12/23/2013 - Computers at the Core - Interview with Ary Brami, Negba's IT Director
A new computers station at the Helene and Nathan Samuel House of Hope in Beersheva was recently installed. We met with Ary Brami, Director of Negba's Information Technology Department:
What is the importance of computers at Negba's Houses of Hope for children?
"Since Negba was established, one of its goals was to facilitate children's access to computers and the Internet. Most Negba children do not have computers at home, and today, the use of computers is a must. We cannot leave the children without knowledge in this important area."
How do Negba's kids utilize computers?
"First of all, the use of computers allows children to reduce the educational gap they have in school with educational software available on the computer. In addition, school requires children to complete assignments on a computer - website searches, for example- which is not possible for kids who don't have a computer at home. Using computers, the children also enjoy access to the full cultural world - music, videos and games- all under supervision by Negba's counselors so as not to be exposed to the dangers of the Internet."
Does each Negba House of Hope have a designated computers room?
"There used to be a designated computer room in each House of Hope, with two units of children (15 kids in each unit) from each House sharing the computer room. Last year we made a significant change and transferred the computers into the activity rooms of each unit, enabling 3 kids to share a computer instead of 4 kids when the computers were in a designated room. Not only did this provide more flexible access for more kids to the computers, but it also freed up the computers room for other use."
Speaking of needs, the computers must be a great expense for Negba.
"Absolutely, it is a high cost to Negba. We try to find creative solutions. For example, we attempt to create partnerships with businesses. One company, Bank Hapoalim, donated 20 used computers in good condition two years ago, which we refurbished for use by Negba's children. We also expend great effort to maintain our computers and extend their work-life, but over time they inevitably become obsolete. Negba is also growing, so consequently the number of computers needed continues to grow."
How many computers does Negba currently own, and how many must be purchased this year?
"There are currently over 70 computers for the children at Negba, many of which will need to be replaced. We expect to acquire an additional 15-20 computers this year."
How can people help Negba?
"Any donation is welcome, and will be devoted entirely for the benefit of Negba's children. Details are available on our website. And, like Bank Hapoalim, you can donate your used computers to us, and we'll make great use of them."