About the project

The Dell solar-powered Learning Lab is a project that was started in partnership with Dell Technologies in 2011. We built our first centre in Lagos, Nigeria and then decided to build locally in South Africa from 2013. Since then we expanded the programme by installing 12 new Dell Solar Learning Labs in South Africa, 2 in Kenya, 1 in Morocco, 1 in Colombia and 1 in Mexico; this brings our total to 21 labs.

We have seen the impact this model can have in previous projects, it’s uniquely designed to bringing about change in difficult environments.

The installation of the classroom provides access to technology for the first time, but beyond that, the installation of a solar learning lab is a message of inclusion and a force of change for a community or a school that needs transformation.

I can now confidently use the computer for various purposes and this has made me believe that I am not limited in any aspect of my academic life – 

Emmanuel Okere, Student of State Senior High School, LAGOS NIGERIA

Alejandro and Alejandra work on a solar learning lab

Our Objective

It’s been proven that technology can help to engage students in lessons, regardless of the subject.

By incorporating technology in an education setting, the children who might have limited or no access to technology and education, now have access to both.  

The project provides a sustainable philanthropic solution to any corporate or individual who wants to impact under-served children and youth.

By contributing access not only to technology but also to an ICT curriculum, every school where the Solar lab arrives will also benefit from our teacher centred training-process.

Users of a solar lab standing outside the lab in Sierra Leone

Mission Statement

Our Purpose and Promise


Benefits of sponsorship

Did you know that in South Africa you can reduce your tax burden by donating to charity?

Whether you're a South African individual or a business, your donation to our Solar Learning Lab project, as a registered non-profit organisation, qualifies you to receive an 18A tax deductible certificate that you can submit together with your annual returns to SARS. In addition, businesses can receive B-BBEE points for their donations as 100% of our beneficiaries are Black (as per the Codes of Good Practice).

Our Focus Areas


This is an affordable solution to provide access to ICT in a secure and comfortable environment. Providing an opportunity to expand Corporate Social Investment (CSI, or CSR) and corporate sponsorships.


It’s a fast way to deliver change without having to build brick and mortar style infrastructure which also allows relocation of  infrastructure if needed. Therefore the investment will not be lost if circumstances change at a school or community.

Community Development

We will work in partnership with NGO’s and schools to assess their needs for the solution & build in country. Set up in communities as a message of inclusion for the local beneficiaries, focusing on community ownership and empowering.


The entire model runs off solar power and sustainable products like second hand shipping containers.


Each lab program must have an ICT curriculum that is measurable for its impact on the child.

We’re one of the longest running ICT for development charities, and with projects across the world, we have a wealth of experience. 

You can check out some of our previous case studies here

We believe that education and technology are a powerful way to fuel development. We work with in country partners to help adapt training to the local curriculum. The qualification we train the teachers to get is the International Computer Driving License (ICDL), which is recognised globally, with centres all over the world. In South Africa we use the Computer 4 Kids methodology to increase the number of ICT enabled schools. We believe this is the best way to build resources for a sustainable impact. Our commitment to our mission has seen us working in 9 different locations across the country identifying and addressing challenges particular to each case, assessing and improving the efficacy of our model and its impact, and providing long-term support and results-led lesson sharing.

We have chosen South Africa because there is a national commitment to improving ICT for Education in schools but a shortage of training-capacity and equipment. Now, having proven the success of our model, we are aiming to set up a scalable Solar Power Learning Lab program in South Africa impacting 50 Schools in Mpumalanga or Eastern Cape provinces for the first time, training teachers and providing them with digital content which will be customised and aligned with the national curriculum. We will help teachers leverage technology to benefit the wider curriculum and monitor the effect on teaching and the student learning experience.

We have chosen Mexico because there is a growing skills gap between the public and private schools in the suburbs. Young people in Mexico have been traditionally served by the public education system and often don’t have access to new technology and ICT education. This access gap is exacerbated among lower socioeconomic classes, which seldom enjoy the tools and curricula offered by schools in more affluent areas. In addition, Mexico ranks last among OECD member nations in household access to broadband Internet

We have chosen Ethiopia following the success of our previous work there, the appetite for digital skills has been proven and we believe Solar Learning Labs could make an even bigger impact. Ethiopia ranks 174 out of 188 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Report, making it a critical area for educational investment. Our first Solar Learning Lab in this country will complement Dell’s first large-scale Youth Learning program in Ethiopia which aims to raise digital literacy rates. The conclusion of the 2017 study Educational Technology Implementation in Ethiopian High Schools (CHAP, Assefa, Temtim) stated that:

“ICT has many benefits for Education. But for developing countries like Ethiopia, there is a serious knowledge gap of how to appropriately integrate ICT in their educational system.”

Computer Aid have helped

15 million people access technology, enable over 1 billion hours of access, send over 260,000 computers to over 100 countries

How will we measure our impact?

  • Before
  • During
  • After

We will work with partners in country to select schools and communities where there is an identified need for access to technology.

We will monitor the set-up of the lab in each schools, to ensure that it is working correctly before it's used.

We will conduct a base-line survey to measure the ICT literacy of participants in the project before the training starts.

We will identify a minimum of 3 teachers to be trained in core ICDL modules at each school/lab.

We will ensure students can access and use e-Learner materials and curriculum at each school/lab 

We will provide access to digital STEM learning content and materials.

We will work with our in-country partner to provide necessary IT support to the schools/labs

We will conduct an end-line survey to compare with the first survey.

We will asses how many teachers passed each module and examine any barriers which might be preventing further achievement.

We will record qualitative data from students and teachers to find out how they feel the lab has impacted their education.

The lab design

We've had many design variations working with the architecture firm Squire and Partners, and we've streamlined the design of our solar learning labs

Item Quantity
Power Edge T430
Projector Dell M900
Windows Server 2012
Dell Monitor 19
Dell Mobile projector
VMware Horizon View
Wyse 5010 Thin Client

* This will be covered by Dell for the first 3 labs


Following the success of our Solar Learning Labs with Dell in the past few years, Dell are supporting this project. Dell is committed with this initiative by donating the funds, the technology and support for the first lab and the technology and support for another 3 labs to be deployed in 2019.

Fund one of our solar learning labs!

You can give a little or give a lot! Every bit counts and will help us to continue providing access to technology

Fund a Lab