BC Technology Donations Given to Ghana Village

BC Technology Donations Given to Ghana Village

O'Neill Library Instructional Services Manager Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah traveled to Ghana last month to present schoolchildren in his childhood village with two computers purchased through donations from the Boston College community.

Sarkodie-Mensah launched a campus drive earlier this year to help bring computer technology and educational materials to his hometown of Ejisu. The effort raised approximately $2,500, which Sarkodie-Mensah used to purchase a desktop and a laptop computer, two printers and other supplies after arriving in Ghana on April 13.

Two days later, Sarkodie-Mensah introduced about 50 students in the St. Anthony's Catholic School of Ejisu to the world of computer technology.

"The main idea was to just get them used to the feel and the basic operation of a computer," said Sarkodie-Mensah, who led a weeklong instructional camp for the schoolchildren. "The kids might've seen computers on TV, or played with electronic games, but this was obviously a very new and different experience."

One of the biggest problems Sarkodie-Mensah encountered during his visit was the unreliable electrical service for the village - although he notes that the frequent power outages did help illustrate the importance of regularly saving one's work while using a computer.

The children enjoyed the many educational and recreational CD-ROMs Sarkodie-Mensah brought along. "But the best part for them was to type something, then print it out to take home," he said.

Sarkodie-Mensah's brother, who still lives in Ejisu, will help assist with the school's nascent technology program and homework assistance center, which the BC donations also supported. Sarkodie-Mensah plans to make more return visits to the village, and would like to bring BC student volunteers with him for service projects.

"It might seem like a small thing to bring a couple of computers into a school," he said. "But when you show kids what technology makes possible, you also are showing their families. You reach out to many others. I am very happy that BC has been able to help the children of St. Anthony's learn a little more about the world, and about themselves."

-Sean Smith


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