project funded by
South East Europe
As part of a grant from the World Bank Post Conflict Fund, BILD helped establish a self-sustaining, student-run computer center managed and owned by the university student organization Progres, an organization dedicated to helping students with special needs.
The computer center, we 21 computers, offers quality internet access in a respectful friendly atmosphere. The computer network is safeguarded and filtered to prevent access to inappropriate websites. The center is used by students, children, and adults.
The center generates enough income to provide employment to 4 students and provide monthly stipends to students with special needs. The center has been so successful that since its founding in 2003 with $11,890 in equipment from BILD, STARnet has twice bought a new generation of computers with their own funds. BILD continues to support STARnet by providing necessary support in securing its annual rental agreement with the university and also through joint projects.
STARnet provides BILD with all of its information technology needs and provides computer services to its associate partners and its international guests.
For the price of a cup of coffee (1KM – $0.70), STARnet provides a computer with full internet access, ftp folders, and relevant software for one hour. The income generated from this service pays for rent, utilities and 4 employees plus enough additional funds to provide monthly stipends to 6 students with special needs and funds for all new computers every 3 years.
STARnet was created with equipment that volunteers earned through BILD's community service program. 40 volunteers worked a total of 785 labor hours being of service to their community and thereby earned $11,890 in computer equipment. Working together not only resulted in equipment, but also productive healthy relationships, a strong sense of ownership and a genuine feeling of partnership with BILD which in turn provided the long term basis for a self-sustaining project.