IT Training in Africa

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Behind all the technology we rely on for Bible translation—from software to satellites—are people who can set up, understand, and fix everything. When their skills improve, everyone benefits.

IT staff work with a foldable solar panel

What's Going On

We have dozens of partners in Africa—and they all rely on technology to move forward with Bible translation.

People are key. Every office needs staff who can fix computers, install software, and back up documents. Who can keep the network, Internet, and power all running smoothly.

Typically, only one or two people fill that role for an entire organization. Building their skills benefits everyone, from secretaries to Bible translators.

What Can Be Done

Regional workshops are the best way we’ve found to jumpstart the growth of IT staff in Africa. During a seven-day course, they can:

  • Get a quick look at everything. Through sessions and hands-on practice, people get a taste of where to improve their skills: hardware, software, data security, network administration, and more.
     
  • Create a plan to keep learning. Sessions can only cover so much. Participants are matched with a coach, and they’re held accountable to keep improving their skills. They also walk away with an external hard drive full of resources.
     
  • Build relationships. Once people know each other, they can start talking about their ideas, struggles, and solutions. They aren’t alone anymore—they have a community to go to for advice and encouragement.

SIL International has hosted nine workshops so far, and they’ll hold ones in Burkina Faso and Kenya in 2015. This project will cover all course materials, plus travel for the trainers and participants. Sending one IT worker costs about $1,100, an investment that benefits an entire organization.

Who This Will Help

IT staff throughout Africa can hone their skills—and turn to each other for help, ideas, and encouragement. Everyone else benefits, too: Better IT support means faster work, more reliable systems, and less stress all around.

It amazes me how the workshop has been very timely with the issues I am facing on the field. The training has helped me address these issues. We thank all who make these IT workshops possible.

John Vandermeer
Information and Communications Specialist, Eastern Democratic Republic