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IBM's Corporate Community Relations

 IBM donations for 2002
Nexus Primary School
Khululeka Community Education Centre
Edenvale Care Centre
Umbiya High School
Humana People to People
Siyakhula Trust
St. Luke's Hospice
University of Witwatersrand
Communal Information Technology Centre (CITC)
African Self Help Association (ASHA)
The Hippo Water Roller Project
Vista Nova
Cape Technikon
Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand
The Heart Foundation
Lusito - Portuguese Association for the Mentally Handicapped

 Nexus Primary School

IBM SA donated computer hardware and software worth R230 000 to the Nexus Primary School in Harrismith in the Free State - creating the first media centre in a primary school in the area and bridging the digital divide for more than 900 underprivileged children.

The donation forms part of IBM's global multi-million dollar e-learning initiative known as 'Reinventing Education'. Based on IBM's experience in thousands of technology-based learning implementations worldwide, Reinventing Education addresses the fact that technology fundamentally changes the way students learn as well as the way they are taught.

Nexus Primary started out nine years ago in a collection of shacks, but Nexus principal, Fikile Mohaladi worked with parents, the then Transitional Local Council, SANCO, consultants and Eskom to persuade the Free State School Building Fund to provide a new school building with appropriate facilities.

All the organisations also provided support in cash or kind for different elements of the project. The new buildings were erected three years ago and already, with the help of the community, the school grounds boast well-cared for gardens and playing fields.

The Nexus media centre is the first of a number of IBM SA initiatives planned in the Free State.

 Khululeka Community Education Centre

On Wednesday 21 Aug, IBM South Africa donated five desktop computers to help with the administration of the Khululeka Community Education Development Centre in Queenstown and enhance its Internet access.

The Centre has been providing training, resources and support for early childhood development (ECD) practitioners in the northern region of the Eastern Cape for the past 13 years.

All Khululeka programmes are community based and provided in-service.

For practitioners to achieve full and recognised qualifications, they must attain certain levels of literacy and numeracy.

So, the Centre is setting up a computer laboratory in which Internet based adult literacy and numeracy programmes will be made available to practitioners.

"Because computers provide an interactive learning process, we're confident of a higher pass rate than could be achieved by conventional teaching," says Rene King, Khululeka Project Director.

"Also, learners can move through the lessons at their own pace. So slow learners don't hold up fast learners, as so often happens in a classroom."

Says IBM SA's corporate social responsibility executive, Alfred Mandewo: "Helping Khululeka with equipment meets IBM South Africa's social responsibility criteria on many levels."

"For 80 years now, IBM has seen education as the basis of sustainable progress for all communities, no matter where in the world they are."

"And technology delivers education in a memorable and sustainable way. So we make it our business to make technology available to assist with education in whatever form the community needs it."

"At the same time, Khululeka focuses on early childhood development - the heart of any community's ability to learn for life, and therefore adapt and prosper."

"Early childhood development is of particular interest to IBM."

"Which is why we have a large programme, called KidSmart, for donating computers on a nationwide basis to underprivileged preschools."

"In Khululeka's case, the computers we're donating are not for the children,but for the people who will help develop the children."

"And then, we have a particular interest in assisting development in rural areas. Which is why we are glad to be able to support, with technology, early childhood development practitioners working in the rural areas."

 Edenvale Care Centre

IBM South Africa donated computers and printers to help with the administration of the Edenvale Care Centre, established last year to provide care for terminally ill HIV/Aids sufferers as well as community education about the disease.

The Centre, initially an Edenvale Methodist Church project but now a formally registered Section 21 non-profit organisation, is situated at the corner of 6th Avenue and 4th Street in Edenvale.

Its central situation provides easy access for residents in the greater Edenvale, Tembisa, Modderfontein and Alexandra region.

