OLPCorps MIT,HARVARD & LEHIGH -KENYA
Team: Amos Kitur (Harvard), Charles Kiplagat (MIT) and Evans Kosgei (Lehigh)
Location: Kibarani Boarding Primary School, Kilifi, Kenya
Partners: Kibarani Primary School, CFSK, Kemri-Kilifi Wellcome Trust, iEARN Kenya and KenSAP
This team is a collaboration of all KenSAP members, a non-profit organization composed of Kenyan students in various top universities across U.S. The group will be represented by a team of three: Charles Kiplagat (MIT; junior in Chemical Engineering), Kipyegon Kitur (Harvard; senior in Chemistry) and Evans Kosgei (Lehigh; sophomore in Computer Science).
Visit Team page to learn more about each member.
We plan to deploy the laptops to Kibarani Primary School in Kilifi, Kenya from June to mid-August when the school will be in session. Kilifi, which is located along the Kenyan coast, is not only among the poorest districts in Kenya but also has high malnutrition cases. Being one of the most popular tourist destinations along the Kenyan coast, Kilifi is rife with child prostitutes and primary school dropouts. Most of the families in Kilifi depend on relief food and handouts from tourists for their livelihood.
Target Group & Approach
We shall distribute laptops to pupils in grade five which is composed of two streams with 45 pupils each. The head-teacher has already agreed to setup an extra hour-session each weekday exclusive for training and related activities. We will split the 9-week period into three phases.
First Phase, approximately 4 weeks:
• Meet the local administrators, teachers and parents of Kibarani.
• Introduce children to basic and simple programs in XO laptops
• Train teacher(s).
Second Phase, approximately 3 weeks:
• Introduce children to simple programming tools with active participation of the trained teachers.
• Children are guided to collect simple data about their cultural heritage, food crops grown or available within their vicinity and, if possible, list potential local business opportunities.
Last Phase, approximately 2 weeks:
• Children proceed to create a library for the data collected.
• Convene a closing ceremony in which the two streams will complete as well as present some of their creative works to teachers, parents and other students.
There will be creative sessions throughout the period in which pupils will use the tools and programs in the XO laptops for relevant tasks like writing short-stories(WRITE), drawing(TURTLE ART), designing(ETOY, PAINT), programming(PIPPY). They will also do simple translations of study materials from (WIKIBROWSE) into Swahili and other local languages as well as record story telling sessions, local music and dances and other local cultural events. Recorded material can be archived as part of a long-term project to preserve local cultural practices.
Our approach encompasses the idea that children are agents of change in society since they are future leaders. Using skills described above, children will create both cultural and nutritional libraries. With these computer skills, the children will themselves be instrumental in solving the community problems such as child prostitution, poverty, and malnutrition by creating awareness both locally and online. Naturally the parents and other members of the society will be excited to know about XO laptops. These children will also teach their parents, siblings as well as the other community members not only how to use the laptops but also disseminate cultural, agricultural, nutritional and socials facts they have already documented.
Sustainability & Financial Support
As aforementioned, Kibarani primary school will be our local partner. The executive committee of the Parents Teachers Association of Kibarani Primary School met on 03/16/2009 and agreed to support and sustain the OLPC project. They agreed to incorporate the cost of sustaining the project into their school budget. The PTA also agreed to form project sub-committee to oversee and design further sustainability measures. Teachers are also excited and willing to integrate laptops into their classroom environment. Moses Mosobo, a member of KEMRI-Kilifi and Wellcome Trust, will be our point person for the project. Moses with the subcommittee will ensure sustenance of the project- expansion, repairs and electricity. Alex Kibweza, a local IT technician and technical staff of Computers for Schools Kenya have agreed to help with the project during and after deployment. Besides, each KenSAP member has agreed to enlist financial support from their respective institutions to sustain and expand the project in Kilifi. KenSAP Foundation has also declared financial support for the project upon deployment.