SBIG ANNOUNCES KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN 5TH YEAR
- Completes Investment of Approximately $250,000 in Four Computer Labs and Libraries Over Past Five Years
- Announces Results of ICT Competition
- Introduces the First SBIG Intern
July 23rd, Accra, Ghana
The US-based NGO, Students Bridging the Information Gap (SBIG), announced the completed of its fifth year mission trip and cumulative investment of almost $250,000 in computer labs and libraries at four schools and orphanages in Ghana including: Baptist School Complex and Orphanage (BASCO) near Koforidgua, Good Shepherd Orphanage (GSO) near Kasoa, New Life International School and Orphanage (New Life) near Cape Coast, and In My Father’s House (IMFH) near Abor. Together, these four schools provide computer labs and information and communications technology (ICT) training and access to libraries and books for almost 2,500 students in Ghana.
The participants in the trip this year included Abdel Banda, Bismarck Diawuo, Corey Mays, Tom McLaughlin, Sr, Tom McLaughlin, Jr, David Lewis, Jr, Kevin Lewis, Matthew Killian and Tom Killian. In commenting on the trip, Corey Mays, former Notre Dame football standout and retired National Football League veteran, noted that “this was my first trip to Africa. The kids I met at the schools were really smart and I was amazed to see the impact that SBIG was having on their lives.”
This year, SBIG supplied 8 low voltage Inveneo computers with keyboards, LCD screens and software for BASCO and GSO, a power backup system and inverter for GSO, routers and mast for enhanced Internet connectivity for New Life, computer lab and library furniture for the four schools, and delivered approximately 2,000 books for the libraries at BASCO, GSO, New Life and IMFH. These books were donated by students at Delbarton School, The Assumption School and The Peck School all located in Morristown, N.J., and parishoners at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, N.J. In addition, the SBIG contingent also met with Peter Argo, Deputy Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Ghana to provide an update on SBIG’s activities and remain abreast of USAID’s priorities there.
At the SBIG Ghana Advisory Council meeting on July 21, 2012, the headmasters and representatives from these schools reported significant progress with ICT class enrollments and achievement on the Ghana National ICT exam administered this year. To assist in preparing for these exams and to promote friendly competition between the four schools, SBIG and its Ghana-based technology partner, TechAide, conducted the first annual ICT competition with the top three students from BASCO, GSO, New Life and IMFH. The competition consisted of a three-part ICT exam covering theory and practical application and was based on the National ICT exam that is administered annually by the government of Ghana. Following the competition, Kafui Prebbie, CEO of TechAide, announced the winners with students from IMFH school finishing first, and students from New Life and GSO finishing very close second and third, respectively. The winners were awarded watches and water bottles donated by RLG Computers, a Ghana-based technology company.
SBIG also announced that Tom McLaughlin, Jr. will be serving as an intern working in the field with the four schools over the next several months. Tom is a 2009 graduate of Delbarton School and will be taking a semester abroad from Boston University. Tom will work closely with SBIG team members Abdel Banda and Bismarck Diawuo, who are based in Accra, Ghana. He will also work in conjunction with TechAide to develop tools to measure student progress in ICT training, help the four schools develop a common website to communicate their stories, and assist in teaching in the computer labs.
SBIG is a Summit, New Jersey-based 501©(3) charity that focuses its humanitarian efforts on building computer labs and libraries and providing computers and related technology along with age appropriate books for orphans and school children in poor and impoverished areas in Ghana, Africa. Tom Killian, President of SBIG’s Board of Trustees, summarized SBIG’s philosophy with the Chinese proverb… “If you give a child a fish he will eat for a day, but if you teach a child to fish he can eat for a lifetime.” ICT training and access to a library and books can truly change the lives of the less fortunate in Africa.
For more information about SBIG or to make a donation, please refer to our website at www.sbigonline.org.