Students Bridging the Information Gap (SBIG) and Madam Mary Osei are very pleased to announce the completion and dedication of a fully furnished computer lab and modern library at Offinso Children’s Centre and Blessed Child School in the Ashanti Region. The computer lab will serve five schools and over 500 students in the Offinso District and features 18 special low-voltage computers, an LED/LCD projector, internet accessibility, USB speakers, wireless networking, a power inverter and backup. The library has over 3,200 books covering all areas of education, along with bookshelves, tables and chairs to accommodate 25 readers.

These facilities and other materials valued at about $50,000 were funded by SBIG, a U.S.-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) from Summit, New Jersey. Of this amount, the Amherst College (Massachusetts USA) men’s lacrosse team contributed about $28,000 raised from donors to the team’s 16-mile race through the Holyoake Mountains. The computer lab was installed by TechAide, a Ghana-based ICT specialist, and Edison Chouest Offshore Ghana Limited also provided significant financial and other support for this effort. Students and families from Delbarton School in Morristown, N.J.; Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J.; and Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, N.J.; along with a local N.J. based charity, BooksbGone, donated over 3,200 books for the library.

The dedication of the facilities was well attended by many dignitaries in the Offinso local area including the local chief of Mmehame Community, Mmehamehene Nana Duodu Bene Nkansa; the Chief Linguist of Offinsomanhene; the MP for Offinso South Constituency, Honorable Abdella Banda; the District Commander of Police, Superintendent Amankwatia Boateng; representatives from the Ghana Education Service; Headmasters and Teachers of all schools to benefit from the facilities; as well as parents and students of Blessed Child School – the beneficiary school. The children attending the dedication received SBIG shirts, pens, pencils, and bags.

In his speech at the dedication, Honorable Banda commended SBIG on making this donation to support the computer lab and library and encouraged the students and teachers to keep and maintain the facilities. “We have to improve on our maintenance culture as a people. Students, please keep and ensure that the facilities are well maintained for your own benefit and so that other people who come behind you can also use and take full advantage of these facilities”, he stated.

The Project Director and Founder of the institution, Madam Mary Osei also thanked SBIG on behalf of the students. She expressed her heartfelt joy and appreciation, and pledged to ensure the facilities are well maintained and put to good use.

Mr Tom Killian, President of the Board of Trustees of SBIG commented that, “SBIG supports students in less-developed countries by providing computers and related equipment for learning labs, age appropriate reading materials and other support. Computers have become such an important aspect of our lives and we are thrilled to see that the students here will now have access to computers and reading materials to aid in their learning so they will be better prepared to advance their education and prospects for work.”

With this newest lab and library, SBIG has now built 5 computer labs and libraries that are used by over 2,500 students and orphans in Ghana at the Baptist School Complex (BASCO Orphanage) in Trotor, near Suhum; the Good Shepherd Ophanage (GSO) in Kasoa; New Life International Children’s Home (New Life) located in Ansapatu; and In My Father’s House (IMFH) an orphanage located in Akatsi-Abor, in the Volta Region. SBIG continues to assist BASCO, GSO, New Life and IMFH with learning aid materials, maintenance and other support.

Since its formation in 2008, SBIG and its strategic partners; including Edison Chouest Offshore Ghana Limited, Microsoft Corporation, and Inveneo Computer Solutions among others have collectively donated approximately $400,000 in computer related equipment, libraries and age appropriate reading materials to these 5 orphanages and schools in Ghana.

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