A MOBILE COMPUTER UNIT CONNECTING PEOPLE
ICT4D projects are dependent on the electricity grid.
Close the Gap is removing this dependency, strengthening computer skills in vulnerable communities in the most rural regions.
WHY ICT4D FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES?
75% of Africans live in rural communities | Only 46% of students from rural schools qualify for secondary school | Rural incomes increase when ICT is used to access knowledge and information | Lack of technological and market information has been given as a major reason forlow productivity in African agriculture.
WHAT IS THE DIGITRUCK?
- A pilot project: a mobile, multi-functional IT lab fit in a 40’ container on wheels. The Digi-Truck will be able to reach the most remote areas in Africa who don’t have access to electricity thanks to solar energy.
- The flexibility in design and functionality enables the “Digi-truck” to be used as a mobile health centre, hold community trainings, double as a cyber cafe and an IT classroom.
- It has the capability to run 100% off solar power or be connected to the grid, is completely secure with double steel doors and window shutters with bolts and has triple insulation against the African heat.
- 20 fully configured laptops
- 1 LED screen
- 1 printer
- 2 routers
- 2 SSD DISKS
- LED lights
- Space for 18 work at a time
DIGITRUCKS IN AFRICA
In 2014, Close the Gap launched its fist Digitruck. In 2015, Close the Gap, in collaboration with Arrow Electronics, built a Digitruck, which is currently at the Neema Orphanage in the Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania. Since then, Neema International Orphanage’s reach grew exponentially. Having this phenomenal classroom in the middle of a village is a fantastic opportunity to give children a second chance at a bright future through education.
For example, in January of 2016, Neema pulled 18 teenagers off the street and began daily classes in the Digitruck. By the end of 2016, all of the students had made significant progress. 13 of them showed exceptional ability and in January 2017, these 13 students could re-enroll full time at a private English medium boarding school where they began their Secondary School studies.
Obviously, many more children, living in the Tuleeni Orphanage, do use the Digitruck and love it.
“Education is the key to these children’s future. Getting to see them walk into the Digitruck, open their eyes and watch them LIGHT UP…this is just not something they ever thought was within their reach. The Arrow Scholars are flourishing and continue to make great strides both academically and socially. We are extremely proud of them and all their hard work. Thank you for your continued support!”
–Mandy Stein, Executive Director, Neema International
In 2016, Close the Gap proudly joined forces with three different organisations to build three different Digitrucks:
Deloitte Belgium|Cape Town, South Africa
Close the Gap collaborated very closely with Deloitte Belgium to build a 12-metre Digitruck, bringing computers and connectivity to students in the Western Cape region. Deloitte encouraged its employees to count their steps in a good cause. All steps were counted with sports watches and converted into credits representing Deloitte’s contribution. The objective of stepping 500,000 km was reached 3 weeks before the initiative deadline. This Digitruck has been operating since 2016 as the computer lab of Quirky30 (Formerly Brothers For All), a non-profit organisation based in the township of Langa, Cape Town, South Africa. The main focus of the organisation is empowering offenders, ex-offenders, inmates and vulnerable youth by giving them technology skills, specifically in coding. This is a disruptive solution for pathways out of poverty and crime, which continue to ravage the townships in South Africa.
Brussels-Capital Region|Kinshasa, DRC
Bianca Debaets, the Brussels-Capital Region’s Secretary of State and responsible for Development and Cooperation, sponsored the construction of a Digitruck that was delivered to the non-profit organization ‘La maison des Savoirs’ in Kinshasa. The city of Kinshasa wanted to offer digital educational services and facilitated the creation of this organisation, which offers IT classes and activities to those who have difficulties with access to IT.
Dumoulin|Cape Town, South Africa
Sponsored by Dumoulin, this Digitruck was built in South Africa and delivered to the Overstrand Training Institute (OTI), a non-profit organisation responding to the digital skills training needs of youth in the Overstrand community. This is an area of coastal and agriculture-based villages an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
IN THE NEWS
- November 2016: The digitruck, finalist for the Digital 4 Development Prize
- February 2016: Deloitte supports Close the Gap’s 2nd Digi-truck
- August, 2015: First Digi-Truck arrives in Moshi
- November 19, 2014: The first Digi-Truck was inaugurated byArchbishop Desmond Tutu
- January 2014: The building of the first “Digi-Truck”
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Does your company want to help bring IT to rural communities in Africa? Have an implementation project to propose using a Digi-Truck. Contact us at email@example.com.