Ever considered volunteering? We've put together six of the key benefits you can get from volunteering your time to help others.
If you would like to volunteer at IT Schools Africa, please contact
Last week, on a fairly dismal October morning, ITSA's fantastic team were busy loading a 20ft container full of IT equipment. This months shipment is heading straight for Zimbabwe, a country determined to ensure their
next generation is part of the digital age.
This IT equipment will help towards making sure children in Zimbabwe have the opportunity to have an education in IT, a subject so relevant in today's developing world.
With your support we will continue to send IT equipment to Africa to close the digital divide.
October 5th marks World Teachers' Day, an event celebrating the essential, influential role that teachers worldwide play in students lives.
Teachers in schools in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, who have benefited from ITSA's programmes, are fundamental in providing students with an inclusive IT education. Over the past decade IT Schools Africa have provided IT training for over 750 teachers, to ensure students in Africa get the most out of the IT equipment sent out.
We would like to take this opportunity on World Teachers' Day, to thank every teacher that has helped transform IT education in Africa!
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."
Last week ITSA took a trip down the road to meet this years Freshers at the University of Gloucestershire. We had a great time speaking with so many students who are looking forward to starting a whole range of courses and getting involved with some of the activities and opportunities that the freshers fayre had to offer.
From everyone at ITSA we wish you all the best with your studies and
the fun and excitement that comes with being a university student!
Keep your eyes peeled for 2016/17 placement and intern opportunities with ITSA...
It seems that every corner of social media is buzzing about #GlobalGoals. So what is it all about?
193 world leaders will come together on 25th September 2015 and commit to "an ambitious to-do list" of 17 Global Goals. The goals aim to "eradicate poverty, save the environment and make the world a fairer place for everyone".
The more people who know about the global goals and support the movement, the more likely our world leaders are to listen and more importantly, stick to them.
ITSA support #Goal4- Quality Education as we believe every child should have the opportunity to have an education in IT.
You have 17 to choose from so which goal means the most to you?
74% of the UK used the internet to purchase goods or services last year, according to statistics. I put my hands up and confess I am most certainly an online shopping addict however, Give as you Live offer the perfect solution to avoid any feeling of guilt after spending online!
With thousands of retailers working with Give as you Live, it is easy to raise money for charity at absolutely no extra cost to you! It is simple to set up and once you've signed up you really do not need to do a lot else, simply shop online as you were and watch as you raise donations for a charity of your choice!
Find out more
Check out this sort clip to find out how to sign up and start raising money for charity!
Fundraising is a great way to support a cause that is important to you, and raise awareness and funds for charity. If you want to get involved with fundraising for your favourite charity but you are stuck on ways you can help, then look no further!
A - Afternoon Tea: get your friends and family together and put on an afternoon tea. By charging a small fee to attend, this is a great way of raising money for charity whilst giving the perfect excuse to meet up with your loved ones.
B - Bike Ride: you don't have to be Bradley Wiggins to be able to take part in a sponsored bike ride. Set yourself a personal challenge and maybe even get some friends to join you.
C - Cake Sale: simple yet effective. Cake sales are a great way to raise money for charity and are super easy to organise and run, perfect for the office or at school or college.
D - Dance Marathon: follow in the steps of Dermot O’Leary and dance for charity. Set yourself a challenge, 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, get a group of supporters together to encourage you and keep you going.
E - Eating Challenge: up to your own interpretation. This could be the fastest person to eat a dry cracker (trust me it’s harder than it sounds), how many jam doughnuts can you eat without licking your lips or come up with your own Man V. Food challenge.
F - Football Match: arrange a local football match and charge a small fee to play. It could be Dads V. Sons or try and get your local club involved.
G - Guess the....: perfect for a fete or fair, guess the number of sweets in a jar, guess the name of the teddy. You can make this one your own, charge a small amount per guess.
H - Half Marathon: find out when your nearest half marathon is being held. Make sure you have enough time to safely train and prepare for the run. Set up a sponsor page and sponsorship forms and run for charity.
I - Indoor Games: ideal for schools and clubs, arrange a variety of indoor games. The winner could receive a small prize, ask for a small donation to enter.
J - Jailbreak: popular among university students, and can be planned through student unions. Students have a set amount of time (usually 48 hours) to get as far away from campus as possible without spending any money.
K - Karaoke: Plan a karaoke night with friends and family, set a small donation per song and watch as they give their best version of Celine Dion ‘My Heart Will Go On'.
L - Leg Wax: get together a willing rugby or football team and ask for sponsors to donate in support of their leg waxing - harmless fun and an easy way to support charity.
M - Marathon: set yourself the ultimate running goal and book a place on a marathon. 26.2 miles is not easy, so make sure you are properly trained and fit to run.
N - Non Uniform Day: students pay 50p - £1 to wear their own clothes at school - simple to organise and ideal for Fridays or the
end of term
O - Office Olympics: arrange a day or an afternoon of office Olympics. Take part in a range of sporting activities, great to get the team together and fundraise for charity.
P - Promise Auction: contact local businesses, celebs, and anyone who can offer a promise. From gardening, to a man with a van this is a positive way to raise money in your local community.
