The Village Scribe Association Trust, which runs the awarenet program, held its annual general meeting on the 21st of July in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Present were trustees and management of the organisation, learners and lab supervisors participating in the awarenet program and external partners such as Sudo Soc, the student computer society at nearby Rhodes University.
The diversity of perspectives represented at the AGM made for an interesting debate when the future of the awarenet program came up for discussion. awarenet learners and lab supervisors Sive Teyise (15) and Sinesipho Soxujwa (17) who both have a long track record participating in the awarenet program said they were greatly satisfied with the activities they had been offered so far.
Sive found the awarenet journalism club which he had taken part in particularly useful while Sinesipho emphasised that the awarenet lessons in her school's computer lab had made it possible for her to use computers she otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Both learners therefore reacted positively to the ideas of management to select a core group of school learners already enrolled in the awarenet program to be followed intensively until the end of their school career -the ultimate goal being increased post-matric opportunities. The learners in the core group program will be given extra support in the second awarenet computer lab soon to open - sessions will focus on specific training in various school subjects and ICT in general.
Computer Science student Richard Were of Sudo Soc also confirmed that the society is interested in regularly supporting this new core group of learners with ICT and academic support and it was decided to try recruit more dedicated Rhodes University students for this purpose.
It was furthermore decided to continue the success story of the Open Lab -- the computer lab which is open every day after school for all community members and to a large extent used for homework and school projects. With an additional lab it will be easier to expand other awarenet projects while simultaneously keeping the Open Lab running as before.
Present via Skype were also the Village Scribe Association Trust's German sister organisation which held their Annual General Meeting concurrently. The German sister organisation is devoted solely to raise funds for the activities of the Village Scribe Association in South Africa. Both the German and South African organisations felt the intercontinental cooperation had worked well the last year and looked forward to continuing cooperating around the growing number of awarenet activities the next 12 months.