We launched our first ever South American ZubaBox – Dell Solar Learning Lab – in partnership with Dell on 26th May 2016 in Cazucá, Bogota (Colombia). Through this program, Computer Aid is building local institutional capacity to ignite aspiration-led learning for marginalised youth of Cazucá who came to the area to escape the violence caused by the armed conflict between illegal armed groups and the national army.
The solar powered internet lab in part of a multi-country youth learning program, bringing together Dell technology and long-term engagement with Computer Aid’s ICT4D expertise. The Solar Learning Labs provide a unique space for enriched learning and access to some of the best skills training, for traditionally underserved children and young adults. The program brings together expert, incountry trainers who build local partners’ capacity to deliver 21st century skills that are most contextually valuable to young people in the community.
Even the architecture of the boxes has been redesigned to create a more inclusive environment. “In 2015, we consulted London based architects Squire & Partners to rethink the model.” stated Keith Sonnet, Chief Executive at Computer Aid International. “The side opening doors and the outside deck creates more natural light and makes the Solar Learning Lab a natural gathering point for the community”.
Through the Solar Learning Lab programs and quality of resources and learning they enable, we are motivating hundreds of young people around the world to develop transferable skills crucial to better life, school and work situations. The program works on a student-centric level to help each participant select skills that align with personal life goals and become positive leaders for change in their community.
Computer Aid will develop 7 new Solar Labs – ZubaBoxes – in 2017 to serve educational and learning projects in Kenya, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Morocco bringing the total of ZubaBoxes built since 2010 to 23.