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SITA Air Transport Community Foundation

The SITA Air Transport Community Foundation has helped around 15,000 students to date in Africa, giving them access to IT and education.   

The SITA Air Transport Community Foundation was established with the SITA Council, driven by an aim to bring meaningful and sustainable impact to individuals and communities in Africa by providing access to IT and education. Since its first year of operation in 2015, the Foundation has given opportunities to young people in Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It is supported in its projects by partnering with the charities ComputerAid International, PEAS, and the Wits Foundation. 

Making technology accessible in Ethiopia

During 2016, IT equipment was provided for the Information, Computing and Technology (ICT) rooms at 25 rural primary schools in Amhara, Ethiopia, that the foundation funded in 2015. As part of the follow up monitoring of the project, new IT needs were identified, and in 2016 each school received a projector and screen, printer, headphones and speakers.  This was accompanied by a ‘Connect’ learning device built using a RaspberryPi, which creates a local area wireless network, giving computers in the ICT classes access to 64GB of learning resources. The Connect devices are enabling students to study independently, and at their own speed. Teachers also benefit from using the devices to produce teaching materials and handouts easily. The Connect devices provide long-term sustainability as they can easily be uploaded with new content.

Increased access to ICT in Uganda

In 2016 four ICT labs were under construction in Uganda, bringing the total to 11 since work began in 2015. These labs are at secondary schools in rural areas, and are brand new buildings. The project includes installing solar power, computers, networking equipment and furnishings. The foundation also funded computer training for teachers at each of the schools. Student confidence and skills in using computers are increasing, and many of the schools are offering after school computing opportunities.

Empowering young women in Zimbabwe

A project at the University of Zimbabwe saw 100 PCs installed in computer rooms at seven female student halls of residence – enabling the students to have safe 24/7 access to computing facilities. In addition, 100 female students were given the opportunity to gain an IT qualification by completing four key modules of the International Computer Driving Licence. This is helping to improve confidence and skills, and to give an advantage in their future careers. Funding has also allowed janitors at the halls to take the training to provide additional support for the students.

Student achievement in South Africa

At the University of the Witwatersrand, 21 students have benefitted from grants to help them continue their studies. The students – four women and 17 men – are studying subjects including; Aeronautical Engineering, Business Information Systems, Computer Science, Electrical and Information Engineering, and Information Systems. In addition to the two students who graduated in 2015, a further five students completed their studies in 2016 and will graduate early 2017.

I’d like to thank SITA so much for the funding. SITA has been that silver bullet, and really given me the opportunity to focus on my studies – and I’m truly grateful for that.

Letlotlo Khoathane, Business Information Systems

 

The opening of the Digital Technology Innovation Zone at the Tshimologong Precinct during the year saw 18 SITA funded memberships activated. Tshimologong is a versatile and connected space for Braamfontein’s digital startup scene in Johannesburg. Coders, developers, artists, and digital makers can make use of the precinct’s facilities.  The memberships are enabling young entrepreneurs (aged 18-35) who have some skills in digital hardware, software development, business development and digital content development to have access to a shared innovation space, meeting rooms, fast internet connectivity, and mentors to increase their knowledge and experience. 

Better together

Over the course of 2016, a set of partnership principles were agreed by the governing body of the foundation, the SITA Council. These were put to good use, as we were delighted to welcome Mindtree as a partner to the foundation in 2016. They are supporting us with an annual contribution, which will help us to expand the scope of our work and to positively impact more young people in Africa. Through 2017, the foundation will continue to work with our charity partners to support existing projects in Ethiopia, Uganda and South Africa, while beginning a new program for secondary schools in Zimbabwe, and supporting the construction and equipping of ICT labs in Zambia.

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