Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association (AGYA)
- Mission: Amagezi Gemaanyi means Knowledge is Power, and AGYA is a non-profit organization committed to creating a safe, supportive, sustainable learning environment where Ugandan youth can develop leadership skills and express themselves creatively. AGYA operates a community center that has provided outreach, education, and services to more than 1,000 people living in poverty in urban Uganda.
- Blog: http://www.amagezigemaanyi.blogspot.com
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amagezigemaanyi
- E-mail: email@example.com
 AGYA XO Laptop Update
- August-October 2010
In August 2010, AGYA Project Leaders, Divinity and Abraham Matovu connected with Nicholas Doiron and Koojo Mathew Apuuli III who work with the Kasiisi XO Project in Western Uganda.
Mathew, who attends Kampala International University, visited AGYA in August 2010. During his visit, Mathew introduced Wikipack software to the children and youth at AGYA. He showed AGYA Project Leader, Matovu Abraham how to install the software on all 10 XOs at AGYA. He also instructed AGYA participants on how to utlitize Wikipack to complete research projects on various topics. Since Mathew's visit, Abraham has implemented Wikipack into the general programming for AGYAs XO project.
In addition to Wikipack, AGYA's participants are utilizing "WRITE" (to practice and improve their typing skills) and "MEMORIZE" (to practice and improve concentration and mathematic proficiency specifically with addition and subtraction).
Students are also enjoying DISTANCE, an activity that determines the physical distance between two XO laptops by measuring how long it takes sound pulses to travel between them. This activity is also known as the "acoustic tape measure."
AGYA holds a children's class and a youth class two days per week at the Community Center. In the children's class, students range between 5 and 13 years old. The youth class has students as old as 17 years old. A total of 31 students are currently participating.
Check out some photos of AGYA's XO project in action:
 XO Laptop in Use @ AGYA Community Center
- June-July 2010
 AGYA Executive Director, Divinity Matovu Speaks to Youth at Audobon Middle School in Los Angeles, California
- June 2010
AGYA Co-Founder and Executive Director, Divinity Matovu is currently exploring the possibility of a collaborative project between AGYA and the FAMLI (Foundation for Arts, Mentoring, Leadership and Innovation) Program at Audobon Middle School in Los Angeles. The details of the project, which would connect youth in Kampala, Uganda with youth in South Los Angeles via the XO laptop, are still being finalized by AGYA Executive Director, Divinity Matovu and FAMLI Founding Director, Torre Reese.
Below, are some photos highlighting Divinity's June 9, 2010 to the FAMLI After-School Program in Los Angeles!
 Project Leader, Matovu Abraham Prepares to Launch Laptop Workshops in Uganda
- May 2010
AGYA has officially received our shipment of 10 XO laptop computers as part of a grant from One Laptop Per Child. The XO laptop is an innovative educational tool designed to be put into the hands of children. This is exactly what AGYA intends to do. Next month, AGYA Co-Founder and Secretariat, Matovu Abraham, who also serves the Project Leader, will implement Phase I of a project that aims to improve the performance of 100 children in English reading and writing proficiency, and improve the performance of 50 children (ages 6-11) in basic Mathematical operations (including addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, and ratios).
After undergoing an extensive tutorial with AGYA's OLPC mentor, Caryl Bigenho, and familiarizing himself with the XO’s software, Abraham has decided to start by using three activities entitled “Write,” “Read” and “Memorize.”
- WRITE serves as the basic word processing application on the XO laptop. Its simple interface provides an easy starting point for children, presenting tools that make writing a story, poem or essay simple and straightforward. It also supports basic tools for inserting images, creating tables, and performing basic layout operations as children begin to require some of these features often associated with word processors. Abraham will use WRITE to teach children how to navigate the keyboard, learn basic typing skills, practice typing speed, and hold dictation and transcription exercises.
- MEMORIZE is the classic memory game of finding and matching pairs. But on the XO, this game is done with a twist. The items in a pair can be any multimedia object, such as images, sounds and text. Abraham will initially use the Memorize activity to help children with simple math operations. For example, the number 7 may be matched with an image of 5+2 or a picture of 7 pineapples.
A Snapshot of the MEMORIZE activity on the XO laptop
- READ features an eBook reader. The XO laptop has a screen that rotates 180 degrees and folds down onto the keyboard, so children can actually read while holding their laptop like a book. With a special focus on children’s literature by African authors, Abraham will use this activity to build the vocabulary and reading comprehension of his students.
A Snapshot of the READ activity on the XO laptop
Although there are more than 20 activities that are available on AGYA's XO laptops and hundreds more being created daily, Abraham selected these activities because they will serve as the foundational building blocks as we work towards our goals of improving the reading, writing, and math skills of Ugandan children.
