After six airports in two days, I finally made it to my first destination, our hub in Kitwe, Zambia where I met Douglas (standing at back of photo).
Douglas finished school a few months ago and has started to volunteer in our top performing hub, Camara Zambia. On my arrival and introduction he sought me out. His message was simple; thanks. In his two months volunteering he has learnt a huge amount about ICT and education. He is now intent on completing his volunteering and learning with Camara and then going to college to progress his career in ICT. Its a win-win-win for Douglas, Camara Zambia and the schools they support. Camara is focussed on improving education through technology however to do this and keep it affordable it depends on volunteers in all our countries. It is great to see this ancilliary benefit so prominent in Kitwe. The buzz in the hub was great; people giving their time and learning on the job. In my world of targets, budgets, plans and controls, this was a timely fillip.
Camara Zambia is an exciting hub for us. It currently supports schools in the Copperbelt region from which it provided Camara computers and training into 55 schools and 483 teachers and volunteers in 2010 alone. However this is only the start; it is now planning on opening sub-hubs in the Northern and Southern Provinces in 2011. Plans are progressing well and under the guidance of their board, the hub should be able to reach out to many more schools before 2011 is out.
Tip of the week: Get out of Ireland for the next St. Patrick’s day; there’s always a better party to be had abroad! The Ambassadors residence in Lusaka was evidence of this. 800 guests in a garden party; the place was humming (no Ferrer Rocher though much to my dissapointment). It was obviously the place to be as interviews with various guests formed no less than three seperate stories on the national TV news the night after. This was followed by an Irish Ball on Saturday night and a Ceile on Sunday afternoon. The Irish diaspora is as visible as ever and long may that continue.
One hub down and three to go. The bar has been set high. However before stepping on the plane to Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia we got some good news…more on that later.