Khaya Centre, Lehae, South Africa, 2014

2014-07-23

In July 2014 Project Pi helped set up 10 Raspberry Pi computers at the Khaya Centre in Lehae, Johannesburg, South Africa. These were to be used by children and young people, who’s families had been impacted by HIV/AIDS, from across the township. For many of these children, it was the first time they had been able to sit down at a computer. When we left, we had trained up a project leader, run introductory sessions for staff and helped start a process of long term governance for the project.

 

Project Background

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I first met Valencia in September 2013. Valencia leads a vibrant and growing project in Johannesburg, South Africa – called The Khaya Centre Mount Olive. The project is located in Lehae, amidst an expansive housing project built to accommodate beneficiaries of Eikenhof and Thembelihle settlements (see here for more on the Khaya Centre). I was with a group called Urban Shift who had first met Valencia, whilst helping to build the Khaya Centre in 2012. As we got talking, I was struck by the passion Valencia had for her project, and the vision she had for its future.

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Project Planning

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Moira and Esther (from Urban Shift) were already planning to take out a group from Bolton in July 14 – four teenagers and one adult – to help with a project to help improve the quality of living for 15 households in Lehae project. They had been out before as part of the building of the centre and wanted to follow up with some targeted outreach to families accessing the Khaya Centre. It made a lot of sense to partner up with this venture and go out as a group. We arranged with Valencia to sleep within the centre and she agreed to coordinate and organise our overnight security, transport and daily food and refreshments which was fantastic.

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Visit: July 2014

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Even with Tyson’s meticulous planning (yes Tyson is the master planner when it comes to details) , we just had to hope we had done enough. There were just so many unknowns. Who would I be working with in Lehae? What was the electricity like? Would there be Wifi? Would there be an electrical store near by if I needed any extra supplies?

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Other things we achieved during the visit…

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 We managed to get www.codecademy.com working (after installing gnash) which was really exciting.

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Tim Greenwood

Tim currently works for Living Systems. His background is in psychology, and he has been working as a psychologist within education and the community for the last ten years. He recently gained a Masters of Arts in Management, Learning, and Leadership from Lancaster Business school focusing on the use of Action Research to promote curious and evolving ways of working with individuals, groups and organisations.

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