Volunteer-based IkamvaYouth tuXlab provides access to IT and job-based training to the youth of a deprived township near Cape Town, showcasing the spirit and dedication of youth to improve their community
Taipei, Taiwan, 28th September 2006 – VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of PC platform solutions, today revealed details of a VIA pc-1 Initiative project that is making a real difference in one of the poorest South African townships, the IkamvaYouth computer lab in Khayelitsha, where computer training is improving the prospects of the local youth and the community. Opened in May 2006, the IkamvaYouth tuXlab is now teaching the Operation Fikelela (“Operation Access”) e-literacy curriculum to dozens of grade 10-12 children, as well as offering computer access to the local community.
In collaboration with the Shuttleworth Foundation and South Africa’s Department of Social Development, IkamvaYouth has established the “tuXlab” computer centre in the township’s Nazeema Isaacs Library, equipped with 20 VIA pc-1 PC Clients running the open source Ubuntu Linux. Staffed solely by volunteers, many of whom ex-program learners themselves, the non-profit IkamvaYouth is offering hope in a region beset by socio-economic problems such as mass unemployment, low skill levels and juvenile crime.
“The IkamvaYouth tuXlab is an important first step towards e-literacy skills development for the youth of Khayelitsha, and the students are very encouraged and excited to have gained a basic understanding of computers,” commented Joy Olivier, director and co-founder of IkamvaYouth. “Already the program is showing results in terms of pride in their studies and enthusiasm to learn more, and once the lab has full Internet connectivity, our learners will also be able to communicate with their peers and volunteer tutors around the world.”
“IkamvaYouth are an inspiration to the world in their commitment to drive social change in South Africa, and represents what is possible with the right mix of hope, enthusiasm and the generosity of the human spirit,” said Richard Brown, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “VIA pc-1 is all about empowering people to help them improve their lives and those of the community around them, and the tuXlab is an excellent example of that spirit of collaboration essential for the success and sustainability of community development projects in emerging markets.”
Khayelitsha, on the outskirts of Cape Town, is one of the largest and poorest townships in South Africa, with unemployment of over 50% and HIV affecting over a quarter of the population, where many live in shanty housing lacking basic utilities – an ideal target to spur community improvement through education by enhancing post-school prospects, and so inspire hope in the younger generation and try and stem the tide of social deterioration.
The IkamvaYouth tuXlab is managed by Nkosikho Sigaba and Xolani Ntandathu, two volunteers, and teaches a comprehensive curriculum focused on open source software, using the Ubuntu operating system developed by the Shuttleworth Foundation, OpenOffice and other popular applications. Learners produce a relevant and tangible document in each lesson, such as a job resume or document relating to their further education, in line with the objective to provide practical training to enhance post-school opportunities.
VIA pc-1 Community Solutions for Education and Development
The VIA pc-1 Community Solution deployed at the IkamvaYouth tuXlab comprises twenty VIA pc-1 PC Clients running Ubuntu Linux and linked to a donated server, enabling the volunteer instructors to provide an ideal centralized classroom-based teaching environment.
VIA pc-1 Community Solutions are designed to deliver the essential tools to facilitate education, develop new skill sets and enable individuals to learn and to contribute to the global online community; they can be installed in almost any environment, and, being based on the highly power efficient VIA pc-1 processor platforms, can even be powered by alternative energy sources such as solar power or car batteries, a vital consideration in emerging markets where the power generation infrastructure can be unstable or expensive.
By deploying VIA pc-1 clients, educators can greatly lower the cost per seat of computing implementations, not only in terms of hardware but also in significantly reduced running costs through much lower electricity bills and cooling requirements. Client computing also enables greater security and control over content, as well as far greater manageability of software, with updates performed at the server level, and rapid implementation and scaling.
“VIA’s pc-1 Community Solutions provide an affordable, flexible approach to enabling access to those that need it, with multiple configurations to match the diversity of emerging market situations,” noted Richard Brown of VIA. “VIA pc-1 clients are ideally suited to the education environment, offering greater manageability and security while reducing the total cost of ownership, which is important to schools everywhere but especially in emerging markets.”
IkamvaYouth is a by-youth, for-youth non-profit organisation that is completely volunteer-initiated, managed and run. Operating from public libraries in some of the poorest areas of South Africa, the organisation drives social change by enabling disadvantaged youth to access tertiary education and other post-school opportunities.
IkamvaYouth has five key programmes: Supplementary tutoring; Career guidance and life skills mentoring; Computer literacy training; Media and expression and Facilitated HIV testing. IkamvaYouth enables the youth of South Africa to take their futures into their own hands and realise their potential — for themselves, their families, their communities and the country. www.ikamvayouth.org
About the VIA pc-1 Initiative
The VIA pc-1 Initiative is aimed at enabling the next one billion people to get connected. With a focus on communication, education and information, the VIA pc-1 Initiative seeks to empower millions of people to improve their quality of life through technology, especially in emerging markets. Comprising a range of flexible systems based on VIA’s acclaimed energy-efficient processor platforms, the VIA pc-1 Initiative is a realistic approach to bringing technology to millions more people within a sustainable business framework. Of the numerous initiatives VIA has launched to enhance the technology experience and the quality of life, the VIA pc-1 Initiative has a universal remit to make a difference to the lives of many more millions of people. www.viatech.com/pc-1
About VIA Technologies, Inc.
VIA Technologies, Inc. (TSE 2388) is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators. www.viatech.com