ITC General + Stakeholder Updates

Information Technology Centers ITCs or so called Telecenters

In 2000, World Links introduced its Telecenter model to encourage school lab sustainability while promoting community development. World Links openned telecenters in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mali, India, and Brazil. Though different in every country, the typical World Links model is an important source of local-level program sustainability to underwrite recurrent costs associated with the technology and to improve community-school relations. Equally important, this model extends the benefits of technology, the internet and life-long learning to the entire community for a wide range of development applications.

World Links telecenters are either school-based computer labs or community centers that are converted into telecenters for the purpose of introducing ICT skills and IT-enabled resources to underserved communities, with the intent of enabling adults and youth to participate successfully in the global knowledge-based economy. To that end, World Links empowers both the school and general communities to convert school-based computer labs or community centers to self-sustaining community-accessible technology learning centers. Increasingly, World Links has been introducing its telecenter model to non-school structures, including government offices, community centers, and NGO offices.

While every World Links Telecenter is different, all World Links Telecenters focus on capacity building for several population segments, within and outside the school. At the school level, World Links builds capacity in principals, teachers, and students to manage the day-to-day operations of the school-based telecenter; this facilitates the building of entrepreneurial skills. Outside the school, the telecenters focus on introducing ICTs and IT enabled resources to underserved populations. To that end, World Links telecenters have provided communities with access to information on health, environment, and agricultural issues, while creating a safe, secure, and inviting environment for under-reached populations such as out of school youth, women, and senior citizens to acquire IT skills.

A World Links Telecenter is a combination of a computer lab and a private Internet cafe. Whereas a computer lab’s purpose is pedagogy, and an Internet cafe's purpose is profit for sustainability, a World Links Telecenter seeks to fulfill both pedagogy and sustainability. At no point, however, will the quest for profits ever overpower the desire to diffuse technological knowledge. The profit-seeking nature of a World Links Telecenter exists solely to further its educational mission.

Sustainability of World Links’ telecenter programs is achieved in several ways. While some World Links telecenters achieve sustainability through guaranteed government support for all recurrent expenses, other centers develop solid revenue generation models to support ongoing costs. In all instances, World Links works closely with key stakeholders to ensure that expenses are being met in the long term.

The Tonga.Online Project has been collaborating with World Links since early 2001 in the establishment of ITCs at Binga Highschool, Siansundu Secondary and Siachilaba Primary School in Binga area in Matabeleland North. After the donation of computers by President Mugabe to some other schools in the district there is potential to expand the network of ITCs further and to reach out to even remote communities. In 2006 the first ITC across the lake on the Zambian side of the Zambezi Valley at Sinazongwe Basic School was established.

Map of the area

Tonga.Online: Funkfeuer mission accomplished

I hope this communication finds you well. We concluded all our three major trainings with Rupi and Funkfeuer team from Linz. The attendances were impressive. We shall be consolidating participants' views from the evaluation forms they filled and the findings will be shared with you. We will be in the Public Access Point / PAP at Binga Library tomorrow to complete what could have remained unfixed.

Once again I and the team sincerely appreciate the visit to one of the training sessions by the Director of Basilwizi Trust, Frank Mudimba. That was great.

Meanwhile we are experiencing internet challenges for the past four days now.
Thank you.

Josias Mungombe
Basilwizi Trust Binga

more information about the Funkfeuer mission:

Tonga.Online Stakeholder Update July - October 2010

This update summarizes activities carried out in the area of Education and ICT from July to October 2010. During this period, x3 Basic ICT Skills training workshops, x2 Computer networking workshop, x1 E-learning workshop and x1 ICT Conference were carried out. An annual review Planning meeting was also carried out in September 2010. Work on the Wireless LAN was started in September 2010 and the Public Access Point in the Binga Library was equipped with computers. Since September 2010, the Binga rural district council has started putting systems in place, working together with the Science and technology subcommittee and Basilwizi Trust. Users from different department s in Binga have also received training on the use of the PAP.

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Tonga.Online Stakeholder Update May - June 2010

In May, June 2010 the Tonga.Online team has carried out a range of activities covering not only the whole Binga district but also lobbying for a temporary permit for Binga wireless project and coordinating with Rotary Club Belmont regarding its Siabuwa Solar Project which is close to implementation. Read the extensive report.

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AZFA featuring Tonga.Online @ African Networks Festival


INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL, 20th - 22nd May 2010 in Linz / Austria

From 20th until 22nd of May 2010 the cultural organization STADTWERKSTATT in Linz Austria is arranging together with partners from the fields of development cooperation, art and science the international festival "TREFFPUNKT / MEETING PLACE AFRIKA" on board of a vessel on the banks of the Danube river.

The festival is focusing on a two-days symposium with topics ranging from „African-European developments“ to „African Networks“. The Tonga.Online project with its Binga wireless pilot is one of the points of reference, others are Women of Uganda Network WOUGNET or Link-Net from Zambia, both specifically targeting network structures in rural areas. Therefore a crucial exchange of ideas and critical reflection of strategies and concepts is envisaged.

The lectures will be accompanied by filmscreenings, a DJ and concert nightline with great musicians from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Germany and Austria. And of course a soccer tournament..

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