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Project information

Digital Skills for Malawian Students

The Turing Trust, founded by Alan Turing’s closest family, believes that bridging the digital divide in Africa is a truly fitting way to honour his remarkable legacy. This project will support students across Malawi develop the digital skills they need for life, study and work the 21st Century.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: The Turing Trust

The Turing Trust logo
  • Need


    In Malawi only 3% of schools have a functioning computer lab, meaning that hundreds of thousands of students are leaving schools without the digital skills they need for life and work in the 21st Century. A lack of digital skills heavily impacts disadvantaged students, exacerbating inequalities and leaving already marginalised student further behind. Girls and rural students are particularly vulnerable to missing out on gaining the skills which are fast becoming essential to daily life.


    This project will enable Malawian students to gain vital digital skills by targeting schools and providing them with computer labs, delivering teacher training, and giving extra support to marginalised students. Each school we work with will receive 20 PCs donated by UK businesses and training to ensure teachers and students can get the most from the PCs. We will support rural schools through subsidised IT and ensure girls are given equal access to IT through girls-only ICT clubs.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Create IT Labs in Malawian schools


    » We will use local, Malawian technicians to install labs of PCs donated to the project by UK businesses and households.

    What success will look like

    The number of computer labs we install will be a strong indicator. Each lab will benefit an average of 400 students.

    Aim 2

    Deliver high-quality teacher training to build schools’ capacities to continue to deliver IT.


    » We will work with Mzuzu University to provide teachers with locally-accredited and relevant training.

    What success will look like

    For each school we work with we will train 2 teachers in using IT to enhance lessons. This project will see us train a teacher for every £50 raised.

    Aim 3

    Reduce inequalities between urban and rural students


    » Our project will subsidise access to IT for all schools, leveraging the high incomes of large urban schools to support for smaller rural schools.

    What success will look like

    We will ensure that our innovative maintenance contracts subsidise the cost of IT for poorer, rural schools across Malawi who otherwise would be unable to access it.

    Aim 4

    Increase girls’ access to and engagement in IT


    » Girls aren’t getting the same access to IT as boys. We’ll introduce girls IT clubs to build their confidence and skills in a pressure-free environment
    » Our teacher training will support teachers in encouraging girls to actively participate in the classroom.

    What success will look like

    We will provide girls with girls-only ICT clubs during the school day with the goal of an equal number of girls and boys accessing IT. Every £4 supports another student's education

    Aim 5

    Promote an environmentally-friendly society in the UK and support skills development.


    » Our project is supported by UK businesses and households who donate their used IT equipment, saving carbon and promoting reuse in the process.
    » We train the UK volunteers vital to this project in IT maintenance and data destruction, providing them with employable skills.

    What success will look like

    Raised awareness of the environmental benefits of reusing IT, and the impact it can have in schools. We will support local volunteers through training in IT.

  • Impact


    This project will bring about a number of long-term changes.

    1. Increased digital skills in Malawi - demonstrated through more students undertaking the Computer Studies course.

    2. Increased access to IT - demonstrated by installation of computer labs in rural schools, and higher numbers of girls enrolled in Computer Studies classes.

    3. Increased awareness of the benefits of reusing IT, demonstrated by the numbers of PCs donated to the Turing Trust in the UK.


    There are two main risks this project could face. We're taking active measures to counter them.

    -Transport: Reaching rural areas can be made difficult by poor-road conditions. We will mitigate this by ensuring we use the best transport available and plan to avoid travelling to rural areas during the rainy season.

    -Low-IT knowledge in schools: This can cause avoidable damage to PCs and will be dealt with through training for teachers and students.


    We have in place thorough monitoring and evaluation procedures, visiting and assessing each school individually. Our strong presence on Social Media and regular updates to our website allow us to share our progress in Malawi and the impact our project is having on local communities.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,500 Shipping Taking volunteer-refurbished PCs to Malawi
      £1,000 Computer Refurbishment Training is personalised to the volunteer and delivered by our staff
      £2,500 Training in Malawian Schools Training for teachers covering IT, supporting girls in the classroom, and maintenance.
      £2,000 e-Library Development All our PCs come with offline resources. We will develop them to align with the Malawian curriculum.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    UK Businesses and Households IT Donations £33,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    This project is Malawi-wide, but will begin in the Northern Region where the Turing Trust has already installed computer labs in 33 schools.
    The UN classifies Malawi as a ‘Least Developed Country’. In 2016, World Bank Figures had Malawi’s Gross National Income at the level of $320 per capita. The Malawian economy is highly dependent on agriculture and, correspondingly, 80% of the population lives in rural areas, often with limited access to basic services, including schools.


    This project will benefit students across Malawi, with a marked impact on girls and rural students. By supporting Malawian students with digital skills, this project enables them to make the most of the digital age. The project will have a positive impact on people in the UK who will gain employable skills through our training programme. Additionally, this project will have a positive environmental impact, as using PCs in this way is 66x more carbon efficient than simply recycling them.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Turing Trust , founded by Alan Turing’s closest family, believes that bridging the digital divide in Africa would be a truly fitting way to honour his remarkable legacy. We have been enabling IT-supported education in sub-Saharan Africa since 2009, impacting 27,500 students in four countries. We have run volunteer training in the UK since 2014, and in 2017 our volunteers contributed 11,300 hours of time. Our experience will enable us to deliver this project with the maximum benefit.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Neil Gilchrist

    Neil is our Operations Manager and delivers all of our volunteer training. He will make sure all of the donated PCs are ready for schools in Malawi.

    Yewo Msiska

    Yewo runs our project in Malawi and will be working with schools to ensure they're supported throughout the project.

    Vigilant Vijimbo

    Vigilant is our Malawi Technician. He will be installing the IT labs & delivering our teacher training. He'll also support schools through maintenance


£8 enables us to install a PC in a school, enabling 20 students to build their digital skills.