Lucy - I’ve been travelling to Africa for 18 years, initially on a gap-year which left me with an overwhelming desire to ‘give something back’ which sounds a total cliché but it was as simple as that. It ignited my passion for travel and discovering the unknown (to me) and after studying at university and spending four years working in the corporate world, I moved to Africa. I worked in South Africa initially and then in Zambia where I stayed for five years. During that time I ran a charity that supports education and health community-based initiatives. After returning to the UK I was amazed to find ITSA, an African charity almost on my doorstep...four years on I am proud to be part of the work that ITSA does in Africa and the UK.
Lucy - I am looking to the long term impact we can have; for me, enabling children to grow up with computers, to become who they want be and making their own choices in life, this is what is important. So if we can help by reducing computer: student ratios, increasing learning times and providing materials and training to educate teachers, students and the wider communities, this is a huge step towards integrating e-Learning technology into everyday life where we work. The goals for ITSA in the next three years are to see schools and teachers gaining the most from the e-Learning package we provide, to improve digital access for disadvantaged people, schools gaining more reliable access to power and Internet and governments recognising the value of e-Learning technology.
Q - Is it exciting times ahead for ITSA?
Lucy - 2018 looks to be a milestone year; by the end of the year we will have provided 21 e-Learning centres with over 800 computers to schools in 3 countries in Africa. We are particularly proud to start our first e-Learning centre in Zimbabwe, which is a sign of our commitment and persistence to help improve digital literacy in the country. I’m excited to see our UK Community IT Outreach Programme grow, in the last six months we have supported over 15 local community projects and we will be expanding the programme to include training and support for vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals in the community. So much of what we are able to do is because of our wonderful volunteers, many of whom have been with us for years, they are in essence the heart of ITSA and we would not have achieved all that we have without them.