The building has been renovated to accommodate an eight-bed ward for terminally ill patients. It also has extensive counseling facilities and a small administrative office. During the past two years, counselors have been trained to assist those who come to the Centre and also provide outreach services to homes, clinics, hospitals and places of work. They educate members of the community on all aspects of the pandemic as well as showing them how to care for ill members of their families at home.

 Umbiya High School

IBM South Africa donated three desktop computers and three printers to the disadvantaged Umbiya High School in the KwaMthethwa Reserve.

The equipment will form the basis of a computer centre that will provide learners with access to information and, thereby, the means of improving their academic achievements.

Says IBM SA's Corporate Social Responsibility Executive, Alfred Mandewo: "These days, education must include computer literacy to give graduates the best possible chance of employment."

"So, while our equipment will give learners access - via the Internet - to a vast electronic library, it will also familiarise them with technology they will encounter in the workplace."

With renewed commitment from teachers, learners and parents, the school last year dramatically improved its matric pass rate from 11 percent to 86 percent - receiving awards from its district and regional offices.

"It is our desire and vision to develop into a school that produces quality students for the new millennium," says principal, S K Singh.

"We believe we can continue to improve our matric rate with computers. Apart from providing unlimited academic resources for both teachers and learners, the Internet will enable them to network with teachers and learners all over the world, broadening their horizons."

"The school will be able to build partnerships, over the Internet, with other academic organisations - thereby breaking down our isolation out here in a rural environment."

"And, we can use the computers to build capacity amongst parents."

Mandewo says that IBM has an 80-year history of supporting education through technology.

"We see education as the basis of sustainable progress for all communities, no matter where in the world they are."

"And technology delivers education in a memorable and sustainable way. So we make it our business to make technology available to assist with education in whatever form the community needs it.

"We also place particular emphasis on supporting rural communities, where the need is often greater than in the cities because there are so few facilities."

"And, it is always a pleasure to be able to help an organisation like the Umbiya High School, where those involved are so very determined to make a difference."

 Humana People to People

Humana is a non-profit organisation that collects old clothes, shoes, toys and blankets for resale – the funds of which are then used for upliftment of rural communities and support of a kinder-garden school in the Diepkloof area.

IBM South Africa's donation of R4 000 went towards the construction and maintenance of a clothes collection bin that would be placed at IBM headquarters in Sandton, Gauteng. IBM employees would drop off their donations of old clothes etc. into the bin and Humana would arrange for periodic pick-up of these.

 Siyakhula Trust

Siyakhula Trust approached IBM with a request for donations towards the Siphumele Sewing Project in Orange Farm. This project was awarded a contract by a local school to produce its uniforms. In order to fulfil this contract and to expand the project, the Siyakhula Trust undertook to source funds on behalf of the Siphumele Sewing project.

 St. Luke's Hospice

IBM South Africa recently donated R10 000 to St. Luke's Hospice.

The money was used towards opening a ward for AIDS patients at the Conradie Hospital in Cape Town. The establishment of this ward enables for specialised medical and nursing care to be administered to AIDS victims.

 University of Witwatersrand

For many years IBM South Africa awarded prizes to students at the University of Witwatersrand for the best major project in Computational and Applied Mathematics III and Computational and Applied Mathematics Honours. Since the cash lump sum donated by IBM was exhausted, the university again approached IBM for a possible donation of cash prizes.

IBM South Africa donated R 9 000 towards prizes for student achievements in 2001 and 2002 in the categories mentioned above.

 Communal Information Technology Centre (CITC)

The people of the West Rand town of Carletonville now have the opportunity to learn valuable IT skills thanks to the establishment of a Communal Information Technology Centre (CITC).

The CITC concept, the result of a government-private sector partnership, is aimed at providing skills development and income-generating opportunities for the unemployed. Students receive training in IT applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases and e-mail, or in technical support of PC systems and software programs. The first such centre was started in Welkom in 1997. The IT training it has provided has enabled 630 unemployed people (65% of them women) to find work. An additional 20 graduates have been empowered to set up their own businesses.

