Working in partnership with YCare International and On Our Radar, we have established two Solar Learning Labs (Zubaboxes) in Pujehun and Makeni respectively. The labs are managed by in-country partner Sierra Leone YMCA (SLYMCA), with training provided by Sensi Tech Hub, A Call to Business, CODOHSAPA and Global Youth Network.

Each Zubabox has 11 workstations, including 1 for the trainer and 10 workstations for local youth who are entrepreneurs. As part of this project, members of staff from our in-country partners have undertaken training in Base and Intermediate ICDL modules. The purpose of this training was to increase the sustainability of the project, by allowing staff to become ICT trainers at the lab. The training ran across 3 weeks and provided staff with training in the following modules:

  • Computer Essentials
  • Online Essentials
  • Word Processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • ICT in Education

Once staff completed training, they were assessed in each of the modules and gained certification. They then undertook 'Training of the Trainers' which better prepared them to train the local youth in ICT literacy.

There is scope for the Zubabox in Makeni to become an ICDL accredited testing centre (ATC), meaning it could provide training and testing to the local community and dramatically increase the amount of ICT literacy in Makeni even after the project concludes. In Pujehun, we are proposing a power scheme where local residents can utilise surplus power from the solar lab to charge their devices at the lab, and at home using powerbanks. This would help the community since there are often power-cuts and unstable electricity access.

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

Local youth are gaining relevant technical skills that will improve their job prospects, contributing to Target 4.4 of SDG 4.
This project directly contributes to Target 5.B of SDG 5, since we are actively promoting the usage of Zubabox and equipment by both genders, ensuring that no individual is excluded. By ensuring that women are not excluded from the lab, there will be more equitable access to ICT in the community.
This project contributes to Target 8.6 of SDG 8, since local youth in Pujehun and Makeni are increasing their skills as entrepreneurs, that will serve them well when running a business.
By providing the communities in Pujehun and Makeni with computer labs and assistive technology such as projectors, allowing the communities to access information and communications technology, we are directly contributing to Target 9.C of SDG 9.

ICT Equipment used in projects is donated largely from companies; equipment is data-wiped and refurbished before being sent to projects. Therefore, this project is directly contributing to Target 12.5 from SDG 12, by reducing e-waste and allowing technology to be reused.

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