am, the soft launch of the technical center started with the arrival of local dignitaries, principal figures within the community and masses of students from the surrounding polytechnic schools who made the morning difficult for the members of the press including Kenyan national broadcast channel NTV. The timing of the container arriving couldn’t have been better. As we started the tours, the Green Camara container could be seen manoeuvering outside. It was filled with 215 computers all destined for schools here in Kenya.
The technical center/hub has been set up to provide the following assistance to schools in Kenya:
- advice to schools wishing to obtain computers in the areas of surge protection, power managment and maintenace.
- assistance in setting up computer labs in the schools who will receive computers.
- distribute computers to schools.
- train volunteers in the areas of computer maintenance, office basics, networking and OpenSource software.
- train the IT teachers who can come into the technical center and leave fully equipped with the knowledge of how to look after and use their schools computers.
- maintain and service equipment in the schools that have already received computers from Camara
- provide a recycling facility so that when the computers in schools eventually fail, they can be brought back to the hub to be stripped and recycled with an authorised waste managemant provider.
- promote the use of OpenSource software. There is an adjoining computer training room fully equipped to demonstrate the benefits of the Linux.
- prepare and distribute training aids and course materials that are cutomised for schools in Kenya.
- deliver a food programme to volunteers who want to attend computer classes but can’t afford their days food.
In Kenya, nobody believes you when you say that something is going to happen which they have never seen before, it’s not a pessimistic attitude just a realsitic reasoning. Everyone here today can definitely believe that containers of computers are arriving from a charity in Ireland and that they are helping provide education to those who need it the most.
The chief kadhi of Kenya (akin to our head archbishop) remarked at the launch how Ireland had left its troubles behind and started to flourish, hopefully Kenya can follow suit.
After the launch, the volunteers carried the boxes of computers inside and we shared a soda after the work was done. A great day out all in all.