Creating Greater Accessibility and Assisting Disability Through Technology
Afrika Tikkun is a global not-for-profit organisation working to develop, empower and support the youth of South Africa in disadvantaged communities in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Their intention is to shape the youth of today to become the next generations leaders of tomorrow. The approach that they have taken is called the Cradle-to-Career 360˚ model, which sees full developmental support from infancy to adulthood.
However, with a full complement of capable staff behind them their achievements would still not be possible without the financial and in-kind aid of sponsors and the extraordinary efforts of their benefactors. One such company is MTN.
Director of Partnerships and Marketing at Afrika Tikkun, Onyi Nwaweri comments: “It is amazing what can be accomplished when we all work together toward a common goal and I would like to thank all of the staff of MTN that have joined us this past week in improving the lives of the youth that we serve. The African proverb holds true: If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.”
Every year from 1 to 21 June, MTN employees around the globe reach out to people less fortunate than themselves as part of their 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign. During this period they give time, energy, care and financial assistance to improve the lives of community members where MTN connects people. This year, MTN South Africa chose Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot as their beneficiary.
Kicking off MTN’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign on 2 June 2018, there was a half marathon around the MTN Innovation Centre in Roodepoort where MTN staff, twenty youth from Afrika Tikkun as well as members of the public joined together to raise funds for Information Communication Technology (ICT) projects in education and in supporting youth skills empowerment programmes. Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre is one amongst many other youth centres and schools for leaners with special needs to benefit from the proceeds of the race.
Continuing their 21 Days of Y’ello Care, this past week has seen around 30 MTN employees gather every day at the Afrika Tikkun Wings of Life Centre to undertake tasks such as spring-cleaning, painting, cooking, gardening, installing carpets and making chairs out of used tyres. Additionally, they were given the opportunity to work at a local natural supplements and wellness company to learn important skills in the field of business and healthcare. Gold Bee, the firm in question, provided employment training for more than 20 of these members.
As an ICT company, MTN recognises the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the importance of the youth of today having access to and knowledge of technology in order to strive ahead in their careers come school-leaving age. To this end they have also installed computers in the Diepsloot Centres library and today marked the launch of the new multimedia/ IT library with the help of Ms. Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, Deputy Minister of the Department of Social Development. In a welcome address by Bogopane-Zulu she said; “the multi-media lab is there for you to better yourself, your education, your skills and improve access to employment opportunities and higher learning so you can be a better version of yourselves.”
The world has already seen greater accessibility to knowledge through the advent of technology and MTN is further expanding the concept by, not only installing computers for all the youth of Afrika Tikkun, but also refurbishing the Afrika Tikkun Wings of Life’s multimedia/ IT library to be more accessible for Afrika Tikkuns youth with disabilities. The Deputy Minister explained, “the computer lab was designed in a way that is inclusive of people with disability. Three software programmes will be installed to enable persons with a range of disabilities (including intellectual disabilities) to access computers and become computer literate. It will cater to the very young and to the mature. Young children with disabilities learn technology easily when introduced to it at a young age.”
Nwaweri concludes: “Our goal at Afrika Tikkun is to help create a sustainable future for the youth of South Africa and companies like MTN assist us to realise this purpose. Walking together, we will walk far. I’m sure all the youth of Afrika Tikkun Wings of Life join me in thanking MTN for their contributions.”
#YouthEmpowerment #AfrikaTikkun #YelloCare