Small ideas grow. Small ideas change lives.

It is five o’clock in rural Mpumalanga’s Madlala village and Havny Manzini – a facilitator at Madlala Digital Learning Centre – is on his way home. The walk back to the village of Lilleydale will take him about 40 minutes.

Along dirt roads, across dusty fields and in between herds of cattle.

But this year Havny’s gait is a little longer and a lot quicker. It has to be. At his father’s house in Lilleydale, Havny has converted the 5 x 3 meter concrete garage into a Good Work Foundation satellite digital learning centre.

Roll up the red garage door and you’ll find two computers and a laptop, and – from six o’clock every evening – Havny is preparing members of his community for the International Computer Drivers License (ICDL) examination.

“Not everyone is able to make it to Madlala where we offer computer training courses” says Havny. “Many of my students wake up before four every morning, and they only return home after five.

That’s the reality in rural Africa.

More and more, I started speaking to people who had heard about GWF’s Madlala Digital Learning Centre, but the centre was just too far away. So why not have an extra centre? One that gives willing learners in Lilleydale access to digital-era education?”

According to Kate Groch, CEO Good Work Foundation, “Pivotal to our vision is finding remarkable people. People who believe in a better future for rural education. People who are not afraid to take the small steps to get to the big results.

In this case, a big, forward-thinking idea was started in a small garage.

We have four established digital learning centres, but like Havny said, what about the people who cannot physically access those centres? Havny’s idea has meant that four more rural students are currently learning to drive a computer.

People with access to the internet and to computers on a daily basis take it for granted, but for Havny’s students in Lilleydale, what will access to digital skills mean to their lives? How many more doors is Havny helping to open in his 5 x 3 garage?

Small ideas grow. Small ideas change lives.”

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