The Gambia YMCAs Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio
The Gambia YMCAs Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio
Involved in empwering youths through ICT and Research including Sports development.
The Gambia YMCAs Computer Training Centre & Digital Studio Brief Overview
The Gambia YMCAs Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio started operations in late 1995 with modest beginnings; the centre is fully equipped with three laboratories, a digital studio / system administration unit and an innovative hub (jokkolabs). The Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio also manages the overall ICT infrastructure of the Gambia YMCAs in terms of Intranet facilities, network facilities, troubleshooting to name a few. The Centre is part of The Gambia YMCA which was established in 1979 and it’s a member of the World Alliance of YMCAs, African Alliance of YMCAs and member of the Non Governmental Associations of NGO’s in The Gambia, with its NGO number as NGO23. It’s an accredited National Training Authority Centre. Its various training programs run 12 months of the year and are flexible, scheduled and customized to suit young people, organizations and professionals based on their needs. Its core serve is supporting the Education process through ICT and Education within all aspects of its work especially in developing young people and providing needed support for teachers in terms of professional development.
The centre facilities are fully networked and have full Internet connectivity with broadband connectivity. The centre developed the Gambia YMCAs website in 1998 after the Internet gateway was launched in the Gambia in August 1998 by a UNDP initiative, making it to be the second YMCA in Africa after the South African YMCAs to have web presences on the Internet.
When the World Links program a world Bank funded ICT program for teachers and students came to the Gambia in April 2001 due to the work of the Gambia YMCAs in ICT in Gambia, the Coordinator of the centre was nominated also as country coordinator for the World Links program in Gambia used various Open Distance Learning methodologies to train teachers mainly in rural areas on integrating ICT into traditional school curriculum.
The centre carries out not only training, but is highly involved in research and various aspects of ICT development covering the following areas.
ICT For Development
ICT and Education
Internship / Research Programs for Undergraduate and Graduate Studies
Communication as a Catalyst for Development
Youth Entrepreneurship and ICT
Digital Media for Advocacy
Kiddies ICT & Creative Summer Camp
Educate and Innovative Monthly Meet up Sessions for Kids.
It also provides a Learning and Skills Centre, for disadvantage youths in need of informal vocational training covering Catering and Hotel Management. The centre has a fully fledged work experience and internship program that brings in Humanities majors / Computer Science undergraduate and graduates from universities abroad to serve as interns to Support various institutions in the Gambia through our centre, some of the interns come on credit based internship working at the Centre programs, some the centre facilitates internships with other None governmental or governmental organization based in the Gambia. We provide administrative / monitoring/ evaluation of all interns during their program in the Gambia. Accommodation is provided for interns at the YMCA Hostel at a fee. The centre also supports and encourages group exchange visits from universities, high schools interested in visiting the Gambia for educational, research or cultural exchange. Over the years the centre has worked with several universities on such programs.
The centre has continuously carried out several customized training and portal development since 1995 for institutions namely, World Food Program, UNICEF, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Ministry of Information Communication and Infrastructure, NCAC, GGC, Personal Management Office,
Concern Universal, UNSECO, NATCOM, Medical Research Council, EU Funded Project Ministry of Finance, Sierra Leone, Computerization Training for Finance Personnel to name a few.
It is involved in several ICT collaborative projects with sister YMCAs from Europe, The USA and Africa.
It’s also a member of the A4AI Alliance (www.a4ai.org) and has taken part in several collaborative Internet projects like “The Web We Want” to name a few. Its recently launched the Jokkolabs Banjul hub, which is part of the Jokkolabs global started in Dakar, Senegal by Karim Sy, it’s the first English country within the Jokkolabs network; more information on www.jokkolabs.net.
The Centre is fully involved in other ICT research and work on related work with the freedom online Coalition www.freedomonlinecoalition.com work Group 3 on Transparency and Privacy online and also the Open Data Charter www.opendatacharter.net.
The centre runs the Google Developers Group and carries out numerous outreach programs for young people interested in programming at our centre.
The centre offers courses that are moderated by the Cambridge International Examinations (www.cie.org.uk) as the centre is a CIE accredited registered centre in the Gambia and also the Oxford Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts, United Kingdom (www.ocr.org.uk), it is also the accredited test centre in the Gambia for the Test of English As a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL IBT) (www.ets.org). It also facilitates students interested in the IELTS Test working closely with the British Council in Dakar, and also supports students for tutorial and registration for the SAT Examinations.
The centre runs an annual kiddies ICT summer camp for kiddies between the ages of 5 to 16 years every summer, it’s the longest summer ICT program in the Gambia running since 1999, a lot of our the kids from the ICT camp have graduated with up to Masters degrees and contributing to the Gambia socio economic development locally and abroad
In its Digital Studio the centre continues to produce documentaries for organizations and individuals, and training organizations on the use of social media tools for effective advocacy and socio economic professional campaigns geared towards development. Its Digital Studio have produced numerous documentaries for organizations like Trust Bank The Gambia a one year media TV documentary called INSIDE Trust Bank, advocacy documentaries for ADRS / NALA, The Medical Research Institute, Web We Want foundation, in house advocacy documentaries to name a few.