Domus Mariae Gets an Ultra Modern I.T. Lab
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
Koinonia’s Domus Mariae School now has an ultra-modern Information Technology lab. The new lab was officially unveiled on the 14th of May 2008 by Mr. Gian Carlo Culazzo, who is Head of Economic, Financial and Commercial Affairs at the Italian Embassy in Nairobi. Mr. Mino Spreafico, the founder of Africa Peace Point Onlus-Italy, was master of ceremony.
Achieved with the support of KPMG-Italy and several other prominent multinationals, the lab has 42 internet-ready laptop computers, which are expected to help the students gain proficiency in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Guests at the inauguration ceremony were visibly impressed with the physical and operational structures in place at Domus Mariae.
“This is a wonderful establishment,” Chief Guest Gian Carlo Culazzo remarked as he and the other guests were taken round on a familiarization tour by school Principal Peter Apiyo and Fr. Renato Kizito Sesana, the founder of the Koinonia Community. Mr. Culazzo and the other guests were shown the administration and academic blocks, the school refectory and dormitory areas, as well as various buildings under construction on the school premises.
After the brief tour, the guests were ushered into the new I.T. lab, where staffers from Koinonia Technologies showcased the new facility to them.
The IT lab occupies two adjacent rooms. The larger room, which holds 30 computers, is reserved for IT skills training, while the smaller one has 12 computers exclusively set aside for users to browse the internet.
All the 42 laptop computers are HP brands running on the Windows Vista operating system, which was donated by Microsoft Education. Two multifunction Canon printers have also been provided, each capable of printing, photocopying, scanning, as well as USB connectivity for direct fax and email communication.
Stefano Camilli, who is IT Manager at KPMG-Italy, underscored the importance of the training component now that the requisite equipment has been acquired.
“The project was in two phases, first to deliver the hardware and software requirements, and second, to get the training underway,” Mr. Camilli told the small audience before inviting members of the KPMG-Italy IT team, who had accompanied him to the inauguration, to flank him as he continued with his remarks. The team included Luca Corieto, Piergiorgio Geniale, Mauro Ferrante, Andrea Merlini and Corrado Del Po.
Koinonia Kenya Director Michael Ochieng thanked the various enterprises for their contribution to the project, adding that the capacity of ICT awareness to bridge the digital divide between the third world and the developed world was analogous to Koinonia’s fundamental aspiration to bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots in society.
Fr. Mariano Tibaldo, who is the Provincial Superior of the Comboni Missionaries in Kenya, led the guests in a prayer of thanksgiving, and then spoke of the relevance of ICT to globalization.
“We live in a globalized world,” Fr Mariano said, “Africa needs schools, and it needs to bridge the gap with the rest of the world.”
In his remarks, Fr. Renato Kizito Sesana said that when he founded Koinonia, what he had in mind was a small community that would spread brotherhood and reach out to the immediate neighbouring society, but with time, the idea had diversified into various project areas including rehabilitation work, peace interventions, environmental conservation and mass media.
Before performing the actual unveiling, Chief Guest Gian Carlo Culazzo relayed a message of goodwill from the Italian Embassy, and in a short genteel speech, congratulated Koinonia and its development partners on the completion of the IT lab and for establishing Domus Mariae School, saying such projects provided hope for the future. Mr. Culazzo then unveiled a commemorative plaque with the logos of the various multinationals that contributed to the achievement of the lab project as the modest audience applauded.
After the launch ceremony, the guests were treated to a display by the Domus Mariae Boy Scouts, who sang the national anthem and invited Mr. Culazzo to inspect their guard, after which the school choir sang three uplifting songs to the guests’ acclamation.
School Principal Peter Apiyo closed the ceremony with a brief informal address in which he thanked KPMG and the other multinationals for enabling Domus Mariae acquire a modern ICT facility, saying the effort would go a long way in helping the school achieve its educational objectives.