Many people retrenched from downsizing mines in the area have learnt new skills and found new jobs. In addition, 120 grade 12 scholars participated in a 20-week IT competence course. Of these, 12 went on to study IT at tertiary institutions and 15 gained IT-related employment.

Mining house Anglogold sponsored the building of the centre in Khutsong, while IBM provided 30 computers. 3Com supplied the network facilities while Microsoft provided the software. IT consulting company, PARAG UK, and the Foundation for Future Leaders will provide business training, management guidance and mentoring skills.

In order to make all CITCs self-funding in the long-term, they are geared - through certificated graduates - to provide professional IT services and support to organisations in the surrounding community.

 African Self Help Association (ASHA)

At Sehlaba Sabana Pre-School in Pimville, Soweto, IBM South Africa handed over to the African Self Help Association (ASHA) another 10 of its KidSmart computers, designed specially to give pre-school children early exposure to technology and help them develop literacy, numeracy and life skills. This donation adds to the 12 KidSmart facilities installed in ASHA-run pre-schools last year as part of a country-wide roll-out of the programme.

The computers form part of IBM's global multi-million dollar early learning programme, implemented in 500 pre-schools worldwide and over 70 pre-schools in South Africa.

KidSmart consists of colorful, child-sized plastic furniture that's durable and easy to clean and incorporates a powerful IBM computer - with 300 Mhz and 3.2 GB hard drive, 14-inch color monitor, speakers and a membrane keyboard. The computer is pre-loaded with award-winning software designed by education specialists to develop creativity and problem-solving skills and engage young children in the learning process with maximum fun.

The programme includes training for teachers to familiarise them with computers where necessary and enable them to integrate KidSmart into their own syllabus, maximising the benefit the children get from the syllabus.

ASHA, founded in 1942, runs 40 pre-schools in greater Soweto, providing daily care, food, safety and all-round development for up to 3 700 children from extremely poor homes. Funded by donors, ASHA is community based - being run by parents, principals and other representatives of the Association's 232 staff, including cooks, housekeepers and handymen.

All ASHA schools serve a second purpose as community facilities, so ASHA's KidSmart facilities also provide parents and other members with a rare local resource.

In rolling out its KidSmart early learning programme, IBM SA works closely with the Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD) - a national non-government organisation focused on improving education for children between the ages of 0 to nine. The CECD identifies suitable sites for implementation of the programme and monitors them to ensure that the full benefits of the programme are entrenched at each school.

 The Hippo Water Roller Project

IBM SA again donated R39 900 this year towards the purchase of 100 'Hippo Water Rollers.' This is the third year in succession that IBM has contributed towards easing the burden of residents living in rural communities adjacent to conservation areas.

The revolutionary design of the Hippo Water Roller makes the task of fetching water from taps and streams to their homes easier. The drum has a 90 litre capacity, as opposed to the usual 5 litre containers that are carried on the heads of women and children. Girls as young as four learn to carry these 5 litre drums on their heads. Instead of being trapped into this routine, the Hippo Water Roller frees women and children from this onerous task. When pushed, the weight of the roller is approximately 12kg, which enables children to roll the container home with relative ease. Winner of the 1997 'Design for Development' Award in South Africa, the Hippo Water Roller is bringing relief to countless residents of rural areas who have limited access to water. Water shortage is a dire problem in rural areas, and many people (especially women and children) have to walk distances of 15km daily to collect water from the nearest faucet.

Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor and IBM over the past two years, the Africa Foundation - an independent, non-profit organization - has facilitated the donation of 933 Hippo Water Rollers to be handed over to the Welverdiend community in Limpopo Province on Friday 18 October 2002. has spent over USD128,000 on Water Relief projects (in the form of Hippo Water Roller distribution) in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces.

 Vista Nova

At Vista Nova, a school for children with special needs, in Rondebosch, Cape Town, IBM SA officially handed over five of its KidSmart computers, designed to expose children between the ages of three and seven to technology and help them develop literacy, numeracy and life skills.

