Simon Richardson, UK Operations Manager
We are really pleased to announce that we have reached another milestone - receiving and processing over 115,000 donated computers and laptops in the UK and saving them from landfill. It only seems like yesterday we were celebrating the fact that we had crossed the 100,000 milestone!
"Without the fantastic support of our equipment donors, we would not be able to supply so many schools in Africa as well as charity and community organisations in Gloucestershire with quality refurbished IT equipment."
Simon Richardson, UK Operations Manager
As ever we are always in need of equipment, so if you have any or know people and organisations who might have IT equipment please let us know. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
IT Schools Africa to rebrand
Having recently developed our five-year strategic plan (2022-27), we have decided that our work should be equally weighted in Africa and the UK - this is in recognition of the work ITSA does in the UK, which grew organically during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It in no way detracts from the programmes we run in Africa, it's simply that the charity is growing in both parts of the world.
After considerable consultation with the team, our donors and stakeholders, we have decided the new name for IT Schools Africa will be The ITSA Digital Trust.
Lucy Pollock, our GM commented: "We aim to retain the past 18 years of IT Schools Africa’s heritage by keeping the shortened name ITSA so we have a name that better fits with the work we do in both Africa and the UK.”
We are pleased to share the IT Schools Africa Annual Review 2021-2022 showcasing our work and impact in Africa and the UK.
Read the full Annual Review here
"Thanks to our small, but dedicated teams in the UK and Africa, the charity is growing each year, increasing its support to schools in Africa and to local communities in the UK – enabling confidence in learners to use digital technology effectively." Lucy Pollock, General Manager
IT Schools Africa (ITSA) has had a positive year successfully delivering its digital skills programmes in Africa and the UK, and continuing to supply good quality refurbished equipment to those most in need.
Our year in numbers Africa
Our year in numbers UK
We saved over 7,500 computers and laptops from landfill, a significant increase on the previous year, not only benefitting our Africa and UK programmes but also reducing electronic waste.
Also included in this year's review;
Our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint - Page 8
Computer Supply Programme and Community Lab - Page 12 /13
Expanded Teacher Training Programme - Page 15
Our year in numbers Africa - Page 17
UK Programme - Page 20
Our year in numbers UK - Page 24
Expenditure and funding - Page 26
Our impact over 18 years - Page 27
Partners - Page 30
Would your business or school like to partner with us?
Could you donate IT equipment?
Please email : email@example.com
Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful supporters we are delighted to say, that not only did we meet our Big Give Christmas target, we smashed it! Our target was £15,760 and we raised an incredible £17,370 – with the Gift Aid added the grand total is £18,117.
Thank you to everyone who donated and shared our campaign and thank you to the Champions and Pledgers that provided the match funding.
We are extremely grateful for your donations; your contribution means that we will be able to upskill more than 200 young students, giving them practical IT skills they can use to improve their education and their lives after they leave school. This will have the wider effect of uplifting their families and communities out of poverty.
From the very beginning, IT Schools Africa has always put recycling at the heart of what it does. Our environmental impact is important to us and we want to play our part in tackling climate change and embracing the low carbon economy. Each year we will report on our activities in Africa and the UK, as we work towards our ambitious plan to reduce our emissions over the next 8 years.
We started the process in 2019 with local consultant, Go Climate Positive, where we analysed what we do and how we do it. We identified where our significant carbon emissions came from and wrote an action plan to reduce and offset those emissions in line with the latest science and best practice.
Our 2019 report was used as a baseline report for this year's and future reports.
Our report for the year (ending May 2022), calculated both our carbon footprint and our carbon handprint. Our carbon footprint represents the current impact of the charity on global warming and climate change. Our carbon handprint is the total carbon savings that we have helped someone else to make, beyond the reductions we have made in our own emissions.
In the year ending May 2022 our carbon footprint was 281 tonnes, a reduction of 111 tonnes of carbon compared with 2019.
In 2019 our carbon handprint ( the amount of carbon we helped others to save ) was 61 tonnes. By 2022 we had increased this saving to 126 tonnes of carbon.
To reduce our emissions from our activities by at least 46% from our baseline of 2019, by 2030
To reduce the emissions from the use of the equipment we supply. To set a science-based target we would need to achieve at least a 28% reduction. However, we have already achieved this between 2019 and 2022, so we plan to do a feasibility study to understand what is achievable.
