Last month, I was in South Africa to meet customers and decided to spend one afternoon with the children from Christel House South Africa (CHSA), a Dell YouthConnect partner.
The visit to Christel House was the highlight of the week for me. It started with an impromptu game of handball with one of the children in the playground. We then learned about the school’s mission – to help children around the world break the cycle of poverty, realise their hopes and dreams, and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.
Next I had the privilege of reading a story to a group of twenty 5-7 year olds. I picked one of my daughter’s favourite books, which requires me to talk in a Scottish accent (more so than usual!). We had great fun with the kids laughing at the story…or probably just my accent!
At lunch time with the rest of the Dell team we served a warm meal to the primary school students. For many of the pupils, this would be the first time they had eaten since they left school the previous day. Most live in informal settlements – one room shacks with no indoor water, toilets, etc. When you see how little they have and then experience their joy for life it is a genuinely humbling experience. With this spirit all they need is opportunity and it was a privilege to see how our team is helping them realise this opportunity and potential.
Through the YouthConnect programme, Dell sees great value in the contribution that Christel House makes to the lives of the children in their care and as a result the community. It is for this reason Dell has invested R150, 000 towards the children’s school uniforms and also helped modernise the classrooms and improve the students’ learning experience by providing 16 projectors with 16 interactive whiteboards. Dell YouthConnect has also invested in a full computer lab so the students have access to enhanced math, science, music and other instruction. The teachers have the use of laptops in their classrooms, visual media projectors, printers, CAD drawing pens for engineering drawing classes and flash drives for students in Grades 11 and 12.
At Dell we believe in making technology easily accessible and providing the tools to use it. We are immensely proud to be working with Christel House South Africa to achieve these goals.