Two students, David de Villiers and Kian Strydom, who are enrolled in Community-based learning (code: JCP), a compulsory course of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, have assisted PEN NGO shelters and communities across Tshwane by developing an app for use by the Tshwane Homelessness Forum. The purpose of the app is to assist workers in their management of shelter needs and supplies during the C0VID-19 epidemic so that they can optimally provide for and assist their communities.
|David de Villiers
David and Kian, who are both second-year Computer Engineering students, reflected on the project as follows:
‘We felt that we could really make a difference in our community, especially during the ongoing pandemic, by assisting with efforts to offer homeless people a safe place to stay. This was our way of giving back to our community by using the skills we have acquired. Undertaking the project during the lockdown period was challenging as we could not communicate and collaborate face to face, but had to rely on online resources. We decided to split tasks and developed the front and back ends of the app separately before combining the code to make a fully functional app. During the process we learnt a lot from one another and on its completion we had greatly increased our knowledge of, and skills in the technical development of an app. Most importantly, we learnt about the issues facing our community and how important it is to help in any way possible, in this instance by incorporating technology to find solutions to current problems.’