Q - Quiz: organise a quiz night, get in touch with local pubs or halls and host a general knowledge quiz night - charge entry per team and ask local businesses if they can donate a prize for the winner.
R - Raffle: always popular at a fair or event. Set up a raffle by asking for donations to use as prizes, charge per strip of raffle tickets.
S - Skydive: one for the more extreme fundraisers, book a skydive! Ask for sponsorship at work, from family and friends, then brace yourself as you prepare to free-fall at 14,000ft!
T - Tombola: if there wasn't a tombola at your school summer fete you were missing out! Tombola's are an easy way to raise money for charity that all ages can get involved with.
U - University Challenge: get teams together within your university or get in contact with your friends at different universities to arrange your own university challenge. Charge teams an entry fee and a small fee to watch as the two universities go head to head.
V - Variety Show: hold a variety show at school, set a small fee to come and watch and organise a small prize for the winner. You
could theme the show, perhaps Britain’s Got Talent or X Factor?
W - Walk for Charity: if running’s not your thing, then why not try a sponsored walk instead? What about a night walk? Or a fancy dress walk?
X - Xmas Fair: Christmas is a great time to get people together and have festive fun, so why not raise funds for charity at the same time?
Y - Year Long Challenge: set yourself a goal for the year, and ask your friends and family to sponsor your challenge, it could be giving up smoking, giving up alcohol, or training all year for a sporting event - make this a personal challenge!
Z - Zumbathon: much like a danceathon, but strictly Zumba. See how long you can keep going for!
It's the end of the month, boxes pile along the back entrance of the warehouse and a 40ft lorry reverses in to place.
This can only mean one thing - shipment day.
On Friday ITSA's biggest ever shipment was packed up by a team of amazing volunteers, ready to begin its journey to Africa.
904 computers will reach Zambia in around 6-8 weeks time where they will then go through re-testing to go on to begin their new life providing opportunities for school children throughout Zambia.
ITSA are incredibly lucky to have such a supportive and hard-working team of volunteers who were essential in packing the 40ft container with IT equipment. Our volunteers and donors made it possible for ITSA to send nearly 1000 computers, so thank you to every single person, school and organisation who donated equipment to make this possible!
Right...let's get ready for our next shipment!
Last week ITSA travelled to Cambridgeshire to take a look around one of our UK prison programmes. HMP Whitemoor have been working with IT Schools Africa for over 8 years in a scheme that has developed and expanded to become a key component in the process of sending IT equipment to schools in Africa.
The prison focuses on helping inmates make positive use of lengthy sentences and reduce the risk of re-offending through practical work and education. The ITSA workshop provides an environment for prisoners where they have the opportunity to develop IT skills as well as working as part of a team who are taking part in useful, positive work for charity.
As part of the visit ITSA were given a tour around the workshop which is divided into two sections: the first for learning basic IT skills where inmates can complete internationally recognised qualifications, and the second is the ITSA workshop. The more experienced prisoners in the scheme work with the newer prisoners to help teach them the process which helps to develop team and leadership skills - appealing skills to potential employers upon their release.
From taking a look around the workshop it was inspiring to see the prisoners so engaged with the work they were doing for ITSA. All the prisoners that we had the opportunity to speak with were very interested to hear about the work we do in Africa and mentioned how pleased they were to be able to give something back to those less advantaged than themselves.
Ultimately the prison programme is about making positive use of the inmates time to help ITSA send as many computers as we do to African schools. Without the prison programmes in place the charity would not be physically able to distribute the same quantity of computers to give access to e-Learning to children in Africa.
Take a closer look at how we work in the UK!
Computers for Zambian Schools (CFZS) are a not for profit trust that work together with ITSA to manage the distribution of IT equipment to schools in Zambia. For this weeks' blog we had a chat with Boni Chipembere, manager of CFZS, who is based in Lusaka, Zambia.
Q - CFZS have been in operation since 2001, and they've been working with ITSA for 5 years now. How did you first become involved with the charity?
Boni - I became involved when CFZS, in collaboration with ITSA, when they were hiring a Programme Manager earlier this year.
Q - What would you say are your key responsibilities as Programme Manager?
Boni - My responsibilities are vast, they include:
Q - What is the most rewarding thing about working for CFZS?
Boni - There is such a dire need for affordable computers in Zambia, so when we tell customers what we charge they are always ecstatic. When we inform them of the additional services we offer such as - free printers, speakers and educational software their expressions make my job worth it.
Q - In the future what challenges do you predict the charity will face?
Q - How does the work carried out in the UK by ITSA, link to the work your team are doing at CFZS?
Boni - ITSA have been a good partner and team player with CFZS, and play an important part in sourcing affordable stock. The prison programme, that works very well in the UK, is something we are looking into to see if this could work in Zambia as well.
Q - How much of an impact does the work you're doing have on schools in Zambia?
Boni - Over 500 schools are now able to sit their ICT exams because CFZS have supplied them with the needed equipment. It is not just the schools that benefit, some of our former employees have left to set up their own successful businesses as well.
Thanks for taking the time to give an insight into life as a Programme Manager for Computers for Zambian Schools, Boni! Read more about Zambia.