Children and youth in under-served local communities can now hone their skills and talents through the use of information technology.
Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI) and Intel Corporation recently launched the country’s first Computer Clubhouse at Mater Dolorosa Parish in East Rembo, Makati. AFI vice-chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, AFI president Victoria P. Garchitorena, and Intel Philippines general manager Robin Martin joined clubhouse members and volunteers to celebrate the event.
The clubhouse is an after-school learning facility where community youth can explore their ideas and talents and build self-confidence through technology. It is part of a global network of Computer Clubhouses established in 1993 by the Museum of Science, Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab.
Nearly 300 children have joined the Ayala Foundation Intel Computer Clubhouse at Mater Dolorosa Parish since its soft opening early this year. At the grand launch last May 17, clubhouse members proudly presented their computer-generated artworks to their parents and guests. Clubhouse coordinator Maui Salang also announced that two 13-year-old clubhouse members, Maria Roseta Mayorca and Augusto Guevara Lorca, had been chosen to participate in the Teen Summit of the Museum of Science, Boston in July.
Zobel was visibly impressed with the talent shown by the clubhouse members. “I am happy to hear that this clubhouse has made life more exciting, more interesting and certainly more productive for the young people in the Mater Dolorosa Parish. I believe that these children have great potential, given the right tools and a safe, nourishing environment,” he added.
The clubhouse has 30 volunteer mentors, including employees from companies such as Globe Telecom, who show the basics of using gadgets to the children as they explore their own creativity. Even now, children as young as eight years old know how to operate digital cameras and microscopes or edit videos clips on a personal computer. Over 100 artworks created by the children are now displayed at the Computer Clubhouse.
Noted Salang, “Parents say that they feel fortunate to have the Clubhouse because their children can spend time productively here, instead of being in the streets.”
With the warm show of support from the parish and the local community, Intel and AFI have established a second Computer Clubhouse in Cavite and plan to open a third clubhouse soon. Other companies who support the program include Adobe Systems Inc., Autodesk Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Macromedia, the LEGO Company, and Haworth, Inc.
The Ayala Foundation Intel Computer Clubhouse is located at Mater Dolorosa Parish, J.P. Rizal Extension, East Rembo, Makati. For more information, contact Maui Salang at 881-3185.