For the first 2 months of the project, Abraham will hold classes five days every week. These classes will take place after-school and on weekends at the AGYA Community Center. On Mondays and Wednesdays for 1 hour, Abraham will work with 10 students ages 5-8, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 1 hour, Abraham will work with 10 students ages 9-12. On Saturdays, Abraham will hold a class with all 20 students.
The software on the XO’s are provided by the Sugar Learning Platform, a dynamic computer environment composed of Activities designed to help children from 5-12 years old learn together through rich-media expression. Sugar is the core component of a worldwide effort to provide every child with the opportunity for a quality education—it is currently used by nearly one-million children worldwide speaking 25 languages in over 40 countries. AGYA is proud to be a part of the Sugar Learning Platform and the One Laptop Per Child global family.
To learn more about Sugar software, visit http://www.www.sugarlabs.org
To prepare for his workshops, Abraham held a Training Session with volunteers from the University of Southern California. The volunteers, who will travel to Uganda for 4 weeks during summer 2010, will assist with the initial implementation of AGYA's OLPC Project.
 AGYA PROJECT OUTLINE/PROPOSAL
- December 2009
1. Project Title & Shipment Detail
Name of Project: (Amagezi Gemaanyi: Knowledge is Power) Number of Laptops (or other hardware) You Request to Borrow: 10 laptops Loan Length—How Many Months: 20 months
2. Team Participants Name(s) & Contact Info:
Divinity Barkley (Team Leader) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 256753098499 or 213-245-4339 Education: Graduate, University of Southern California (B.A. in Political Science and African Studies; Candidate for Makerere University’s M.A. Degree Program in the Department of Women and Gender Studies Profession: Co-founder and Executive Director, Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association Qualifications: Three years professional managerial experience and extensive training as a youth facilitator and outreach specialist, particularly with at-risk teen girls.
Matovu Abraham (Team Leader) E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 256753098499 Education: Graduate, Lubiri High School Profession: Co-founder and Secretariat, Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association Qualifications: More than 5 years experience working with children and youth.
Sarah Mulekatete E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 25674282492 Education: Graduate, Kasubi Secondary School Profession: Youth Leader & Manager, Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association Qualifications: Has served in leadership positions in AGYA for over one (1) year.
Nelson Kazibwe E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 256756541234 Education: Graduate, Excel Senior School Profession: Youth Leader & Manager, Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association Qualifications: Has served in leadership positions in AGYA for over one (1) year.
3. Project Objectives:
The primary objective is to promote the Amagezi Gemaanyi Computer Lab as a safe learning space for children (ages 6-11) and youth (ages 12-20) by implementing a project that will supplement the Ugandan Primary and Secondary School reading, writing, and mathematics syllabus using the interactive games and applications within the XO laptop as a fun, innovative teaching aid.
* To enhance the functionality of the Amagezi Gemaanyi Computer Lab * To improve the performance of 100 children/youth (ages 6-20) in English reading and writing proficiency * To improve the performance of 50 children (ages 6-11) in basic Mathematical operations (including addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, and ratios) * To provide a safe, nurturing, personalized learning environment * To teach 100 children/youth how to utilize basic typing programs * To enhance the digital literacy and technological communication skills of all project participants
4. Plan and Procedure for Achieving the Stated Objectives:
The implementation of this project will take place at the AGYA Learning Center in Lubya, and will reach out to children/youth living in the urban slum communities of Lubya, Nabulagala, Lusaze, and Nakulabye.
- AGYA will enhance the functionality of the Amagezi Gemaanyi Computer Lab by acquiring 10 OLPC laptops for a period of 20 months
- AGYA will work with our current staff and members as well as the local chief in Lubya and Nakulabye to identify 50 children (ages 6-11) and 50 youth (ages 12-20) who will benefit from the proposed project
- AGYA will improve the performance of 100 children/youth (ages 6-20) in English reading and writing proficiency by utilizing English as the language of instruction during classes, and implementing voice recordings and visual aids to connect words and images. Specifically, we will focus on spelling and correct pronunciation, grammatical skills, building vocabulary, as well as online writing and reading comprehension projects. Students will type their classwork using their XO laptop, conduct live chats with classmates using their XO laptop, and use Wikipedia to find vocabulary definitions.
- AGYA will improve the performance of 50 children (ages 6-11) in basic Mathematical operations (including addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, and ratios) by using pertinent interactive XO laptop applications that focus on math
- AGYA will provide a safe, nurturing, personalized learning environment by limiting class sizes to maximize one-on-one communication with the class instructor, and eventually encouraging students to be innovative and independent with their XO laptops
- AGYA will teach 100 children/youth how to utilize basic typing programs by offering ample time for students to practice typing through dictation and transcription
- AGYA will enhance the students’ digital literacy and technological communication skills by establishing active e-mail accounts and teaching all project participants how to navigate the World Wide Web and conduct basic internet research utilizing popular search engines
Why is this project needed?
