Helping underprivileged children become IT-savvy

Saturday, 3 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Underprivileged children in Galle have for the first time received access to computers making their theory-based IT education more meaningful, following an initiative by HSBC.

Children at the Sri Sobitha Vidyalaya had been taught basics of Information Technology (IT), but had no practical experience until HSBC intervened and set up a fully equipped IT laboratory, recently. New technology may be taken for granted in most parts of the country, but at Sobitha Vidyalaya, the children did not have hands-on experience with computers.

The school, which is also attended by students from the SOS Children’s Village in Galle, has been teaching IT as part of its curriculum, but children did not have access to computers because they could not afford it.

The new lab installed by HSBC with the support of the School Relief Initiative and the Department of Education, Galle is expected to help students increase self-confidence and acquire IT skills through practical learning.

This initiative came following the Bank’s strategic move to open a modern branch in Galle, expanding its reach and connecting the capital of the southern province to its global network.

The setting up of a computer lab for underprivileged children in Galle was part of the bank’s commitment to supporting the local community where it operates. The project was assisted by the Corporate Sustainability, IT and Corporate Real Estate teams of the Bank.

HSBC’s assistance goes well beyond the donation of IT equipment. The Bank also undertook the renovation of an existing classroom by providing the necessary furniture, and equipment to function as a full-fledged IT laboratory. Colour washing, fixing of floors and the ceiling was also part of the work undertaken by the Bank.

At the same time, HSBC also commenced the second phase of its school library project with The School Relief Initiative (SRI) and the Department of Education in Galle to set up fully equipped libraries at two schools. The Kodagoda Vidyalaya and the Lelwala Vidyalaya benefitted from this project which undertook the renovation of libraries with the inclusion of necessary equipment and material ranging from text books and story books.

They were also given translations of international classics such as Harry Potter and Tin Tin. This is to help under privileged children enhance their knowledge and create an interest in reading.

In addition, colouring books with quality illustrations were also donated to facilitate the learning of primary level students. These schools were among four rural schools identified as the most deserving to receive fully equipped libraries. During the first phase earlier this year, two other schools, namely Kudagammana 01 and Kudagammana 03 located in Tissamaharama received similar library facilities.

HSBC staff donated more than 2,800 books for these libraries.