Bridging the Digital Divide
EVCO seeks to affect positive change by facilitating computer literacy for school children in rural Ghana, Libera, Nigeria, and Egypt. Since 2004, EVCO has installed and donated 34 computer labs. Twenty thousand school children each year – most of whom would not otherwise have access – use computers made available through EVCO’s programs.
To ensure the success of its donations, the organization works with communities committed to a three-year partnership. EVCO provides computers, installation, training, and tech support, while participating communities provide appropriate school sites – secure, well-ventilated buildings with electricity, tables and chairs – as well as instructors, who will be trained by EVCO, to manage the lab facilities.
School Computer Labs
In addition to maintaining operating labs, EVCO opens about three new labs every year. Most of the schools requesting labs hear about the program by word of mouth. Teachers or principals learn about EVCO at conferences or from friends. They find application information on EVCO’s web site. EVCO receives about 20 applications annually.
EVCO evaluates each request for sustainability and impact. Key elements include location and community involvement. Highest priority goes to “cluster schools” that serve more than one village.
Community involvement is perhaps the most critical factor. In addition to finding communities with a willingness and ability to provide an appropriate site and teacher, EVCO looks for applicants with local leaders, groups, and individual families open to engaging in the process of improving their own educational system.