Malawian SIGNIS member donates computers to technical colleges
Malawi, September 14th, 2017 (AMECEA). The Episcopal Conference of Malawi, SIGNIS member in the country, through its Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) has donated twenty-five desktop computers and five printers to five Catholic Technical Colleges under the Hope for youth project. The equipment will benefit at least 3000 youths who are set to be enrolled into Catholic Technical Colleges to learn various vocational and entrepreneur skills. Handing over the computers,ECM Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Henry Saindi said the project is targeting youths of all denominations including those living with disabilities and HIV/AIDS. “The project is aimed at empowering women and vulnerable groupsthrough vocational and entrepreneurship skills education. The project therefore is promoting equitable and non-gender-bias access and retention in five targeted vocational colleges,” said Fr. Saindi. Fr. Saindi challenged women to take part in the project as beneficiaries and not to not be discouraged that vocational training skills are only meant for men. According to Fr. Saindi the Church believes in providing option for the poor and as such it is aimed at strengthening the capacities and infrastructures or linkages for the five vocational training colleges. “We will strive to enhance opportunities especially for female and vulnerable group students in the target areas to complete their vocational education and to secure employment or self-employment, "he said. District Youth Officer for Zomba Kettie Mwandira commended the Catholic Church through its development arm, CADECOM for the initiative. Mwandira said the initiative is complementing government's effort in uplifting the lives of the youth through technical colleges where they are trained in various vocational skills. "As government we are very thankful to the Catholic Church in Malawi for its concern over the welfare of the vulnerable including the youth. You may wish to note that 70 percent of the population in Malawi is comprised of the youth who are facing several challenges like unemployment," said Mwandida. She said the project will provide self employment among the youth hence create job opportunities for others challenging the beneficiaries to make good use of the project and utilize it effectively. Principal for Mitengo Technical College, Michael Lupiya promised that, as one of the beneficiaries they will make use of the computers that they have received and maintain them as well.
Wetin dey happen? The BBC's Pidgin news site is a huge deal
Lagos, August, 25th, 2017 (Wired). BBC Pidgin is a significant breakthrough for language diversity online – and a reminder that the internet must move beyond the English language as more people come online How do you go about writing down a language that is almost entirely oral? For the staff of the BBC World Service's new Pidgin news site, it all started with listening. Lots of listening. Despite being spoken by an estimated 75 million people in Nigeria alone – and as a first language for five million people – Pidgin has, until this week, been marginalised online. "In terms of its text life it lives pretty much on social media," says Miriam Quansah, BBC's digital lead for Africa. To begin the process of converting a primarily oral language into an agreed written form, the World Service interacted with people across Africa who spoke it. The team who built the service (some of whom can translate Shakespeare into Pidgin) travelled to west Africa to speak to young people, visit universities and consult professors and experts in the area to observe how they communicate. The service will bring language diversity to the news and current affairs that west and central African audiences receive, where Pidgin is one of the most widely-spoken languages. Adverts, radio stations, films and music are already produced in Pidgin, but news organisations have traditionally shunned it. Pidgin is a mix of English and local languages, which is why it's often offensively referred to as broken English. Despite its popularity, people speak Pidgin with varying levels of fluency. And, as it is not studied in schools, it doesn't exist in a standardised written form. Because Pidgin is seen as an informal language, there is sometimes a stigma around speaking it, which the BBC team thinks the new service is helping to break. The decision to make this a digital only service was based on the fact that African people prefer to read content on their mobile phones. Although Pidgin is spoken in different forms across Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, there are a lot of words that unify them all. Pidgin will soon be joined by 11 more new services in Africa and Asia, as part of the World Service's biggest expansion since the 1940s, thanks to a 2016 funding boost from the UK government. BBC Pidgin will provide a mix of local, regional and international news current affairs and analysis. The production hub is based in Lagos, the commercial capital, but reporters in Ghana, Cameroon and elsewhere in Nigeria will also be gathering local news. Other new languages that will be offered by the BBC World Service include Korean, Gujarati, Telegu, Marathi and Punjabi for India and Amharic and Oromo for Ethiopia and Tigrinya for Eritrea.