On April 12, 2004, the Science and Arts Foundation (SAF)http://www.saf.ir launched an ICT training program in their computer training site in the center of the earthquake-devastated town of Bam. SAF is a non-profit organization that works to empower youth through educational technologies such as up-to-date computer facilities, Internet access, and ICT training. The computer site consists of a server, 15 workstations, a printer, scanner, video projector, cameras, and furniture in a 36 square meter prefabricated room equipped with a cooling unit. The project is considered an "ICT relief" program, meant to create a joyful and exciting environment for the students. In the first week of the project, over 240 primary school boys and girls and local women were given ICT training. The program has had a great and noticeable effect on the school children; according to teachers, while the students were lethargic and somber on the first day of classes, they gradually became energetic, high spirited, and motivated in the course of one training week.
In addition, on April 22, SAF launched a "paintshop" project in another prefabricated room adjacent to the computer site. Through the efforts of participants from Schoolnet and the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN), Iranian, Japanese and Canadian teachers and students and three individuals from Taiwan all collaborated to initiate and support this project. SAF staff as well as local residents of Bam are participating in supervising these art classes, which have been a wonderful medium for the children to express their feelings. To further help the healing process through the arts, the center, on April 26, also started a music program that not only involves the children in making music and singing, but also introduces them to multimedia software.
The programs at SAF's ICT center have not only contributed to normalizing the children's lives, but have been a vehicle for introducing exciting and new possibilities to them. Representatives from a number of international NGO's and from local education and health authorities have visited SAF's site in Bam and have been impressed with the effectiveness of SAF's programs. Mercy Corps has already decided to support SAF's initiative with a $15000 donation.
The pictures here are from the ICT center and paintshop.
... Payvand News - 5/26/04 ... --