the digital divide

Close the Gap’s Mission to Tanzania

Last April, Close the Gap’s Head of projects Peter Manderick travelled to Tanzania not only to support the training on thin clients, but also to visit some of our partners and projects.

One of the stops made by Peter was at the orphanage in Neema, home to Close the Gap’s and Arrow Electronics first digitruck.  Peter met with Mandy Stein, the Founder and Executive Director of Neema International who explained the progress of students, and the positive results of the digitruck. You can watch the video of the progress! Neema has diversified its support: Now, Neema is also focusing on young women who have not finished school, and would like to re-start their studies and pass their final high school exam. Neema International is giving them a second chance, providing them with education and preparation for that specific exam.

The orphanage also has a garden, where students are taught how to grow and harvest. In addition to that they have their own water tank, solar energy and bio-gas stove to become self-sustainable. Furthermore, students are channeling their creative side and selling their arts and crafts accessories to generate some revenue.

This mission to Tanzania was also the opportunity to visit a project that is very close to Close the Gap’s heart: Msandaka Lions Deaf Centre. Peter had the opportunity to speak with Nitu, the local project manager of the Lions club Moshi, and the director of the centre. Close the Gap’s chairman, Prof. Wim Blonk has been supporting this project over the course of 10 years, to which  Close the Gap provided renewed computers last year. In honour of our chairman the school renamed their computer lab as the ‘Wim Blonk Computer Lab’.  With the help of some funding, a vocational school is under construction. The school will develop 3 specific jobs trainings, one of them focusing on ‘IT professionals and e-waste dismantling technicians’.

Wim Blonk Lab