During the April holidays, the Geekulcha Vacation Work (gkVacWork) programme hosted 107 youngsters from different parts of Gauteng for the ICT and Business development programme. The 17th edition of the programme took place at the Codetribe Academy in Tshwane, at The Business Clinic in Johannesburg and bi-weekly at St. Andrews School Ekurhuleni (Bedfordview).

The VacWork programme is powered by The Innovation Hub and City of Tshwane in line with the FabLab Youth Innovation school’s programme. “The collaboration with various organizations helps us align more efforts and is critical to creating a shared future for digital scene of the country”, says Tiyani Nghonyama, programme’s Strategic Lead.

April edition of the VacWork was also in partnership with The Business Clinic, mLab Southern Africa, Geek_In_U, Bukho Bami and supported by Brainstorm Magazine and Standard Bank.

As young as 9 years old, the youngsters spent holidays with the Geeks being mentored/trained by university students who volunteered for the programme. Up 16 students, of whom 8 were female, redistributed their skills to the young ones developing mobile apps, websites, electronics and business cases at the end.

A theme is always assigned to the programme and the April theme is Digital Age: Community Enablement and Safety. In light with this year’s ITWeb Security Summit Hackathon #SS18Hack, the programme also took focus on building Information Security skills onto the Future GeekStars (VacWork participants).

Here are the 3 winning solutions:

1st Place: Beyond The Galaxy
They highlight that Manhole covers are not entirely effective as sewage can seep through. They have come up with a sewage monitoring solution to provide ease and better.

2nd Place: Group Protection
Waterproof bags that allow children to go to school even when it is raining

3rd Place: Konnekt Access
Helping learners with study materials, motivation and guidance for success

Spot prizes were given to the best mentor, best female star, best presenter and an ultimate GeekStar. All received miscellaneous items from The Innovation Hub, Standard Bank and Geekulcha.

Checkout the VacWork in photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm9E3xRj

As part of the programme, a Tech Debate was hosted to stimulate and engage the youngsters in conte, blockchain for the electoral voting system, PoPI act violation in the 4th Industrial Revolution and others.

Youngsters from N.M. Tsuene High School won the Tech Debate on the Affirmative side: This House Believes That cheaper data prices will help create more digital jobs the digital transformation process. Debate topics included things on TV licenses for mobile.

The Tech Debate in Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmfGAuur

Next editions of the VacWork will take place in Limpopo and the Northern Cape to build more digital skills onto young people.

Applications on: future.geekulcha.com