Rotifunk’s first Community Computer Center will soon start the area’s first copy and printing service, thanks to a grant from the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, MI.
The community gets much faster and cheaper printing access. The Center will earn income to operate and offer computer training for students and adults. That’s what you call win – win.
Ann Arbor’s public service club awarded a $2,500 grant to Sherbro Foundation Sierra Leone, matched by $1,250 from Rotary District 6380. The money will equip a copying and printing business, helping the much-needed nonprofit center quickly become self-sustaining and introduce computer technology in the chiefdom.
Computer training means local residents gain wage-paying job skills, especially girls and single mothers. And printers will eliminate a difficult and costly eight-hour round-trip to the capital city for educators and others who need any printed materials.
Today, every report card, exam paper and classroom handout in schools with few text books need to be printed in Freetown. These and programs and flyers for churches, mosques, sports meets and community events will now be printed much faster and much more cheaply with the local service. The printing service will be open to all, including chiefdom and government authorities, local businesses and nearby chiefdoms that need printed materials.
Sherbro Foundation’s local nonprofit partner, the Center for Community Empowerment and Transformation (CCET), comprised of teacher-volunteers, will operate the Computer Center and hire an IT manager. They transformed a centrally located ruin into a spacious, modern Computer Center complete with a snack bar – all done during the Ebola crisis.
Sherbro Foundation funded its completion, wiring excess solar power from a solar system on a nearby building. We also hired local carpenters to build wooden desks and chairs and office and canteen furniture.
The Center will offer other educational programs, starting with Adult Literacy that’s been interrupted since the start of Ebola. Other income-producing services will fund the Center’s operation, including cell phone charging, the snack bar and facility rental for conferences and meetings.
Paramount Chief Charles Caulker joined Sherbro Foundation in meeting with the Ann Arbor Rotary Club during his March – April US visit. We all celebrated Bumpeh Chiefdom’s work with a dinner, left, hosted by Rotarians Mary Avrakotos and Barb Bach.
The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor is the largest in Michigan, and one of the largest in the world. It’s observing its 100th anniversary this year. Nearly 20 percent of the Club’s annual giving budget supports international humanitarian organizations.