Digicape and Rotary Skelleftea comes to the iPad party!


CBN is about books. Yup. But we approach books in different ways. Making reading cool is what we do – and using electronic media in that crusade works for us, and works for the young people we reach through our workshops.

Using iPads has been a long-standing dream, but it didn’t seem really possible until recently. We were in discussion with Rotary Skelleftea (in northern Sweden) about the concept of them donating some (numbers varied!) iPads or other tablets to CBN for use in our workshops.

When we approached Digicape, the Mac suppliers in Cape Town with the absolutely best back up service and support, they offered to lend us four to test out our ideas. And then, in an amazing piece of networking, one of the Rotarians from Skelleftea arrived in Cape Town with four students for a workshop and actually met one of the directors of Digicape at a workshop with two iPads.

The Swedish students were part of this too. Their entrepeneurship course at school involves raising the money to buy ten iPads for CBN. To do this they are ‘selling’ the keys on an iPad keyboard, something they demonstrated at the Cape of Good Hope Rotary meeting on Tuesday 4th March when they sold the equivalent of one iPad

It is an incredibly heart-warming bit of international cooperation and generosity. Thank you all.

How will CBN use the iPads:

These are not, in this case, reading tablets. True, we will pre-load texts for use in workshops for groups of children to work on together. But much more excitingly, we will be using them as creative tools. We will be making books.

CBN has made books before and it is a time-consuming and quite costly labour of love. Any two-day workshop can leave us with thousands of pictures to process, piles of hand-written work, drawing, diagrams, maps …

And then the volunteers go home and time passes. Even when the book is compiled, it has to be colour printed and bound. It all adds up.

Today’s young people act as if they were born with devices attached. Give them an iPad and the generation gap immediately becomes apparent as they spring in there and get to work. We are really looking forward to attaching a link to our very first iBook – and it will be about the workshop we have just held with the Swedish students.

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