Category Archives: News

Achievements to date

Category : News , solarpower , zambia

We’ve come a long way since our first visit to Zambia in 2015.

Here is a flavour of what we’ve achieved to date.

We have installed solar power in 14 schools in Siavonga District and 3 schools in Monze District. This enables them for the first time to have lighting and the infrastructure for computers.

We have supplied the learning resources of RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) to 5 schools with mains power via a Synology NAS server.

But our main focus has been the Raspberry Pi. It acts as a wifi hotspot and does not need mains power. We have used this as a server supplying RACHEL. 80 schools are now regularly using this resource for teaching and learning.

A fundamental part of our project is the training of teachers. On each visit we run courses on solar power, the use of RACHEL off-line learning resources, networking and general computer maintenance, and office applications. To date, in the three districts we visit, a total of 157 teachers from 61 schools have attended one or more of these sessions.

In addition to this, thanks to large donations of equipment we have sent out 128 PCs, 79 monitors, and 160 laptops. These were distributed by the local District Education Board Secretaries.

We have also been able to provide training in beekeeping delivered by a trainer from Monze, along with two beehives per school for those who attended. Some of them have been able to start selling jars of honey.


The power of Zoom

Category : News

Zoom logo

We’re keeping busy during COVID-19 lockdown preparing and delivering training materials. Through the use of Zoom we are able to connect with some of our Zambian colleagues to share the  latest news from Zambia and Wales. We can demonstrate how to use various packages by using the Share screen facility.

While Bridget is completing the cabling at Bbakasa school, Howard is on hand on WhatsApp to answer any queries she may have.

Meanwhile I’m busy applying for grants to enhance our support to all the rural solar schools by supplying them with routers and internet bundles so that we can train groups of teachers directly.

That’s as well as using Zoom to share our expertise with Dolen Cymru; and to join in with a meeting on e-learning next Friday organised by Hub Cymru Africa.


COVID-19 Keep Safe

Category : News

CoVID distancing ChitongaKeep 1 metere apartwash handscoughingavoid fake newsget medical helpPC and phoneEmergency numbers for Zambia and Zimbabwe

Many thanks to Hub Cymru Africa


2.6 challenge

Category : News

Raise money for us

The London Marathon is cancelled this year. It was due to take place on 26th April. A lot of small charities benefit from the runners raising money for them.

This year instead you are invited to support the charity of your choice by undertaking the 2.6 challenge. Could you get people to sponsor you and donate the money to Giakonda Solar Schools?

www.giakonda.org.uk/donations

All on a 2.6 or 26 theme.

Ideas:

Run 2.6KM

Keep a ball in the air for 26 keepie-uppies.

Walk twenty six times around the garden

Hula hoop 26 times or for 2.6 minutes

26 pressups

Dance for 26 minutes

Jump up and down 26 times on trampoline.

Do 26 star jumps

Send us your video clips please.

Let’s see who has the craziest idea.


NAQEZ letter

Category : News

We are honoured to have received endorsement letter from NAQEZ, the organisation of educational professionals that seeks to improve standards in Zambia.

NAQEZ endorsement

 


NAQEZ

Category : News , zambia

We are proud to have received the following notification from NAQEZ. This stands for  National Action for Quality Education in Zambia.

From our Executive Director Mr Aron Chansa, both of you from today hence, become HONORARY Members of NAQEZ (National Action for Quality Education in Zambia) for being instrumental in Uplifting the standards of ICT in Siavonga rural schools, through your able organization GIAKONDA.

It’s good to be appreciated.


Training on using Raspberry PI PC

Category : News , zambia

Raspberry Pi in VESA mountOur Zambian colleague, Joel, held a training session for us in Lusaka. He demonstrated the use of a Raspberry Pi as a fully functioning PC which can be mounted neatly on the back of its monitor .Thanks to VOTS school for letting us use their building for training. A total of fourteen teachers

RACHEL

attended and all were impressed with the power and versatility of this tiny computer.They also used the Raspberry Pi to connect to a server delivering RACHEL learning resources.

 

We are setting up a hub of Raspberry Pi computers at Bbakasa School thanks to Welsh Government’s  Wales and Africa Scheme.
Wales and Africa Logo

 


Sharing and Learning with Hub Cymru Africa

Category : News

This week we have been busy with events organised by Hub Cymru Africa.

On Wednesday we attended a meeting in Swansea based around the International Charter for Health Partnerships. We shared our experiences of building strong local partnerships and using them to help us address local educational needs in Siavonga Zambia.

Howard sharing experiences of working with local partners

Yesterday it was a Meet The Funders event. Grants and donations are what allow us to function. So it is vital to understand how best to make an application. There were opportunities to speak to individual funding organisations and chances to network.

So today I’m all fired up to start bid-writing!


Making partnerships

Category : News

This month we have been busy meeting several other Wales based charities working in Zambia. We offer advice on setting up solar panels and Raspberry Pi servers with the learning resources of RACHEL and Kolibri.

Giakonda Solar Schools helps Friends of Monze by installing solar power in the schools they build and supplying refurbished laptops and the learning resources. We met with them recently to discuss their future needs.

Howard has refurbished some laptops and added Kolibri resources to them for Elizabeth Rhodes who works with orphans and others in Zambia.

We are looking forward to a second meeting with Hands Around the World to discuss how they might proceed with their two projects in Zambia. They are particularly interested in the health resources on the Hesperian Health Guides which is part of RACHEL.

At the end of the month, we are sharing details of our project at an event organised by Hub Cymru Africa.


RACHEL training

Category : News , sponsors

Daniel demonstrating on smartphoneThanks to Daniel Mangwende of Dibbwi Primary School for carrying out RACHEL training for us at Siavonga Teachers’ Resource Centre on Monday 9th December. He showed a group of seventeen teachers how to access the RACHEL learning resources on a Raspberry Pi server using laptops or smartphones. He explained how his teachers make use of it for lesson preparation and teaching, and how to shut down the system safely.

Most of the schools present have no mains electricity  so they were supplied with powerbanks to power their Raspberry Pis.

The Raspberry Pi server provides a huge off-line library of videos, articles and lesson plans tailored for rural communities. It can be a real game changer in schools which have few teaching resources.

Thanks to a grant of £2500 from the Carmela and Ronnie Pignatelli Foundation, Giakonda Solar Schools was able to provide the necessary equipment and organise a day’s training.  Mr Mangwende is already planning follow-up sessions so the teachers can share experiences and success.

PIgnatelli Foundation logo