Hello! My name is Amelia, and I am doing a four week volunteering placement at The Turing Trust along with a friend, Ruth. We are based in Kumasi and staying with Eddie Pinto, who is the Country Director of the Trust.
During the first week of our project we helped Eddie to facilitate the running of the ‘Central and Western Regional ICCES Centre Managers Training Workshop’. This is the fourth of its kind, and another volunteer, Tom Walker, had helped with the workshop for the Northern ICCES’ a month or so ago. The aim of these workshops is to bring the managers of the different centers together, teach basic computer skills and maintenance and teach basic managerial principles. The workshop also provided a platform for the different centre managers to be introduced to various changes happening within ICCES, and the way in which they are expected to operate their centre.
There were 14 centre managers at the four day workshop along with the Central Region Coordinator, the Western Region Coordinator and the Head of Training. The Director of ICCES joined us for the last two days.
The role of The Turing Trust was to provide a number of training sessions. These included:
- Basic management practices
- Computer maintenance
- Basic computer skills
- Report writing
- Accounting and financial management
- Team Work
As well as this, The Turing Trust provided all the managers with a desktop computer system and either a black & white or colour printer at the end of the week.
Our main role was to assist with the presentations and produce an overview booklet with comprehensive notes and instructions on all the topics covered in the workshop. As well as this, we led a team work building exercise and helped answering the many questions which arose.
This workshop is very important in helping ICCES to develop and move forward with its competitors. A few of the managers had never been on a computer before, and most only had very basic knowledge. The workshop included tutorials on setting up an email account, writing a formal letter in word and attaching the letter to an email. Perhaps even more importantly, the workshop taught about the importance of cleaning your computers (especially in Ghana where the dust can get everywhere) and installing virus software. These are very important as it will help to prolong the life of the computers which The Turing Trust donates to the ICCES’.
Most of the centre managers do not have any formal training in managerial or business skills, and many have no managerial experience either. The workshop covered many basic topics, from dressing smartly to the importance to teamwork and delegation. We also discussed the importance of planning and time keeping, and the benefits of keeping a diary. Although some of this may seem very rudimentary, it is important to go right back and cover the basics, in order to ensure that all the centre managers have the knowledge to undergo the running of their centers.
We think that the week was a success, and the feedback given from the participants seem to agree. The centre managers were exceedingly enthusiastic throughout the presentations, their eagerness to become computer literate was clear. One centre did not even have running water or electricity, yet was prepared to learn computer skills in the hope of changing circumstances. There was talk of supplying them with a system using solar panels to power a computing lab but this costs in excess of £15,000, a phenomenal sum. All the centre managers were very happy with the computers we gave out at the end and promised to look after them following the steps outlined in the maintenance instructions.