According to statistics, there are over 1.3 million orphans in Ghana with some living in orphanages and other living with foster parents. Most orphans in these orphanages are takes care of till the age of eighteen (18) and left to fend for themselves after some vocational skills. Research confirms that, most of these kids find hard time with all these abrupt changes. Though fortunate ones enter into vocational skills, most of them engage in deviant acts after struggling to find good jobs. A large percentage of them also turn to the streets to hawking.
Information and communication technology also affects all of us in this new digital age. In view of that, 1 Billion Africa, a non-profit organisation based in Ghana with representatives in nine other African countries saw the need to leverage on technology to help these young ones I the area of computer technology and in the process, helping them learn how to build software and applications which can solve some basic problems that bedevils our society.
1 Billion Africa then began intensive five (5) weeks of ICT training of the projects called “Tech 2 Orphans”. This project is aimed at orphans with little or no information and communication technology (ICT) training. Throughout the preparatory process for the training, the 1 Billion Africa team surveyed the Potters’ Village Orphanage early in May 2015 and started the main project from 11th July and ended on 15th August, 2015. During the five (5) to six (6) weeks these students were taken through ICT skills like introduction to computers, Microsoft Office, (especially Word and Excel), coding and Blogging & Social Media.
As part of the process, some of these young ones are given opportunities in volunteering, internships and scholarship opportunities. This is made possible through strategic partnership with key industry players as far as technology is concerned. “Our major vision is to create a generation of tech entrepreneurs and corporate leaders in tech who will drive Africa forward with development and innovation”, said the founder and director of 1 Billion Africa in his speech at the closing ceremony. The orphanage were given ten (10) computers to set up their ICT lab and enable the students to practise them day in day out. Ten (10) brilliant students were also awarded certificates for their dedication and outstanding performances during the training. During the closing ceremony, the founder of the Potters’ Village Orphanage, expressed her sincere gratitude to this project which was aimed at teaching her students technology and the donation which would make them abreast with information and communication technology skills.
During the ceremony, the founder and project director of the organisation also gave his final remarks and encouraged everybody to join in the revolution of using technology to change our world. He stated in his address that, all of can cause a change in someone’s life if we all turn the problem around us into solutions and projects. This will go a long way to eradicate some of our problems in Africa. He called on all and sundry to help with computers and other accessories since the ICT lab project for orphanages is still on-going.