Alongside our client, Glasgow City Council (GCC), CGI professionals in Glasgow, Scotland provide training and refurbish equipment for organizations in Malawi, Africa on an ongoing basis through the Lord Provost’s Malawi Project.
Around the world, it is common for governments to set up ‘twinning’ agreements with other countries/cities to promote cultural and commercial ties and foster friendship and understanding among different cultures. Scotland and Malawi are twinned countries due to the historic links between the two, and the relationship is why GCC is committed to improving access to modern health facilities and providing IT equipment and training to teaching staff in schools, colleges and universities, as well as medical and administrative staff in hospitals and clinics in Malawi.
For almost 20 years, Glasgow City Council has recycled and refurbished all of its old IT equipment—everything from laptops and desktops to mobile devices to networking equipment—to pass on to organizations in Malawi that will benefit from IT capabilities. Every Tuesday night year-round, CGI volunteers assemble at a warehouse in Glasgow and spend the evening refurbishing the IT equipment to send to Malawi. Then, every September, a team of volunteers from the GCC and CGI spend two weeks in Malawi, working with the Lilongwe City Council (Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi) to install the equipment and train people on its use.
Following are examples of some of the ways the refurbished IT equipment is used for the good of the community across many different sectors in Malawi:
- Equipping hospitals to better serve patients through digital exam scheduling and through efficient lines of communication in which to receive advice from professionals within UK hospitals
- Reskilling youth within the juvenile prison system
- Allowing teachers and administrators in schools to digitize many processes such as grading
- Helping deaf and blind children learn new topics
- Empowering local police to combat pedophilia
- Supporting nonprofits with fundraising efforts through social media
- Teaching young girls and boys the basics of coding and computer use
“It’s not just about sending out goods, and help, and so on. It’s about providing knowledge as well, so that the people can use the products or the things that have been sent out. That is very much what this project is about,” says the Rt Hon The Lord Provost of Glasgow Councillor Eva Bolander.
We invite you to view more about CGI’s work on the Malawi project in the following video:
We also invite you to view other CGI community stories in our video Tech for Good: CGI in Our Local Communities.