Set Up an Internet Cafe


To set up an internet cafe by preparing a room full of used/refurbished computers - on a router for an internet connection and to train a manager and 2-3 staff persons to operate it when the volunteers leave. This is intended to be a place is where those who cannot afford a computer, or are traveling through, could come in to rent computer time by the hour.

Volunteers' Work

Are you really computer and internet savvy? Besides helping to set up desks and computers for this internet cafe, in this project we would expect you to train the staff who will be running the cafe, so they can give some guidance, perhaps some very basic training. You would show them how to watch for and remove, or screen out those who might want to use the computers for wicked purposes.

The permanent staff also need to be setup and ready to take payments for the time, and do some troubleshooting when the computers have problems.

We would request that even when set up, the volunteers stick around as long as they can to supervise the trained staff and make sure they are comfortable with their routines in the internet cafe. They might spot weak areas where more training or advice is needed. For instance, how to help clients do internet searches, and print out downloaded, or created documents.

Type of Volunteers Needed

Young people who are computer/internet savvy and able to set up a ring of computers around a room, testing and doing minor repairs as needed. At least some of the group should be able to train a manager and staff for their roles in running this internet cafe, and show them how to set up a till or money box, and keep records of clients and hours used, etc. They might also need to be able to scrounge around town for necessary parts. Creating posters with rules for computer use and internet safety would be wise too.

Number of Volunteers & Time Required:

3-6 volunteers should be able to do this in three to four weeks. A lot depends on the preparation work that might be done in getting a location ready so as to set up the internet cafe, and lining up the inventory of computers, printers and scanners, etc.

Your Costs

Remember that this church, and the people of this church are extremely poor. While their hearts are filled with glad generosity, you will need to be prepared to cover all costs for your travel and accommodations. If a number of volunteers come at once they may not be able to provide food, and you should be prepared to help out with the purchase of food-stuffs too.

Preparation work PMC Will Do:

Find and buy or rent a suitable office or store-front room(s) on a high traffic street.
Find and set up 4 - 6 computer desks, and computers and printers/scanners, etc.
Find suitable people who will be hired to manage and staff this Internet Cafe.
Settle on fees to charge by the hour or half hour for use of a computer and printer, etc.
Provide billeting or accommodation for the visiting volunteers; make arrangements for meals.
Plan some hospitality times to show the guest volunteers around to see some sights, or meet people.