we build software to span your digital divide
Home Blog Partners Technology Wiki Jobs About Us Contact

The Kliptown Youth Project

As an East Cape person, visiting Johannesburg is something I like to avoid like the plague. I ask my relatives who live there why they are still there. Especially after they have recounted the latest displeasures of living in Johannesburg. The displeasures range from drug using youth scenes, to muggings, to traffic congestion. All the more worrying it is to get in a car and head to Soweto - a good thing to liven up a conference!

imageexpanded|raUID=127704485460185262|size=widtheditor|

A good thing that Neo is on the end of line - guiding a nervous Soweto-first-timer to Freedom Square in Kliptown. The place that the Freedom Charter was signed at on the 26th of June 1955. Now it is a huge brick edifice - a freedom mall apparently - taxis and traffic mill with music blaring... Just down a side-road here is Neo's place.

From there we head of West accross the railway tracks to the Kliptown Youth Project. This is a really squalid township scene, and I would not go in here without Neo. And definitely not at night. In the rural areas, people tend to smile more, and the poverty is somehow easier to bear. But just half an hour walk from this desperately poor place, sports cars and limousines worth millions of rands each (Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, etc.) ferry impatient business people around. They don't make the traffic jams move any faster.

imageexpanded|raUID=154826448812054890|size=widtheditor|


imageexpanded|raUID=115326603512629211|size=widtheditor|

The Kliptown Youth Project is about hands, minds and hearts. It is about winning the youth over to hope! By occupying the minds and hands with useful activites the hearts of these youth are filled with hope, confidence and a will to achieve more. A group of youth are in the yard kicking a ball around. Another couple are stting in the office working on their CVs. During school, there are 100 children with OLPC laptops creating digital artefacts in a classroom which is also used for remedial work. Teachers come to give after hours assistance to learners - mainly matrics to help them go further. They have a great role model in Thulani Madondo. Quietly confident, he has travelled far afield to gain experience and he knows that there is something important about what he is doing here at KYP. It is a real pleasure to speak to him and I hope to go on a Kliptown tour with him one day soon.

The great thing about KYP is that the momentum of this project comes from the participants. What a lesson this is to other projects, that aim for the same hands, minds and hearts effect but bring in impetus from outside (see my next blog post about Andrew Summer's project at St Matthews school near Keiskammahoek).

This is a very worthy project for the OLPC and it is great to see them using the technology so ably.

imageexpanded|raUID=159369880327408261|size=widtheditor|

By now Neo has taken another 150 OLPCs to an installation in Natal at a rural school (Esibonisweni Primary School). I see some photos of the school and it looks quite well off compared to the schools we are working at. I am sure that they will also make good use of the laptops under Neo's tutelage. And what a good export product for KYP. Performing OLPC training and installs. I hope that all goes well with that and that the DoE and Municipality finally pay this project the attention it deserves.


Posted: October 20th 2008 09:05
[permalink]


(no comments at present)





aw-profile
Ron Wertlen Ron Wertlen
[chat]
Tablet Face Recognition Login
New technologies are solving common denominator problems, so of course they are also applicable in developing countries.  awarenet's picture login [1] is a fairly low security but effective way of allowing school children with low levels of literacy to log in and use the csocial network...
by: Ron Wertlen
[permalink]
Node.js stays close to its roots: Ultra-fast.
Recently one of the big node.js community stars, creator of the express middleware framework, the jade templating language and koa -- TJ Holowaychuk -- announced that he was no longer going to be using node.js [1]. The main reason that he cited is the reason why we find node.js so compelling...
by: Ron Wertlen
[permalink]
Javascript Platforms for Development
Node.js is a new-comer on the Internet Web Server block. It is programmed in Javascript, and it is something worth watching in the ICT4D arena for these reasons: It runs on light-weight hardware, like the Raspberry Pi and requires much fewer hardware resources than traditional systems like apache, ...
by: Ron Wertlen
[permalink]
Innovation Made in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
A brand new 2012 CSIR research project into Technologies for Rural Education will make use of awareNet technology. The CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) is South Africa's first and largest technology innovation institution and very active in the development and rural development ...
by: Ron Wertlen
[permalink]
eKhaya ICT - Recalibration
eKhaya ICT has unveiled a new direction - as reflected in our current web site changes. What's changing?ICT for development -- our research over the past 5 years shows that this topic belongs firmly in the sociological and anthropological drawer and has nothing to do with software development! ...
by: Ron Wertlen
[permalink]



eKhaya ICT is an Eastern Cape based software company, specialising in quality solutions and software components of ICT4D.

Contact:
9 Florence Street
Grahamstown
6139
South Africa
Tel: +27 79 4354681
Fax: +27 46 6227507
www: ekhayaict.com
Products:
awarenet
Discontinued:
Reed House Systems
Site Links:
About Us
Jobs
Contact
Log In



--- (c) 2014, eKhaya ICT ---