Our local TECH Connect Programme is bringing technology, digital participation and digital skills to those who need it most in Gloucestershire. Our programme provides equipment for charitable organisations as well as digital training and support. Recipients have been local charities, community centres, job clubs, schools, refugee groups, coding and youth clubs supporting marginalised and disabled groups.
Last year we gave 5,100 learners access to digital skills and services.
Please read some feedback from our local TECH Connect Community:
“The laptops you donated are a really useful resource to have available to clients. They have been used in our Education Centre for basic literacy and numeracy courses as well as having been used to help clients access the internet for support with benefit claims. Several clients have also used them to make job applications and update their CV's. Thank you so much for supporting us.”
Kevin Howie, Gloucester City Mission
“The computers you donated to the Redwell Centre are being used daily by the community, young and old for applying for jobs, helping with homework, internet searching, CV writing and lots more. Thank you for donating these, they have been an invaluable resource for our centre to offer.”
Amy Stokes The Redwell Centre, Matson, Gloucester
“It’s amazing....I have been able to check my Home Seeker account and bid on new places daily. Having access to a computer has helped me act on things myself, which is great. Thanks.”
Craig, resident at YMCA Supported Housing
“I wanted to give you some feedback following your kind donation of a laptop to a local family. Mum is thrilled and has already completed
4 online sessions covering adult and children mental health and childhood trauma. Thank you once again for your support.”
Michelle Smith, Senior Coordinator Homestart Stroud and Gloucester
We want to support more people in Gloucestershire and have a long waiting list for urgent IT equipment - if your business or school can donate working IT equipment please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel : 01242 228800
Could you support our campaign?
We are excited to be taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022 - for the fifth consecutive year. Last year our campaign to deliver our digital skills course to teachers in Zimbabwe was hugely successful; we reached our fundraising goal and we are well on our way to meeting our target of 200 trained teachers by the end of the year!
The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022 launches on #GivingTuesday 29th November and for one week only every donation is doubled.
Our goal is to help 200 Malawian students over five months to gain digital and entrepreneurial skills.
"Digital learning is changing our lives as students. These programs will help us after secondary school."
Madalo Banda, Aged 19, Njamba Secondary School, Malawi
Why this matters?
With scarce computer facilities at schools, many Malawian students are unable to gain practical, ‘hands-on’ experience using digital technology. In addition, young students struggle to pay for education and many demotivated teenage girls have fallen out of education due to increased rates of pregnancies.
*49.2% of the Malawian population are under 18 and they need skills to improve their future livelihoods.*
Developing real-life skills will enable these students to generate an income improving their future livelihoods, with the wider effect of uplifting their families and communities out of poverty.
The delivery of our Entrepreneurial IT Skills Programme to teach students how to use design programmes will help develop students’ confidence using digital technology and apply it to real-life. Students will have better chances of success with internships and employment opportunities to improve income and independence.
Students will leave school confident and digitally focused to improve their future education, employment and life prospects.
"Long term benefits of the digital skills training include an income generating activity for our students."
Precious Majoni, Teacher, Zingwangwa Secondary School, Malawi
Contact email@example.com to discuss the campaign.
Save the date: Midday Tuesday 29th November to midday Tuesday 6th December 2022
Helping our local community to use technology
DigiBus is a free digital support service to help people of all ages improve their digital skills for better life and work opportunities. We are supporting a wide range of needs; from booking virtual appointments with the GP, setting up an email address, accessing online public services and an introduction to robotics and virtual reality!
We are delighted to have received 1,481 visitors since the service began and are pleased to see how people are benefitting from the DigiBus service. Our recent evaluation report provided valuable data on how learners felt after their session on the DigiBus following its first tour of Gloucestershire.
67% feel more confident using technology and learning on their own
47% say it has benefited their health and sense of wellbeing
16% say it enables them to take a more active part in the community
8% say they’ve learned skills they can use in a job
We were delighted to welcome the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, Sir Dusty Miller KBE to visit DigiBus, to see first hand how our mobile digital inclusion project helps community members to improve their digital skills and get help with technology.
