INFORMATION & INTERNET CENTRE
After a huge fundraising effort which involved Josie and a friend cycling the entire length of Lake Malawi, the Information & Internet Centre opened its doors in 2009 on site at Butterfly. Josie had raised over one million Kwacha and after a renovation effort, it turned a dormitory into an inspiring place for the community to use. It is run as a non- profit venture and has many aims, including: providing relevant information to the community in the form of free handouts and books to be borrowed on certain topics such as health, agriculture and business. Oscar, the manager there also offers free computer lessons for Malawians and works with many schools in the area to deliver this. It further aims to develop its role within the wider community to become a useful networking centre for the area and is working with the Permaculture Network of Malawi to start to develop a database. While at the moment the internet has proved unreliable we hope to get this problem solved.
Seven years on from its opening, The Information Centre is still going strong and we have recently gained a new set of desk-top computers from Suma Wholefoods which hopefully will be easier to maintain. We are providing lessons on how to use the computer for research purposes along with lessons in Microsoft Office, Excel and other basic software, which are held most days and we would really appreciate if any volunteers wanted to lend a hand with teaching in this area.
There is also a vast amount of Information in the Centre including a Library full of books on matters for our guests to read including: life-skills, health, language, history, home economics, travel, novels and Interfaith AIDs Association newsletters. With this amount of information, there is also a notice board of free leaflets ready for the community to take home with them on subjects including: agriculture, health and business. It is without a doubt that the Information & Internet Centre is clearly trying to educate the community to provide awareness for many to learn the skills which will benefit them well into the future.
VOLUNTEERS CAN CONTRIBUTE IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
- TEACHING – We would really appreciate anyone who could lend a hand for a few hours a week to teach the community the navigation of a computer along with the basics like teaching how to use Microsoft Office, Excel and Powerpoint. This is very important for anyone wanting to research for educational purposes, but unfortunately a lot of Malawians don’t know where to begin when researching on the net.
- COMPUTER MAINTENANCE – We could always do with a hand with this, as would any Internet Centre out there! We have trained many local people on computer maintenance and there are constant streams of others who want to learn the skills. We would also like to stay away from any viruses that computers can easily pick up too!
- RESEARCHER– Collecting research is important for the Information Room so keeping up to date with the information and Library is a must. We are trying to educate people here and as we all know, things are changing and moving very fast in this world, so keeping on top of this would be much appreciated.
- COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – We could always do with more awareness in terms of going around to local groups and organisations to promote what we are doing here. By informing the community of the Information & Internet Centre, this will help us in providing what information is relevant to more people.
- ADMINISTRATION– We have recently developed a contacts database for the area and Malawi and this can always be worked on. We are also starting to develop an environmental database in the cloud so that people within Malawi can learn from and contribute to it, and this work is never ending.
If you are interested in volunteering, please see our Volunteer Package page. If you would like to contribute to this project but you are unable to make it over to Malawi, please see our Make A Donation page.