"For the Tonga people like me, there is something deeply biblical about the word MULONGA, yet it is a modern story too. One of massive but unshared technology. One of plentiful water but perpetual drought."
Dominic Muntanga
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mulonga.net >> IT Centers >> Stakeholders Update December 2003
Stakeholders Update December 2003
Monday, 08 December 2003 00:00

Binga ITC – Third Term activities - The third term of 2003 has been very busy at the High School, with end-of-year examinations in full swing, and the big event for the ITC being the visit in September of Austria-Zimbabwe Friendship Association (AZFA) chairperson, Peter Kuthan, and the Computer & Music workshop facilitated by Klaus Hollinetz (Austria) and Keith Goddard (Zimbabwe). Since July the ITC has introduced a special opening on Saturday mornings to accommodate working mothers and women who cannot attend courses in the evenings. The additional opening time has proved popular for both men and women. At the end of November we welcomed Dominic Muntanga who visited Binga after some considerable time, and who has been instrumental in setting up this project. He is now working hard to find support for deserving A Level students at Binga High. Twamutambula Dominic, and Twalumba also!

Equipment - The equipment donated during this visit includes a good laser printer, computer for music recording and Sony minidisk recorder. The new equipment empowers Binga ITC to offer recording facilities to aspiring musicians in Binga, and several have already come forward, providing good experience also for Mr Sengamo Ndlovu who is the local expert in this field. During the visit, project partner World Links for Development donated 10 Alpha Smart keyboards to the Siachilaba Primary School, who do not yet have electricity. The keyboards are proving extremely useful, and a wonderful first encounter with technology which is completely new to the Siachilaba schoolchildren and community.

Satellite Centres at Siachilaba / Siansundu schools - ZESA Rural Electrification Agency work on the electrification of Siachilaba Primary school progresses as quickly as possible. A quotation has now been received for the 25m 4-core PVC cable from the main transformer line, which cost of Z$750 000 AZFA have pledged to support. Materials also pledged by AZFA have now been delivered, and so far include steel and welding rods for burglar bars, blockboard and metal tubing for computer tables, and ceiling boards, at a cost of over seven million Zimbabwe Dollars for both schools.

Training - A School Leavers’ Introduction to Computers course was held from 20-23 November, to give senior students leaving the school a last opportunity to receive this important training. There was an overwhelming response, and altogether 44 students attended. Comments from students can be found on the website.

Stakeholders Special - Ten government departments and local authorities have been invited to participate in the fifth Stakeholders Special Introduction to Computers course which is offered at no cost to local authorities from 8-12 December, as part of the ongoing training and outreach programme. Participants include personnel from the ministries of Local Govt, Youth & Gender, Education and Health, ZESA, Binga Rural Council and the Lake Navigation department.

A Financial management workshop was held for appropriate committee members of Binga ITC and the new committees at Siachilaba and Siansundu from 24-28 Nov. The workshop was facilitated by the Farmers Association of Chiefs and Headman/ Investment Groups (FACHIG) Trust whose work is sponsored by MS Zimbabwe and who offer programmes of such grassroots training to rural farming communities. The workshop dealt with basic but essential accounting practices, and was much valued by all 8 participants.

Website – www.mulonga.net - In the last two months, 3 new sections have been created on the website forum: Binga-, Siachilaba-, and Siansundu.Online. The space/s are intended to for casual messages, greetings, announcements and information, and the general Binga public are being educated on the use of the Internet and the opportunity for them to express themselves in this and other discussions on the website. NGOs operating in Binga are also invited to contribute information about their activities.

Stakeholders - Good cooperation has been enjoyed with Batonga Museum / MS Zimbabwe in several areas of common interest, including PR work by Theo Sianyuka of the T.O team at the International Conference of Museums held in Victoria Falls in early November. Binga Hospital enjoy the support of the T.O project in the form of 2 free hours of internet time per week; Dr Sergio of the Cuban doctors programme and information officer Mathias Butale are working together to make best use of the opportunity.

Tonga basket sales promoted in Austria - The ongoing collaboration between Binga Craft Centre and Auhof Basket Company ABC at Linz Business School has got a new boost with the new intake of students in the 2003/2004 school year. Some 160 baskets have been imported from Binga to Linz for a fresh start of this training firm under the auspices of Hedi Kuthan, right in time for Christmas sales. The Austrian students are keen not only to learn business in real terms but also to understand more about the life of their Tonga counterparts.

Promotion of Tonga.Online in Austria - A crowd of people and friends of Zimbabwe saw the presentation of the calendar “Signs of Life 2004” in early November in Vienna: They enjoyed the performance of five musicians from Windhundrecords Otto Lechner, Joao de Bruco, Karl Ritter, Peter Rosmanith und Achim Tang. The Windhund music and the visuals projected to the background wall by Thomas Schneider connected the venue with the atmosphere of Ngoma Buntibe performance by Simonga group in Siachilaba.

Holiday Timetable - The holiday timetable for Binga ITC begins with the Stakeholders Special mentioned above, from 8-12 Dec. However the centre will close over the Christmas period, exact dates to be advertised. Training courses will resume in early January before the opening of the first term of 2004.

Christmas wishes – The Binga ITC management committee and Tonga.Online team wish all friends and partners a happy and peaceful Christmas, and a prosperous New Year. We look forward to the challenges facing us in 2004, particularly the set up of the Satellite Centres at Siachilaba and Siansundu, and we are excited about our progress. Thanks to all for your concern and assistance and support.

 

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2004!!