When Aid Africa’s Children first visited Sjambok School in Erasmus, South Africa, the staff and students proudly showed them their “computer lab.” At the time, their “computer lab” consisted of an empty room with a few counters. There were no computers in sight. Their strong vision and belief that someday they would have a computer lab was impressive. Beginning in Fall, 2007, Aid Africa’s Children set to work on making this dream become a reality. In Spring, 2009, 50 computers arrived to the school with software, installation and transportation, generously donated by Baxter International, the global healthcare company.
Students at Sjambok School were startled, when the computer suddenly started playing music. It was the first time they heard Beethoven. They looked at the computer curiously and gathered around the speakers. As they gently placed their ears against the speakers, their eyes widen in delight. A whole new world opened for them. As the music continued, huge smiles broke out simultaneously, in amazement and wonder.
Prior to installing the computers at Sjambok, access to computers was non-existent for students. Sjambok School has an estimated 900 students who will be learning basic typing, story composition, and basic math skills. From the first meeting with the school and principal, Aid Africa’s Children insisted that the computers should be utilized as much as possible and access should be open to everyone. Since then, the school has opened it doors to all students, their families, teachers, community leaders and other school employees. Teachers are enrolling in computer classes to improve their teaching skills. People from neighboring communities come to use the free computer lab. Many students and adults use the computer lab to work on their resumes so they may present themselves professionally in a competitive job market.