Lack of electricity cannot stop an SVD missionary to teach computer

SVD Chad, Africa

Computer Class administered and handled by Divine Word Missionaries in Chad

What would you do if you were part of the first Divine Word Missionary group to serve in the Republic of Chad and found yourself without electricity or basic resources?

Well, naturally you’d teach a computer class, right?

That’s what Divine Word College graduate Fr. Huy Tran, SVD did a few years ago as a seminarian during his Cross-Cultural Training Program.

Eager to make a difference and filled with drive and determination, Fr. Huy knew that he wanted to take an approach that would create lasting change in the community. And he was certain that education would be the key.

Undeterred by the conditions, he took an old, dusty 13-inch Toshiba laptop and restored it. Then he transformed his 10-foot by 10-foot office into a classroom.

Fr Huy Tran SVD

“We had a little generator so my first class was four students,” he said. “Every time they came, they brought a quart of gas to put in the generator and that is how we learned the first course.”

It was the first opportunity that his students had to even touch a computer – universities in the region don’t have such classes. Fr. Huy set out to achieve an ambitious goal: to teach Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint to his first group of students. Despite discouragement from some people who didn’t think it was possible to educate locals about technology, the pupils quickly soaked up the information.

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