Barclays Team Launch New IT Suite

A team of Barclays employees have travelled to Malawi to equip and install a much needed IT resource room in Chisomo Children’s Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi. The team work for the bank at Gadbrook Park at Rudheath, and have raised more than £20,000 to buy the equipment in just nine months. The matched funding scheme at Barclays has doubled the total to more than £40,000.

The money raised by the team has been used to buy equipment for 12 work stations, monitors, keyboards, PCs, keyboards and associated equipment, and to employ an IT teacher for two years. The funding has also paid for air conditioning for the IT suite, and for training for outreach workers and workers in the centre.

The centre already provides a safe place to sleep, as well as medical facilities, food and qualified counsellors; the addition of the Barclay’s IT room will enhance the catch-up education children receive whilst staying with Retrak. As well as the direct benefits of IT skills, children will benefit from greater confidence, self-belief and independence.

During the trip the team will see first-hand the range of ways Retrak is transforming the lives of children forced to live on the streets and families at risk of separating. The team will accompany the children staying at the centre on a day trip to Lake Malawi, visit the slum parts of the city to encourage children to use the centre and visit a women’s self-help group which strengthens families by offering small business loans and support so they can increase their income.

Our huge thanks go to the team, their families and supporters including Barclays, Bexton, Pensby, Leftwich and Wharton primary schools, Rudheath Primary Academy, and the Relish Tandoori and Holdi restaurants. Thanks to their generosity, the team are leaving a lasting legacy of access to education that will allow children forced to live on the streets with the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.