Interns and volunteers play a huge part in the success of Camara operations all around the world, be they in an office environment or in the workshop repairing and refurbishing computers. That tradition has recently been continued with a new initiative in Zambia.
Recently, Camara joined forces with the University of Zambia (UNZA) in an initiative which sees students from the college travel to Camara’s Zambian hub in Lusaka to work as interns. Camara has been working in Zambia since 2009. In the last four years alone, Camara has trained over 1,700 teachers and dispatched over 4,600 computers to schools in the southern African state.
The journey from UNZA to the hub can take anywhere from 1 hour to 90 minutes, but that doesn’t appear to deter students from getting involved. The program started a short time ago, in late July, and so far has taken on four interns. Operations manager of the Zambia hub, Federica Malesardi, explains.
“This is the first time we have an official partnership with UNZA, and because our team is not very used to have additional help, we have decided to initially take on board just three interns. We hope to increase the number in the near future”
The three interns – Solomon Taison Mbewe, Christabel Manyoma and Muyawa Von Mufuzi, who started on 21st July 2014, spoke of their experience to date.
Muyuwa has been involved in the installation of computer equipment in Camara e-learning centres, and has also paid visits to other centres in order to monitor and evaluate their progress.
“Being part of the dedicated, charming, hard-working and vibrant team has been a great experience for my life and career.”
Solomon spoke about how he has learned real hands-on skills during his internship at Camara Zambia, such as how to install a computer network connection, how to use the MIS system and how to maintain computers in preparation for dispatch. He feels that these skills will be of huge benefit to his career
“This has benefited me in the way that I can be confident in how I approach my career as a computer and network technician.”
“During my internship, I have had the opportunity to learn about what Camara does, and to work in many schools on the installation of computers, networking, marketing and vetting.”
Christabel’s time with Camara has seen her work on setting up e-learning centres and giving advice to clients. She feels the internship has helped improved her networking skills, so that she now feels more confident when approaching, and being approached by clients.
All of the interns have just finished Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco IT Essentials courses. Both courses are incorporated into the college year, and they are taking place at UNZA under the Department of Computer Studies. In spite of coming from what is a technical background, the interns – as evidenced above – have taken up roles across many disciplines – sales and marketing, vetting, technical, and training. Getting a feel for all facets of the operation is something which can only be a positive for the interns, giving them experience outside of their area of expertise.
The internship is undertaken on a full-time basis – 8am-5pm Monday-Friday – and runs for 2 months. At the end of that period, the current interns will seek employment or return to education. New interns will then replace them and continue the learning process.