The recently launched Digital Learning Hub (DLH) in Mayfield Square Shopping Centre in Daveyton, Gauteng showcased a learning facility in a retail space that aims to positively impact the community by improving the education of local school learners and providing retail IT services and dynamic training opportunities for young adults.
The DLH is a high-impact model developed by Edunova, a non-profit organisation focused on improving education in South Africa. The DHL is supported by the Digital Skills for Jobs and Income (DS4JI) project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in partnership with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT).
The Hub is staffed by a mix of experienced permanent staff and out-of-school youth engaged in a digital skills programme designed and facilitated by Edunova.
“What is particularly inspiring about this innovative hub is that it brings learning and technology right to the learners and their families and makes these much-needed opportunities easily accessible. “Leave no one behind” is a leading principle of international and German development cooperation and we can see this principle being implemented within this hub”, said Christian Gruen, head of cooperation from the German Embassy.
"Our goal is to positively impact the community and empower young learners to achieve their full potential," said the team at the DLH. "We aim to bring access to learning into the retail space, providing services that bridge the digital divide and support the development of digital skills in the community," said John Thöle, founder and CEO of Edunova South Africa.
The DLH provides a range of services and programmes, including education and learner support, digital skills training, virtual reality, gaming, 3D printing, coding, technical services for computers and laptops, computer accessories, photocopying, typing of CVs, and an internet café. The team is made up of dedicated educators and trainers who are committed to empowering learners of all ages and backgrounds with the resources and tools necessary to succeed in today's digital age. The hub welcomes all learners to join and benefit from its offerings and contribute to their continued growth and development.
The team at the hub believes that by providing access to these services, they can help to improve the education of local school learners and support the development of digital skills in the community.
"The Digital Learning Hub is more than just a retail store," said the team. "It is a community-focused space that aims to empower learners and support the development of digital skills. Our focus is on providing services that bridge the digital divide and support the development of digital skills in the community."
The launch was attended by partners, the German Embassy, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Cubisol Property Group,Yes4Youth, PropertySmith, the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies (DCDT), teachers and educators from local schools in the area who all expressed their support for the DLH's mission to improve access to education and technology in the community. The DLH team is excited about the opportunity to create a space that positively impacts the community and empowers young learners to achieve their full potential.
"We are thrilled to launch The Digital Learning Hub and are excited about the positive impact it will have," said the team. "Our longer-term goal is to enable the hub to be owned and managed by young entrepreneurs, empowering them to drive innovation and development in their community."
The Digital Learning Hub is now open to the public and the team invites all members of the community to come and visit the space, learn more about the services provided, and see how they can support the development of digital skills in the community.