The Free Internet Cafe for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the first in the whole of Africa, which opens the World Wide Web, making The Gambia a leading light in Africa, with this technology by allowing free and total access to surf the net send and receive emails and for students to enhace their studies with the aid of this pioneering software. No more do they need to rely on a third party to read to them newspapers, magazines, books, letters and world wide information. - Bakary Jobarteh*

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I met Bakary Jobarteh while on holiday in The Gambia and met also his family. In 1985 a year later I managed to get him a job at Action Aid. In the following years he made really use of the opportunity and saved his money and build up his family's compound, During the next 10 years it also became the place where I stayed when in The Gambia, This was also the start of the charity work


49 Braintree Road Witham Essex Tel: Witham

20th July 1989.

Mr B Jobarteh c/o Mr S Wezel

Dear Bakary.

This letter is to confirm that you have been successful in the following City and Guilds Information Technology examinations, and are now qualified at Introductory level.

City and Guilds 7261 Information Technology.

Module Number:

200 Introductory Coding & Programming in BASIC.

212 Introductory Computers & Computing.

301 Introductory Digital Electronics.

400 Introductory Wordprocessing.

401 Introductory Database Methods.

402 Introductory Spreadsheet Methods.

412 Introductory Health & Safety.

420 Elementary Wordprocessing.

421 Elementary Database Methods.

I have applied for the City and Guilds Certificates which relate to those modules, and when I receive them I will send them to you.

I congratulate you on your success in this course, and must say that I think you have done very well indeed. I wish you luck for the future, and hope that what you have learned here will be of use to you.

Yours sincerely.

John Williams, Manager.


Computers were first introduced in The Gambia the last couple of years by the central Government for our central statistics department for statistical analyses. Then followed by few Non-Governmental Organisations including my work placement Action Aid which is a British charity organisation for child sponsor ship and promotion of rural development.

Since the introduction of computers in the Gambia things began to change rapidly especially with my agency compared to years before. We use to loose a lot of sponsors due to lack of proper communication between them and their sponsored child.

What use to take us months to do, now we do that in days without delay. Computers helped our sponsorship unit a lot. We use to process child messages to sponsors manually but that is no longer happening the agency is expanding in growth, more sponsors are coming because they are assured that they can see the out put of their money on their child, it was all with computers help that we could achieve all that.

The field staff for example now have a limited amount of work to do, They go to schools at the end of every term for data collection which they send to Banjul to be process by computer and send over to our UK headquarters .to assess and send to sponsors. Some times sponsors are very keen to know more about the child the history of the country the people and the Children environment, so we there fore had to include in the report wether the child lives near any river or bush and in particular the child picture. We do the same when recruiting new sponsorship.

By giving quick service with the help of computer to the sponsors we are now able to win confidence of over a hundred thousand people in the United Kingdom alone could not have use computers in my country until I had an opportunity from a friend of mine to come and study computers in England.

I started using computers when I came to Witham Technology Centre on 13th February 1989. 1 started with introduction to compute. and computing, which deals with a variety of subjects including spreadsheet database and word processing, also programming.

During the start of these subjects I was really happy doing them and more over their meaning and what they do.

Word processing is a manipulation of text standard. With it you can do several things with it e.g copy a block of text, move a block of text, mail merce a letter, underscore and emboldened.

With database is a collection of information. Which can be use to input information in any - form.

With spread is an electronic analyses sheet of rows and columns. You can use it for accounting purposes or analysing statistics.

During my two months course at the Witham Technology Centre I was able to know in general what a computer is and what it can do.

A computer is an automatic, electronic data processing machine, and that is made from solid State electronic components known as chip.

It also came to my understanding that regardless of computers size and cost they all process data in the same way, and that it does not think by it self. it depends entirely on the program given to it to process and that before sending any program to the computer you must note the following.

1) The program must be complete.

2) Free from errors.

3) Presented to the C.P.U in the order in which the processor is to execute the steps in the program.

After completion of my course at the end of July, I wish when I go back home, work for my agency again, so as to improve the work standard of the organisation with my knowledge of western education and life.

Back home in the Gambia the office uses HM Minstrel computer which is also a microcomputer, and the packages they use are spreadsheet, database and wordprocessor.

Hopefully when I joined them in early August i would use a database mainly for child messages and case histories, so as to be able to locate a child very easily for his/her sponsor, for some sponsors would like to visit heir sponsored children when they come over for holidays in the Gambia.

I would use a spreadsheet for our accounts unit, so as to be able to settle all arrears' between the agency and suppliers of materials like corrugated iron sheets, cement, paint etc. Also for our pay roll for staff so that there could

be delayance of pay when the month ands

I would use a word processor for internal memorandum within the office, letters to important personell abroad concerning the agency, letters to well established international agencies like Oxfam, ulster cares, save the children, so as to help sponsor a project in our working area

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