Help Us Create Internet for a School in Zambia

Last year, six colleagues from our Danish office in Aarhus, went to Zambia and visited our good friends from Eventure. The purpose of the trip was to establish an IT room for students at a boarding school Eventure and other companies helped to develop.

There were several things the team who went to Zambia last year wanted to achieve but was not possible for numerous reasons, but Novicell is hoping to send another team in April to continue the work. The team are going with the desire to ensure that an internet connection is made available at the school, a better internal network is created as well as upgrading existing hardware.

We can certainly learn from the challenges faced last year to make the visit this year a better one. Dust and heat were a hindrance when trying to maintain equipment and was certainly a new experience for the majority of the team. The primary task this time is to ensure that there is an internet connection available in classrooms. Today, there is Internet access at the lake that is 300 meters from the classroom. The internet is provided through a satellite connection sent from the other side of the lake.

This year’s team will be leaving for Zambia to provide internet, equipment and materials early April 2017.

For these plans to come to fruition, we will appreciate contributions to help buy what is necessary for the project. Novicell is kindly supporting the project, and we hope that you will also. All donations will go to buying things for the school and the young people who attend Northern Star Academy. Feel free to either donate money or provide the equipment itself.

Here is what is needed to create the internet connections:

3x Powerbeam AC500 (£484)

4x ASUS RT-AC87U (£606)

For teaching we need:

4x laptop with EN windows (£753)

1x Acer K138ST WXGA (£538)

1x Brother MFC-J985DW with extra cartridges (£353)

50x Headphones (£235)

To upgrade the current Network-attached storage (NAS) we need:

7x Western Digital 2 TB hard drives (£635)

A development centre for young

Only a third of Zambian pupils get more than seven years of schooling. There are approximately 17 million people in Zambia, so there is a large group of children who go no further than those seven years.  Eventure and Northern Star Academy kindly sponsor some of the Zambian pupils who are not able to continue receiving an education.

Each year 30 young people are given a chance to continue receiving an education through a free scheme in an instructive and stimulating environment. Here the pupils are prepared for high school that they subsequently get paid for thanks to Eventure and several donations. Students leave this scheme with the equivalent of a college education, and so far, this system has worked well.

The goal of the school is to create personal development and to strengthen the young people for them to elevate in life and create a better life for their families and communities. The majority of the young people at Northern Star Academy are driven and want to become teachers and nurses in the communities where they have grown up.

The knowledge they acquire will certainly make a difference in their communities as they will learn practical things such as how and why it is good to plant trees, how to assess the quality of water, why a healthy and nutritious diet composition is essential and how to draw up a budget for a start-up business. These are just a few of the many things that the students learn.

IT can help

One of the challenges for the Northern Star Academy is to lift young people from their normal way of operating to training and preparing them for high school. To adequately train and prepare these young people, IT equipment would be useful. With tablets, apps and other educational programs, teachers would be able to give an interactive and intuitive learning experience which will undoubtedly enable the students to learn at a faster rate.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible to use the internet during teaching as it is very expensive. The distance between the satellite dish on the lake to the classroom is around 300 meters. The distance creates a challenge as wiring that is long is tough to find, so we will need to find another solution.

The volunteers who teach at the school believe that the young people are fast to take IT. We are currently limited to what we can provide due to a lack of equipment. We would like to provide transport to the school eventually.

If you would like to help, please get in touch.