Raspberry Pi helps schools in Zambia thanks to Swansea firm

A Swansea-based IT Services Company, GiaKonda IT, has made headlines this week with its project to support education and IT development in Zambian schools through the use of the Welsh-made Raspberry Pi computers.

Howard KirkmanThe Owner and Technical Director of GiaKonda IT, Howard Kirkman (pictured left), is a member of the Industrial Advisory Panel for the Foundation Degree in Computer Science. He enrolled one of his young employees, Connor Smith (pictured below), onto the two-year degree programme during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Howard was a Keynote Speaker at the FdSc Graduation Dinner held at the Liberty Stadium last year where we celebrated the success of Connor and his fellow graduands. On the Foundation Degree programme in Computer Science, Howard said, “I see our relationship with Swansea University very much as a partnership”; and in regard to Connor, he noted that “We benefit from Connor's enthusiasm for new challenges and he benefits from a sound theoretical foundation for the practical work we need him to perform.”

Connor SmithHoward noted that he witnessed Connor mature and grow in confidence during his two years of studies, and that with his FdSc qualification he is now able to tackle problems that he would not have attempted before. In fact, Connor is instrumental in the project highlighted in the BBC article, and will be going to Zambia in January to work with Charlie Mangalezi, mentioned in the BBC report, and Bridget Muyuni, a Siavonga volunteer being sponsored by the project to become an IT Technician for the schools in the area.

Professor Faron Moller, Director of the FdSc programme in Computer Science, welcomed this success story arising so quickly from a member of our first cohort of FdSc graduates. He said “Howard Kirkman and GiaKonda IT were early adopter of the FdSc programme, and I am delighted that its effect has benefitted the company, through educating Connor, and contributed towards the successful and very worthwhile project for which the company is rightfully being profiled in the National press.”