ITC General + Stakeholder Updates

Information Technology Centers ITCs or so called Telecenters

In 2000, World Links introduced its Telecenter model to encourage school lab sustainability while promoting community development. World Links openned telecenters in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mali, India, and Brazil. Though different in every country, the typical World Links model is an important source of local-level program sustainability to underwrite recurrent costs associated with the technology and to improve community-school relations. Equally important, this model extends the benefits of technology, the internet and life-long learning to the entire community for a wide range of development applications.

World Links telecenters are either school-based computer labs or community centers that are converted into telecenters for the purpose of introducing ICT skills and IT-enabled resources to underserved communities, with the intent of enabling adults and youth to participate successfully in the global knowledge-based economy. To that end, World Links empowers both the school and general communities to convert school-based computer labs or community centers to self-sustaining community-accessible technology learning centers. Increasingly, World Links has been introducing its telecenter model to non-school structures, including government offices, community centers, and NGO offices.

While every World Links Telecenter is different, all World Links Telecenters focus on capacity building for several population segments, within and outside the school. At the school level, World Links builds capacity in principals, teachers, and students to manage the day-to-day operations of the school-based telecenter; this facilitates the building of entrepreneurial skills. Outside the school, the telecenters focus on introducing ICTs and IT enabled resources to underserved populations. To that end, World Links telecenters have provided communities with access to information on health, environment, and agricultural issues, while creating a safe, secure, and inviting environment for under-reached populations such as out of school youth, women, and senior citizens to acquire IT skills.

A World Links Telecenter is a combination of a computer lab and a private Internet cafe. Whereas a computer lab’s purpose is pedagogy, and an Internet cafe's purpose is profit for sustainability, a World Links Telecenter seeks to fulfill both pedagogy and sustainability. At no point, however, will the quest for profits ever overpower the desire to diffuse technological knowledge. The profit-seeking nature of a World Links Telecenter exists solely to further its educational mission.

Sustainability of World Links’ telecenter programs is achieved in several ways. While some World Links telecenters achieve sustainability through guaranteed government support for all recurrent expenses, other centers develop solid revenue generation models to support ongoing costs. In all instances, World Links works closely with key stakeholders to ensure that expenses are being met in the long term.

The Tonga.Online Project has been collaborating with World Links since early 2001 in the establishment of ITCs at Binga Highschool, Siansundu Secondary and Siachilaba Primary School in Binga area in Matabeleland North. After the donation of computers by President Mugabe to some other schools in the district there is potential to expand the network of ITCs further and to reach out to even remote communities. In 2006 the first ITC across the lake on the Zambian side of the Zambezi Valley at Sinazongwe Basic School was established.

Map of the area

Tonga.Online Stakeholders Update March 2010


In spite of the general funding challenges facing the project, successes are being scored as detailed below.

Read more ...

Tonga.Online Stakeholders Update Jan/Feb 2010


The year started on a more promising note than 2009. The merger between Tonga Online and Basiliwizi Trust has advanced with a series of regularisation meetings being held by Kunzwana Trust represented by Penny Yon, AFZA represented by Peter Kuthan and Tonga Online staff. A series or deliverables were drawn up to ensure that the merger moves quickly and smoothly. Tonga online staff proceeded with business as usual.

Read more ...

Tonga.Online Stakeholders Update Sept. / Oct. 09

The months of September and October were eventful for the Binga Community. Tonga online carried out numerous activities in ITCs and the community. Activities carried out involved support to the ongoing Siabuwa solar project, continuing support to school-based ITCs, feedback sessions for the Linz09 Parade and seminars/workshops for the Binga community. Other outstanding events were the resignation of the Tonga Online Director and the passing on of Keith Goddard, one of the Trustees of Kunzwana Trust, the project implementing agency of Tonga Online.

Read more ...

Parade: full circle - back home

End of September the /Parade/ made it once more and somehow full circle
to where the idea originated from: to the Tonga villages along the
Zambezi river in Zimbabwe. In fact, the way the Tonga Ngoma Buntibe
music uses space was the inspiration and core for the concept of
“Parade” as designed by the late Keith Goddard and Peter Kuthan.

Read more ...