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New Solar Community Hub with health clinic launched in Cape Town

DELL Technologies, in partnership with SHAWCO, has launched the Kensington Solar Community Hub in Cape Town. The project has transformed the existing facility by adding a medical clinic that will provide members of the Kensington community with a wide range of healthcare services. These new services augment the educational offering which aims to equip the Kensington community with critical skills to be successful in the digital world such as International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) certifications.

Opened in 2014, The Kensington Solar Learning Lab was Dell’s first Lab in South Africa and its second globally. Initially focused on education, it now offers the community healthcare services that have not been accessible in the past. This addresses two pressing issues in South Africa: scant access to healthcare for communities such as Kensington and a marked digital divide which means only 10.4% of households have access to home internet, according to Statistics South Africa.

Dell has deployed Solar Community Hubs in 47 locations worldwide, supporting 13 countries and impacting more than 921,000 people. These hubs are designed based on the needs of each community and aim to provide access to the basic needs and digital skills needed to participate in the digital economy. There are currently 12 hubs in South Africa.

SHAWCO operates mobile health clinics and wellness programmes, offering free medical consultations, health education and preventative care to the community.

Key characteristics of the Kensington Solar Community Hub include:

  • The health clinic is managed by the community and features multi-purpose rooms for health screening and other services, enabled by Dell solutions.
  • SHAWCO runs its Beyond Education Health Clinics and Violence Protection Programme at the clinic.
  • Three existing units have been repurposed and combined to create a unique structure of two 40-foot containers capable of hosting 23 computer users.
  • The hub offers ICDL certification, enabling members of the community to certify their computer skills to an internationally recognised standard and to become certified ICDL trainers.
  • The hub also offers training in Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as coding.
  • Community members can attend Summer School lectures broadcast from the University of Cape Town.
  • Future plans for the hub include the addition of rainwater collection.
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