The awarenet Open Lab is a project that gives Joza community members access to the computer lab of the Joza Youth Hub, our base of operation. At the lab community members can use the Internet to check their emails, do home work or school projects or explore the web on their own by googling or playing educational games. In addition to the Internet access supplied by local Grahamstown provider Geenet, the awarenet Open Lab also provides lots of offline content primarily aimed at school children in Grade 10 to 12. However we also give access to offline content for younger children, such as educational games and Blockly , as well. The project was initiated by Rhodes University lecturer Rod Amner.
Users of the open lab have to register before they can use the lab. Said system is being run by the awarenet staff, this includes the project manager Kjetil Torp, German weltwaerts-volunteers, and our lab supervisors. This information is used for statistical purposes. Users must register once, everyday when they come to use the Open Lab.
As of November 2019, we have had approximately 999 unique users ranging from 6 years old to 65 years of age. The majority of our users are male with a 71% and 29% of female users.
The open lab project has been so successful that we have replicated the same program at Archie Mbolekwa Primary School. We have also provided the school with internet connection to enable both learners and teachers to have access to online educational resources. Teachers may also use the computers to sent either work or personal emails, as well as do their admin work. There is also offline educational resources for learners to use for educational purposes as well as for recreational use.