Companies team up to deliver two self-contained Solar Learning Labs, which operate as computer buildings and are built into converted storage containers powered by solar panels, into the Eastern Cape.
Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) has announced that MTN, Africa’s leading telecommunications company, has become the first major local sponsor of Solar Learning Labs (SLL) located in the Eastern Cape.
MTN has come onboard as the connectivity partner for the next 24 months, sponsoring 20GB of data per month to new Solar Learning Labs in the Zithulele Community.
Each Solar Learning Lab is a refurbished container, enhanced with new building features and populated with a high-tech computer centre, complete with connectivity. The SLLs are located in underserved areas where students access them during learning hours where they are taught ICDL aligned curriculum, and is open to the rest of the community who access the facility to do research, job-hunting and other online activities that drive economic stimulation.
The SLL project was established in 2011 and has delivered containers across the globe. The majority are in South Africa, where the project launched. There are currently thirteen other Dell Technologies SLLs in South Africa, located in Tembisa, Diepsloot, Soweto, Rustervaal, Waverly, Kensington, Manenberg, Khayelitsha and Nyanga. Through the co-funding model, the aim is to expand to as many underserved communities as possible. Several provinces have been identified as places of interest for the next expansions.
The co-funding model for SLLs is open to all companies. There are three different tiers, ranging from partial to platinum sponsorship. Other than giving disadvantaged South Africans a chance to become technology-capable citizens, the SLLs are an opportunity for South African organisations to make a social contribution that matters and resonates. Each site is monitored and maintained by Dell Technologies, complete with reporting to its exco to measure success.
Dell Technologies is proud to welcome MTN to the Solar Learning Lab family. Together, we will make a difference for a great nation. If you want to learn more about the project or sponsorship opportunities, or help the project reach its goal of 100 labs worldwide by 2030, visit https://solarlearninglabs.org/.
Kusile Mtunzi-Hairwadzi, General Manager of the MTN SA Foundation:
“The future of South Africa is in connecting all her people, and we’ve been chasing that goal since MTN’s early days. The Solar Learning Labs are making an impact. They are not just installed and then forgotten about but become part of a wider ecosystem where the community and sponsors collaborate to keep the sites safe, functional and useful for everyone. Thanks to the new co-funding model, MTN can engage with this unique project and bring even more positive change to South Africans.”
Natasha Reuben, Head of Transformation, Dell Technologies:
“Digital literacy is a keystone of 21st-century education, but many communities in South Africa, lack reliable access to technology. As one of the largest global technology providers, we have a unique role to play in transforming the future for the better and by establishing partnerships and collaborating with organisations such as MTN we are able to create a more technology literate society. We’re excited that MTN has chosen to be a sponsor by providing enhanced bandwidth connectivity that will help us expand the program and deliver technology training to underserved youth across the country. With our new co-funding model, our partners will help us reach our goal of establishing 100 SLLs across the world by 2030.”