Two Ford Rangers were deployed in two different regions along the Eastern Cape of South Africa – Mbhashe and Umzimvubu. Mbhashe had the official Ford Launch party in early May, but Umzimvubu has not yet done an official unveiling of the vehicle. This made it very special for us to introduce the car to the community when we were in the field yesterday. Before the official launch, which is set to occur in two weeks, World Vision Umzimvubu wanted to be fully trained on the technology.
When we first visited the ADP on Monday, Emily and Mike did a comprehensive demonstration on the vehicle’s technical components. Additionally, Emily and Mike had to perform the same installations that they did in Mbhashe. They had to install the Nexleaf ColdTrace solution with the Aeris SIM card, the Open XC platform that sends vehicle diagnostics to Ford, and connect the Samsung Tab E tablet. The technical team was able to install the ColdTrace solution on Sunday before we made the drive from Mbhashe to Umzimvubu. We turned on the refrigerator and tested the alert system on the drive which made for a really great test environment.
Although we knew that the ColdTrace unit was working, we still needed to proper provide training to World vision. We want to make sure that the drivers are comfortable assembling and disassembling all of the equipment and more importantly, that they can do some basic troubleshooting in the event of a problem. The two technical trainers began by walking through the speaker and microphone, the projector and screen, the refrigerator and how the ColdTrace system works. Next it was time to train the driver, Lucas, on the application that was loaded onto the tablet. World Vision is going to rely on data to understand the cost benefit analysis of the Ford vehicle during its two year pilot. The drivers of the vehicles will enter data about the daily uses of the vehicle and then send this information to the World Vision head office in Johannesburg.
In addition to helping with the Ford vehicle, we utilized our technical expertise to troubleshoot and update several tablets that are used by high schools in the area. World Vision donated 200 NetSurfer Scholar tablets for 4 local high schools, each pre-loaded with several e-learning applications for grade 10-12 cirriculum. Yesterday we collected the tablets and our technical team looked at each one to determine the issue and hopefully provide a solution. Of the 17 non-functional tablets, we were able to fix 14.
Although our primary focus is to offer technical expertise on the Ford pilot project, we are happy to provide computer training and work to increase computer literacy. Today, our trainers Jorge and Maayan led two computer training sessions. The first session was for the World Vision staff, and the second session was for educators (teachers). Ten staff members from World Vision gathered around a large table with laptops and desktops alike to learn the basics of operating a computer. The ‘students’ learned the different parts of a desktop, how to turn it on and off, how to use the mouse, and how to navigate through common programs. Jorge and Maayan covered a lot of ground in a short 4-hour session: they reviewed the basic uses of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. We are confident that World Vision will be able to digitize records now that more staff members are trained on computers.
In the afternoon, nine educators came to the World Vision office for computer training. Many of them have access to computers in their schools, but they are unable to incorporate computers into their teachings because they are not yet comfortable with the technology. Our trainers walked them through similar material, and it was really rewarding to see when things ‘clicked’ for the educators. Maayan and Jorge went into some advanced formulas in Excel and even showed the class how to use shortcuts for copy, paste, and undo. The educators made great learners and it was a pleasure working with them.