Young developer helps shape future of education for rural African schools

A young Scottish developer has helped children with their tech skills in remote schools in Southern Africa.

Finlay MacKenzie, a developer who works for Eureka Solutions in East Kilbride, volunteered in Swaziland and South Africa as part of a charitable mission to bring computers and IT expertise to rural schools.

The 20-year-old was sponsored by his company while he volunteered for small Scottish charity Computers for Africa, an organisation dedicated to providing African schools and institutions with IT training and equipment.

Their mission involves collecting redundant computers from organisations and individuals in Scotland and sending them on a 6,000-mile journey to Africa where they can be installed in schools and learning centres by their passionate team.

Eureka Solutions and other organisations support this life-changing work by donating unused laptops and computers for installation in the schools and training centres prior to the trip. 

This year, Finlay and his colleagues first travelled to an education centre based near Mtubatuba, South Africa, where they successfully installed ten new internet-ready computers, replacing older machines previously provided by the charity. The ladies of the committee were said to be overjoyed to receive their upgraded machines, as well as the learning materials the team installed for them. 

Their next journey took them to a school in Swaziland, where 18 new machines with learning materials were installed. Finlay explained: “The school itself does not have much, but over time we have managed to set them up with a computer lab which they are greatly appreciative of.” 

The difference the work makes is clear – Likileng English Medium School, Lesotho, that Computers for Africa has been supporting for over 15 years has achieved the best results in the country two years running and is now being upgraded to a high school. 

Finlay said: “One of the best parts for me was traveling to those places in which we had previously worked, to see the progression and continued passion from the teachers and pupils to push their IT knowledge forward is incredibly rewarding.”

Eureka Solutions is a Platinum Sage Partner and five time winner of the Sage Developer of the Year award, as well as being a leading UK provider of NetSuite –the world’s number one cloud-based business management system.