IT students head to Sarawak to work with a community on a project that allows them to put to use their practical skills in a rural or remote setting. An example is where students travelled to a remote community to develop a website for the village homestay program. This project was particularly challenging as the students were required to develop the website with limited access to the internet, requiring them to adapt formal class learning to overcome the technical limitations
In this program, the group enjoy a rich cultural experience while engaging with the community through projects to improve the overall liveability of the local villages.
Learning about local culture and history is important to be able to assist with the development of a project that might provide economic benefit to the community. The program includes a variety of cultural and outdoor activities such as rock climbing, trekking, a visit to local caves and the local market, attempting to cook local foods and even learning a traditional welcome dance! These shared experiences while living in close confines also provides the students opportunities to reflect on their own personal development while learning about another culture.
The program also includes a visit to Sarawak Cultural Village and ends with a visit to the orang-utan at Semengoh Wildlife Centre before an afternoon kayaking back towards Kuching.
"Immense, based on my experience of a similar project at Uma Belor, Kampung Asap, Beluga. Students learn that computers work can be for real people not just highly technical work for business. The students are presented with different challenges, have their eyes opened to a diffeerent culture and enjoy wonderful hospitality"
- Rob Allen, Swinburne University. Program Coordinator