Hodges University has donated 25 computers to the African Literacy and Art Development (ALAD), a local non-profit that helps communities of rural Ghana, West Africa.
According to Johnnie Shubert, an adjunct professor at Hodges and technical project manager for ALAD, the goal is to utilize the computers to set up computer labs at libraries and literacy centers in Ghana. “These labs will provide rural villagers with access to the web, reading/writing software, and a collection of popular e-books in the public domain,” he said. “In addition, select participants in our microcredit program for women will be provided with one of the donated computers and will be trained on how to best use them to maximize their businesses. We are bowled over by the generosity of Hodges University, and cannot thank them enough.”
Shubert, and ALAD's founder and president, James Lancaster, traveled to Ghana in January, 2010, to deliver the donated supplies and establish the technology center for the library. Professor Shubert also trained local residents in the skills needed to operate and maintain the center's services.
The center will serve to empower the local population through business and literacy education as well as access to internet and technology services. All computers have been loaded with literacy programs and an assortment of training software. This center will be of particular benefit to women in the area by providing them with opportunities to advance their businesses and entrepreneurial ventures.
During their time there, Jim Lancaster and Johnnie Shubert were fortunate enough to meet with the US Ambassador to Ghana, Donald Teitelbaum, to discuss the current state of education in Ghana and to request an Ambassadorial grant to expand ALAD's operations in Ghana.
The library and literacy center will be named in honor of Hodges University as recognition for their important contributions.
For further information about ALAD, visit their website at www.ALADAFRICA.org.