OLPCorps CUNYBaruch Ghana
This team's proposal can also be accessed on the CUNY Baruch - Ghana page
 OLPC Proposal – Ghana, CUNY Baruch
Oliver Takacs, Derek Richardson, Cyril Dzomeku
In June 2009, our team will travel to Ghana to distribute 100 laptops as part of the One Laptop per Child program. We hope to create a springboard for 6-12 year children to attain their aspirations through the invaluable resource that is education. Our project consists of a team of three college students dedicated to the cause of spreading education and inspiring empowerment in children of rural Ghana. In collaboration with our supporting NGO, Children Rights International- Ghana (www.crighana.org), we will deploy to Ghana’s rural Eastern Region, north of Accra. Our NGO is prepared to connect us with a local network of students in the area. Our deployment will revolve around being immersed in the environments of which the 6-12 year old children will grow up to shape. Our sole purpose will be teaching children to use these tools, as to empower them to actively pursue their education independently and among their peers in areas with limited access to the learning methods and tools that our team will provide.
During our deployment the students will be on their summer holiday. Our team will take advantage of the children’s free time by announcing daytime sessions within the communities that our project operates in. We will take full advantage of the XO’s capability by creatively exploring programs such as Turtle Art, Wiki Browse, and EToys to empower students’ control their learning experience through “learning by doing.” Two of our teammates are network specialists, which will be valuable in allowing the children to discover the sense of community that connecting their laptops will offer. We believe that by encouraging peer-to-peer learning within the community, the impact this technology has after our deployment is limited only by the students’ desire for knowledge. After the students become acclimated with using the XO’s, our hope is to have a session involving the parents of the children. This will not only give us a chance to show parents how to become actively involved in their child’s learning experience, but also an opportunity for the children to demonstrate their newfound proficiency with the technology.
Our team consists of three students from New York City. The first of which is Oliver Takacs, a 28 year old BBA student from New York City’s Baruch College (www.baruch.cuny.edu). Oliver studies Computer Information Systems and minors in International Economics. Oliver has earned an Associate Degree in Computer Science with honors and earned the Academic Excellence in Computer Science Award. He has extensive server and networking skills, which will be crucial in fully utilizing the laptops in a community learning environment. His pedagogical skills include working as a camp counselor with 8-14 year old children and tutoring students in his college. Next is Derek Richardson, a 23 year old undergraduate student majoring in Journalism and French at the City University of New York. He is actively involved in his school’s newspaper, and will use his experience to document our immersion into Ghanaian culture. Derek hopes to use his degree to work as a field journalist in sub-Saharan Africa and inspire an invested interest in the issues that face this diverse continent. Our third teammate is Cyril Dzomeku, an Information Technology major attending New York’s Monroe College. Cyril is a native Ghanaian from a region north of Accra, where our team will be deployed. He is a Certified Computer Technician who interned with Orphan International refurbishing donated laptops to be given to orphans in Pakistan, Indonesia, and Tanzania. Cyril speaks local languages Ewe, Twi, and Ga, and has extensive knowledge of the topography and culture of the country. Part of his family still lives in the area of our deployment. Cyril will add an invaluable connection between our team, our project, and the nation which we hope to aid.
There is more information on our team website: www.walkingdowntheroad.com
We chose Ghana due to its vibrant culture and commitment to education. Ghana is an English speaking nation with a commitment to learning, where 28-40% of its annual budget is spent on education. CRI-Ghana has had successful OLPC programs in Ghana, and has committed to perpetuating the program after our departure. By realizing that children are not just pupils but vehicles for change, the effects of our program will only be amplified by the community to which we deploy. We know that Ghana is an ideal destination for our team to inspire education and reinforce the principles of One Laptop per Child.
Our budget can be accessed here: OLPC CUNYBaruch Ghana