Lucy - I’m the Overseas Operations Manager and I look after the African side of the charity, I’ve been in the role for over a year. My job is to supervise the country programmes that we send our computers to. I make sure that the equipment meets the needs of the schools in Africa in terms of quality and quantity. It’s not just about providing computers, we also focus on the educational software as well as developing new projects that will provide greater access to schools and the local communities.
Q - What has been your proudest achievement during your time at ITSA?
Lucy - Probably seeing a shipment off to Zimbabwe after a gap of nearly three years. Over the last six months we have been able to breathe some much needed life into our programme in Zimbabwe. The programme had been near to closure due to the some issues with one of the local partners. Now, after a few ups and downs we have restarted the programme and despite the gloomy economic situation in the country, demand for IT education is as high as ever.
Q - What did you do before your role at ITSA?
Lucy - I used to live in Zambia, where I had a variety of roles; managing a busy backpacker’s lodge, and as COO of a charity that focuses on education and local community projects. I enjoyed both jobs immensely not least because I got to live in one of Africa’s most beautiful countries, based just 10kms away from the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls!
Q - What do you find most challenging about your role?
Lucy - As rewarding as it is seeing the impact the computers have, it can also be challenging to ensure that the entire process from donation to distribution is monitored at each stage. Communication in particular can be difficult when trying to reach our partners in Africa, power cuts, expensive and poor Internet connection can hamper our best efforts to link up at times.
Q - How do you see the charity developing in the future?
Lucy - To continue to provide high quality computers to schools in Africa, but also to extend our mission to new programmes and destinations. To link with partners with similar goals to our own, to reach more people and ultimately to close the digital divide.