The computers form part of IBM's global multi-million dollar early learning programme, implemented in 500 pre-schools worldwide and over 70 pre-schools in South Africa.

KidSmart consists of colorful, child-sized plastic furniture that's durable and easy to clean and incorporates a powerful IBM computer. The computer is pre-loaded with award-winning software designed by education specialists to develop creativity and problem-solving skills and engage young children in the learning process with maximum fun.

The programme includes training for teachers to familiarise them with computers where necessary and enable them to integrate KidSmart into their own syllabus, maximising the benefit the children get from the syllabus.

The computers were installed at Vista Nova a few weeks ago and the impact on the children has been immediate.

According to Vista Nova's Development Manager, Jessica Setterberg, "the KidSmart computer has a physical presence like no other. For one thing, it's right there in the classroom. And, it's bright and cheery, talks in a language that children can relate to and plays music. So it's a focus of attention and desire.

"So, it has immediately given our teachers a positive means to teach life skills. For instance, because learners are being allowed to choose who will use the machine next, children with obsessive personalities are learning to cope with a degree of randomness and also to share the machine. And, giving the children choices of that sort teaches them responsibility.

"Academically, the KidSmart software is so user-friendly and positive - praising the children if they get something right or suggesting gently that they 'try again' if not - that the children are not nervous of testing their knowledge. So, KidSmart is providing an extremely rich learning experience for them."

IBM SA's corporate social responsibility manager, Alfred Mandewo, says that although IBM SA usually gives only one KidSmart computer to a school, five have been given to Vista Nova to assess their effect on the children's learning abilities.

"With KidSmart, children have so much fun they don't even realise they are learning - which boosts their confidence in more formal learning situations. We're as keen as the teachers in the senior school to see how much KidSmart can shorten the learning curves for children with special needs."

Founded in 1954, Vista Nova School accepts learners from all sectors of the Western Cape community who have cerebral palsy or learning and other disabilities that preclude them from attending mainstream schools. It subsidises children from disadvantaged, impoverished homes - currently 18% of the 400 learners.

The school offers the standard public school syllabus, from nursery school to Grade 12, and has consistently achieved a 100% Senior Certificate pass rate.

The IBM KidSmart early learning programme is one part of an umbrella IBM e-learning initiative known as 'Reinventing Education'. It includes modules such as TriScience and TriMaths, aimed at triggering rapid interest at an early age in the sciences, and the Hermitage and Pieta programmes, which provide visitors to museums and art galleries with access to some of the world's greatest art treasures.

 Cape Technikon

The technikon approached IBM with plans to establish a Learning Centre on its premises: a safe and studious environment where students could receive assistance in academic writing, access the internet for research, utilise a 18-hour library service and audiovisual center. In support of this plan, IBM donated four computers.

 Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand

The work of the Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand focuses on offering active care to the terminally ill, while providing physical and emotional care and comforts when medical treatment is no longer an option. All services offered by this Hospice are available to anyone who needs them, regardless of nature of illness or social circumstance. IBM donated a laptop to Hospice - from which a promotional video would be run to raise funds for the organisation.

 The Heart Foundation

The Heart Foundation is a NGO that relies on voluntary contributions from communities, corporations and individuals. It runs a Children's Programme that aims to assist children in underdeveloped communities. The computer equipment that the Heart Foundation was using was very old, and it was both costly and impractical to upgrade. IBM donated one PC towards use in the Children's programme.

 Lusito - Portuguese Association for the Mentally Handicapped

Lusito is a non-profit organisation that caters for some 60 physically and mentally handicapped children from the community. All pupils - irrespective of race or religion - enjoy professional attention. Those coming from very poor backgrounds receive free tuition, and are attired and groomed at the expense of Lusito. Lusito relies on voluntary work and contributions for its continued existence and growth.

IBM donated three computers to aid in Lusito's daily teaching program.

 


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