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Guest blog: Geoffrey’s Experience Interning with CYD

For the past months I have had the privilege of working with Center for Youth and Development (CYD) as an ICT Associate, mostly on its Access to ICT programme which have the objectives among which; improving access to learning resources to secondary schools in Malawi and reducing the digital divide among secondary school students and teachers as well as their surrounding communities. 

Geoffrey Maguda

Through this programme CYD provides computers largely to secondary schools in rural areas across northern and central region barely for free. These computers are provided with offline e-libraries that are equipped with syllabus and non-syllabus content in different formats ranging from diagrams to videos which students can learn at their own, thereby making learning easier and convenient.

I have been part of the team that prepare and test the computers before they are collected and dispatched to different secondary schools. We check everything from power supply, RAM, mother board to software configurations. We prepare the e-library server, then we go and setup the computer laboratory at each and every secondary school, at which we configure every computer to be connected on a Local Area Network (LAN) where by every computer/student can access the e-library server content at their convenience even on their mobile devices via Wi-Fi apart from accessing the content via the computers in the lab.

If any computer from any school on our programme is faulty, the school brings it to us either to fix it or even to replace it if the computer is completely retired. Ultimately, setting up Linux servers, Local Area Network (LAN) as well as computer maintenance has been one of the actual work experience CYD has given me.

Geoffrey, facilitating Teacher’s ICT Training

Additionally, we train teachers in digital skills as well as how best they can utilise the learning resources CYD gives them. Training teachers has been one of the exciting moments for me because personally I like helping others learn and understand whatever I am privileged to have knowledge in.

This whole amount of work experience is credited to the whole CYD team, especially Vigilant, the Technical Lead in the ICT programme. On top of enormous of things, I have learnt, one which capture my utmost attention and which I will stand to incline to, is having the ability to make things work regardless of the resources available or situation at hand. This taught me that responsibility to get things done on each work assignment is paramount regardless.

Geoffrey interviewing beneficiaries at Karonga Girls Secondary School

I cannot talk of CYD without mentioning the flagship UmozaNet project which seeks to connect secondary schools within Mzuzu city on a network which will be used among others to share digital learning content with ease as well as improving collaboration and communication among teachers and CYD team across the schools. Recently, we have been able to configure and test out some of the equipment for the network, which will be deployed very soon. I am more than excited because I am part of this exciting work.

Yet, CYD has a good work environment that is more collaborative. Such an environment helps me learn a lot from the wisdom and knowledge of people across all management levels starting from the Executive Director, the Programmes Lead and Administrative staff. I have learned how best to collaborate and communicate with people across the organisation professionally. Learning has always been my path towards everything, so to have such an open collaborative work environment has helped me a lot.

Likewise, CYD has exposed me to a lot of things, knowledge and experiences through its myriad of partnerships. I am a beneficially of the Business Management scholarship from European Business University, Luxembourg (EBU) through one of its partners. In the same vein I have learn a lot about organisational digital branding which now I can brag that I can help brand an organisation or company digital wise.


Article written by Geoffrey Maguda, recent Graduate of Mzuzu University currently interning with the Centre for Youth and Development, Mzuzu Office.

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