Octobre/October   The computer
bug design
courtesy of Ian
Gibson

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SPES Training Centre SPES has become a registered Vocational and Multimedia Centre under the local authority IVTB (Industrial Vocational Training Board) and we await for adequate funding to extend couses to reach out to the socially disadvantaged school drop-outs. We have started "in-house" training" and some consolidation of our ICT (Informatics Communication Technology) / CAL (Computer Aided Learning) Units that engage in multi-literacy fields and Industrial product-design.

We are delighted to announce that we have several research and University friends that are offering technical support and will participate in this Cyberspace interactive venture.

More details will be available in the future SPES monthly updates, as this unique on-line training system has taken years of Applied Research, thus we are thinking seriously of accepting to extend these courses to the African Region and possibly also on a worldwide basis.

Miscellaneous The SPES Training Crafts and Informatics team enjoyed spending 2 days at a Career Guidance event for school leavers at the Petite Riviere Social Centre. Hundreds of children flocked to the SPES demonstration Stand where thye could have "hands on" experience or watch the SPES Mastercraftsmen at the Pottery wheel or doing Straw-work using traditional finger plaitting.

These kids, some of whom had literacy difficulties, enjoyed also seeing virtual presentations of crafts in our display computers. The kids loved using the computer mice to create and paint virtual objects and learnt about the importance of new ways of storing crafts graphic data and the facilities of Internet communication.

To mark the International Year of the Elderly SPES organised a Cybercafé morning for Grand mothers and Grand children and they all had great fun being creative using the computer mice also to surf to other continents!

Overseas mission

SPES increased communications with most of the Southern and Eastern countries of the African Continent and participated actively at the SEPAC (Small Enterprise Promotion Advisory Council)/SADC (Southern African Development Community) Congress" that took place in Harare Zimbabwe together with an economist from the Chamber of Commerce and a representative of the local SMIDO (Small Medium Industries Development Organisation).

The SPES Representative was re-elected on the Executive Board and is heading the SEPAC Working Group that focus on the theme: "Information, Industrial Technology Development and Transfer".

The Director of SMIDO was elected on the executive board and will be sharing with the Working Group on Policies for SMMEs, so there is plenty of interesting work ahead.

The new chairman of SEPAC, Mr. John Chidzomba, from Zimbabwe, together with the SEPAC Congress Members are working on a Plan of Action to meet the challenges of the oncoming Century 2000.