"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 April 2005
Stakeholders Update April 2005
Monday, 25 April 2005 00:00

The tonga.online project's approach to community development is a serious and long term commitment. With limited resources at hand we are addressing the gap between the marginalized and the developed communities in the areas of education, information & technology, music and culture development. These sustainable developments require commitment from the community as opposed to handout programs that have stencilled dependency syndrome. We therefore appeal for more support and commitment from all stakeholders.

ITC'S MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES
Unfortunately not one of the three ITCs Management Committees (Binga, Siachilaba, Syanzyundu) managed to hold a full committee meeting over the first quarter of the year. Although different activities are ongoing in the centres, this office has proposed dates of such meetings to all committees to facilitate sharing and planning for the furtherance of the development. Meetings were proposed to include Simonga as follows; Simonga - 7th April, Binga ITC - 23rd April, Siachilaba ITC - 28th April and Syanzyundu ITC - 29th April 05. We hope to be able to move forward more quickly in the coming months.

BINGA ITC Internet services are down again and because of Easter and election activities which occupied all civil servants, the IT teacher has not managed to assess the problem. Typing and printing services are ongoing. A total of nine (9) trainees completed the course including the Binga Zimpost staff, who had missed our last and could not wait for our next Stakeholders training.

SIACHILABA ITC The school and community are happy with typing and printing services where they are making some good income. This office therefore assisted the centre with a cartridge. Children, especially grade sevens are on ITC timetable doing basic introduction to computers and enjoying computer games. Training was successful with three (3) trainees completing the basic course. Unfortunately one of the four working computers is down at the moment.

SYANZYUNDU ITC Welcome to Mr Clement Mungombe, who has stepped in to replace Ms Noty Sianyuka. The trainer is mobilizing the community for training on Alpha Smart with five participants registered for early April. Typing services have slowed down with the breakdown of the printer. An assessment is being made to resume printing services. The problem of the line-limiter has not been solved yet due to a tight schedule with the servicing company. Apologies to the Siansundu school and community for this delay.

SIMONGA CULTURAL GROUP The group has been silent as usual during the rainy season where members concentrate working in the fields. Our proposal to Zimbabwe Culture Fund Trust has won Simonga Zim$9.4m in support of their music reproduction and marketing projects. The cheque has been received and the group is commencing the project.

TWIIMBILANE RECODING STUDIO The studio has been visited by a number of artists from around Binga district. Studio training is ongoing with one artist who was already computer literate. A field recording was done with Buka Bwacha Group in Lubu area and is under sound editing in the studio. Sound-proofing with donated materials from National Blankets Ltd was done, but we still require rubber and cloth to complete the exercise.

ZAMBIA EXTENSION The tonga.online extension to Zambia moved forward with the following message received from Chief Sinazongwe, Zambia: "I am pleased to inform you that we have connected power to Sinazongwe Basic School. The transformer has been connected and the electricity is now in place." The Chief is investigating the possibility of satellite connectivity, and moving quickly towards readiness by the agreed target date of end 2005.

FRENCH TV INTERESTED A French TV station has contacted the project to plan for a documentary focusing on the history and lifestyle of BaTonga people in Binga. They are working through the Zimbabwe Embassy in France, and will be jointly hosted in Binga by BaTonga Museum and Tonga.Online project in May 2005. Information and permissions will be sought as soon as more details become available.

THE WEBSITE Our outreach with Alpha Smart has brought some fishermen to advertising their products through: www.mulonga.net. The website is proving a very useful tool for promotion, and many various enquiries have been received from browsers. More local content is still needed, and all Stakeholders are encouraged to forward information or announcements about Binga activities to the website, either directly or through the Tonga.Online office.

Thanks to all Stakeholders for your continued support of this important educational and cultural project
MUYEEYE - remember, development ( lusumpuko) lays in SHARING.

TWALUMBA LOKO

David Mungombe, Coordinator, Tonga.Online Project, 
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Similo Ncube, Headmaster, Binga High School