"The ITSA DigiBus - a terrific concept bringing extremely valuable learning opportunities to members of the more dispersed communities, dispelling uncertainty, promoting communication and reducing isolation."
Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller KBE
Huge congratulations to Precious Majoni on receiving the Best Computer Studies Teacher Award for 2021 presented by the Ministry of Education (South West Education Division) in Malawi.
Precious is an IT Teacher at Zingwangwa Secondary School, a partner school in Blantyre, Malawi. IT Schools Africa donated two school IT labs in 2014/2015 and more recently started an Entrepreneurial Digital Skills Course for students through our local partner Computers For Malawian Schools (CFMS).
IT Schools Africa has been instrumental in helping Precious achieve his award and improving digital education at the school. We recently caught up with Precious to find out more about this prestigious award and what it means to him and the wider school community.
“I am so proud to win this award because we were competing against very good schools and I have overcome a lot of challenges. My students and fellow teachers have renewed energy and motivation and will never look down on themselves again.“
Precious Majoni, IT teacher, Zingwangwa School, Blantyre, Malawi
Question: Please tell us a little more about the award you received?
I was awarded the Best Subject Teacher Award 2021 for Computer Studies, presented by the Ministry of Education (South West Education Division) in Malawi. In addition to teaching the curriculum-based course focussing on the Microsoft applications, this award was in recognition of achieving the best Malawi School Certificate of Education (MCSE) results in computer studies that the school has ever produced.
Furthermore, the new Entrepreneurial Digital Skills Course incorporating Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Photoshop and video editing, developed and implemented with local partner Computers For Malawian Schools (CFMS) and IT Schools Africa (ITSA), is transforming digital skills education. This course is quite unique for Malawian schools and teaches real life, useful skills enabling these students to generate an income and improve their lives.
Tell us a little more about IT teaching in school and how learning digital skills helps students.
ICT is a compulsory subject up to the age of 14 and is optional for older students. IT is a game changer for students’ education, supporting learning across all subjects and accessing global information. Developing digital skills has enabled the students to increase their chances for internship, employment and access to university.
Could you share more details on your new Entrepreneurial Digital Skills Course?
There is a demand for digital design skills such as Publisher, Photoshop and Premier Pro in Malawi. These skills enable the students to generate income and help their families financially. We are seeing higher enrolment for computer studies, more engagement from students and new energy in teaching amongst the teachers. Our first cohort of 48 students last year benefitted so much we are repeating the course now for a further 70 students. We have also worked with local companies, such as Hallmark to ensure the modules are covering all areas that are marketable in the industry.
How much does schooling cost in Malawi?
Primary education is free in Malawi but secondary schooling has to be paid for. Students’ families have to pay MWK 33,000 per year (which converts to approximately £30 per year), sadly many families struggle to pay school fees.
How do you handle the challenges of internet and power?
We do our best under the circumstances. We do not have access to regular internet but we manage. In case of a blackout, I always prepare two sets of lessons, I can teach a theory lesson if this happens.
Thank you Precious - you are an inspiration to your fellow teachers and students!
Huge congratulations to our very own Monis Khalifa!
Monis was invited to attend the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace last month, with our GM Lucy Pollock, in recognition of his work at
IT Schools Africa (ITSA). Monis has been with ITSA since its very beginning. He is not just a very well recognised face with our volunteers, but has been the heart of the charity over the last 17 years.
The seed for IT Schools Africa was sown when an old computer was thrown into a skip - watched by Monis - he thought to himself, is there not a better way to recycle old computers? He mentioned this to his friend Michael Ratcliffe, and between the two of them, they decided that there definitely was a better way - to send them to schools in Africa!
Subsequently IT Schools Africa was established in 2004 and operations started the following year, with the renovation of a warehouse in Cheltenham and from there the first refurbished computers were shipped in a container to Africa. The rest, as they say is history!
“When I first started the charity, I thought it was just about sending computers to schools in Africa so that school children could benefit and have the opportunities that IT can give. It has been so much more than that. I have learnt so much from our wonderful volunteers and I have seen them grow in confidence and self-esteem which is so rewarding – I am truly grateful to them. It is thanks to our wonderful, selfless volunteers who have allowed us to achieve so much.”
Monis Khalifa – IT Manager, IT Schools Africa