The Village Scribe Association is a non-profit organisation which developed the awarenet programme to promote computer and Internet literacy for underprivileged learners in South Africa. For technical reasons, e.g. recurrent connectivity problems, this programme uses the Internet platform awarenet. awarenet was specifically designed to meet the learners’ needs in several ways. Software development was and is still carried out by VSA’s partner eKhaya ICT. The VSA plays a strong role during development and further development by communicating the learners’ needs, testing and acquiring partners for content and technology.
eKhaya ICT is a pro-poor for-profit company that invests part of it’s profit into community development projects, such as the awarenet programme. It has not only developed the open-source platform for no charge for it’s end users and organisations such as the VSA. It also functions as a service supplier for the VSA.
The awarenet platform is hosted on different servers, which are synchronised whenever possible. Such servers have to be installed, maintained and disconnected if necessary. This service is currently carried out by eKhaya ICT. The VSA carries the costs for this service when servers are placed in underprivileged schools. A small license fee is requested for private schools or commercial organisations. This fee serves as a maintenance and peering fee and is not intended to create a profit.
The VSA and eKhaya ICT have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to state this relationship and general intentions, which also include privacy protections. You are welcome to request a copy. All future service providers will also sign this MoU to protect awarenet’s users.