Changemaker: Timothy Chima
Country of Implementation: Malawi
Access to digital literacy skills in Malawi , especially in rural communities is faced by a lot of challenges such as lack of electricity & infrastructure by some schools, shortage of ICT teachers and qualification, lack of the computers, weak ICT policy and government support, scarcity of technical resources and services. This makes many youth in rural communities grow up without any knowledge on digital literacy skills and this makes even harder for those selected to go into colleges as most of the work in colleges now a day’s requires one to have digital literacy skills this makes these students to fail in their academic and not able to take advantage of the benefits that the modern technology is bringing to the world. To change this Timothy and his college friends they decided to start (ICT 4 Development) which was created with the aim of offering computer lessons to Community Day Secondary schools near the city of Mzuzu, using their own laptops. These lessons included the basics of computer, Microsoft Office Package (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) which are essential for academic. They also decided to add lessons such Carrier guidance, mental health and sexual reproductive health lessons to boost the morale of the ICT trainings. Since the beginning of this in 2019 they have managed to reach only 16 schools because of financial challenges and also the impact of Covid-19 in 2020 in which schools were closed for 8 months. This project has brought upon so many positive changes in the selected schools such as increased female participants in ICT since at first it was considered as a male thing, these skills have also demonstrated as an economic impact too because some of the students have been employed in photocopying companies while some have started their own computer services companies using the same skills learned from the program and those selected to pursue different programs at the universities have also been able to testify the importance of the skills they gained through these trainings on digital literacy skills and how it has benefitted them in their academic.