Working in the online sphere, it isn’t hard to fathom the incredible amounts of good that social media offers. Despite all the negativity, social media has become a truly democratic space, in which sometimes citizens come together to help one another.
Very few media ventures around the world would know this facet better than The Better India. It is a platform where we highlight common citizens doing incredible things, and in the process create a ripple effect where others interested in these stories contribute their time, money and expertise to these causes.
One story which has won the internet in the past week is the one about a school teacher in the West African nation of Ghana. The image of Richard Appiah Akoto teaching students Microsoft Word at the Betanese M-A Junior High School in Sekeydomase town, without a computer, went viral on Facebook.
What is remarkable about the image was that Richard had neatly drawn and intricately designed the entire Microsoft Word template on a blackboard, teaching this basic computer programme to his students.
Since 2011, Richard’s (who goes by the name of Owura Kwadwo Hottish on Facebook) school did not have computers, but it didn’t deter him from fulfilling his commitment as a teacher of computer technology. With his image and story going viral on Facebook, the Ghana arm of the Indian company NIIT donated five computers, a laptop and books to his school.
It is a simple gesture that has won hearts.
“We saw the news going viral on Facebook and other social media platforms. We were so touched by the teacher’s dedication to his students that we decided to support the school with the best we could do as an IT training organisation,” said Ashish Kumar, the NIIT Centre manager in Accra to the Hindustan Times.
Elaborating further, he said, “We took a printout of the post, pasted it on our notice board and discussed the matter with our group CEO Kapil Gupta. He is the one who decided to sponsor five new desktops and books for the school and a new laptop for the teacher.”
He also added that this donation was part of NIIT Ghana’s CSR outreach programme.
It was last Monday when the NIIT officials travelled to Sekyedmase to meet Richard and his students, and offer them the desktop computers, a laptop and books. The ripple effect of Richard’s image and story on Facebook continues to take shape with other donors giving away computers and other necessary material to Richard’s school. Microsoft Africa has taken things a step further and flown Richard to Singapore for the annual Microsoft Educators Exchange.