Investing in the Youth and Bridging the Digital Divide
CEO, Enrico Jacobs, visited Spa Park Primary School last Friday to donate IT infrastructure on behalf of Kiewitfonds and Belgium Campus iTversity. The donation included 60 complete thin clients, servers and network, which were installed into one of the school’s computer classrooms and which will be maintained by the iTversity. Spa Park Principal, Mr Adams, expressed his gratitude for the donation, “There aren’t enough words to thank you for your support to our learners but thank you and God bless.”
It was a celebratory occasion with the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motsheka, performing a ribbon-cutting ceremony to reveal the new classroom for the first time. Also present were the Ambassador of the European Union, H.E. Ms Riina Kionka, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, H.E. Didier Vanderhasselt, who made a donation of 30 ‘School in a Box’ tablets.
Investing in the future of South Africa has always been extremely important to Belgium Campus and CEO, Mr Jacobs, believes that the best way to achieve this is by investing in the youth. It is for this reason that Belgium Campus endeavours to support primary and high school educational projects that prepare today’s youth for the future of work and the digital economy. “With every sector using technology as its driving force, information technology skills are now crucial. If we want to prepare the youth for the best possible future, we need to expose them to these skills as early as possible,” stressed CEO Mr Jacobs.
The relationship between Belgium Campus and Spa Park Primary School spans many years and this is the fourth computer classroom donated to the school. Belgium Campus CEO, Mr Jacobs, and Spa Park Primary School Principal, Mr Adams, first met 20 years ago at the Rotary Club. Over the years, their friendship developed into a fruitful partnership with far-reaching support.
In addition to embodying the spirit of Ubuntu, Belgium Campus is also dedicated to teaching its students to think globally and act locally. This is achieved through various mobility programmes and international partnerships. The programmes afford Belgium Campus students the incredible opportunity of travelling to Europe for their internship and also allow Belgium Campus to welcome a number of international students who wish to complete their internships in South Africa.
Belgium Campus’ mobility programmes also sparked the institutions relationship with Belgium-based NPO, Kiewitfonds. After hosting some Belgium Campus internship students, Kiewitfonds board member Valère Knaepen, visited South Africa to find out more about the institution that helped nurture these well-rounded individuals.
During his stay, Mr Knaepen visited Bela Bela where he was inspired by the community projects and sense of fellowship. He returned to Belgium determined to see what his community could do to help. To date, Kiewitfonds has raised a total of 140 thousand Euros (just over 2.5 million Rand) through the organisation of festivals and other fundraisers.
We are proud to be part of a network committed to investing in the youth and bridging the digital divide. We hope that our efforts will inspire others to do the same.