Uganda, with a median age of 15 years, has the youngest population in the world (The East African, Dec. 2008 Article, Report from International Social Security Association). Based on even the most conservative estimates, at least 15 million of Uganda's 27 million people (or 55%) are under the age of 20. With little to look forward to, Ugandan children/youth, especially those living in urban poverty, are vulnerable to drug and substance abuse, sexual and labour exploitation, domestic violence, gang involvement and HIV/AIDS. Therefore, Ugandan children/youth living in urban poverty are in vital need of safe spaces where they can express themselves, access information, gain computer skills and digital literacy.
Our target community (children/youth ages 6-20 living in urban slum communities of Lubya, Nabulagala, Lusaze, and Nakulabye), has limited access to the World Wide Web and digital technology, thus are unable to access information and develop the skills needed to actively contribute to the 21st Century Global World
The majority of students in our target community have failed to fully comprehend the fundamentals of Mathematics during their Primary Education, and thus are at a major learning disadvantage as they move forward in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Algebra, Geometry and Calculus. Additionally, the Education System in Uganda focuses on theoretical learning, especially with mathematics. The proposed project will construct mathematics within the practical realm by providing interactive hands-on math games and learning activities.
The majority of students in our target community feel discouraged from speaking English due to the fact that students are often penalized, beaten or humiliated at school if they are “caught” speaking in an indigenous African language. The proposed project will reframe the way students think about English by fostering open dialogue in a nurturing learning environment that does not penalize, but rather engages students through the use of video recordings, audio to enhance pronunciation and comprehension, and interactive games that make learning English fun.
During the 20 month loan period, we will register 100 project participants because every 4 months, we will register 10 new children ages 6-11, and 10 new youth ages 12-20. The youth class will be held twice each week for two hours. The children’s class will be held three times each week for 50 minutes.
We are requesting 10 machines because we would like every student to have their own individual XO laptop. We are willing to work with rebuilt XO machines, but would prefer not to receive damaged laptops as we do not have the funds to repair the machines.
6. Sharing Deliverables
Project URL—where you'll report specific ongoing progress: http://wiki.laptop.org/Amagezi_Gemaanyi
How will you convey tentative ideas & results back to the OLPC/Sugar community, prior to completion?
We will convey tentative ideas and results back to the OLPC/Sugar community via e-mail and through weekly updates to our Project Blog, and monthly updates on AGYA’s Organizational Blog. Updates will include: photographs, short videos, and written testimonials from project participants.
How will the final fruits of your labor be distributed to children or community members worldwide?
Our final results will be distributed to our target community, their families, and the world through the Project Blog, AGYA's Organizational Blog, frequent e-mail updates, and several short mini-documentaries which highlight the progress of each 4-month project that will be posted on the Project Blog, AGYA’s Organizational Blog, and AGYA’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. We will also reach out to local and international media outlets to gain coverage of our project and share the fruits of our labor with the world!
Will your work have any possible application or use outside our community? If yes, how will these people be reached?
Our work can be applied and used by other NGOs and schools in Uganda that have similar goals. We will reach out to these organizations and educational institutions by sending out a hard-copy newsletter highlighting our success, challenges, and lessons learned. We will also provide these organizations and educational institutions with all the information they will need to submit a project proposal. Finally, we will inform these organizations and educational institutions that our team members are willing to serve as mentors/advisors to their proposed projects.
Have you investigated working with nearby XO Lending Libraries or Project Groups?
We researched Lending Libraries, but did not find any in the East African region. Additionally, we investigated the work of project groups, and found projects with similar goals in Kenya and Rwanda. If possible, we would love to collaborate with groups in these areas.
Would your Project benefit from Support, Documentation and/or Testing people?
Yes, our project would benefit from support and documentation regarding usability and functionality. We would like guidance on what types of games and activities have worked well for similar projects in areas similar to urban Uganda. For example, viewing streaming videos online is often difficult to slow network connections, thus we would benefit greatly from advice and recommendations that can help us maximize our usability and avoid common mistakes and pitfalls.
Can we help you with an experienced mentor from the OLPC/Sugar community? (WEB-PUBLISHED)
Yes, we would prefer an experienced mentor who has worked with children and youth living in urban poverty, is able to answer technical questions, and can offer recommendations on specific learning games and activities for our curriculum. We believe that having a mentor would assist us with staying on track, and achieving our key goals.
8. Timeline (Start to Finish)
The following plan/curriculum will be implemented over the course of 4 months with children ages 6-11. Every 4 months, we will register 10 new children and begin a new implementation of the four month curriculum. Classes will be held three times each week for 50 minutes. During the 20 month loan period, we will register 50 children ages 6-11, and complete 5 total curriculum implementations.
Month 1 (Children’s Class)
- Register first round of 10 children · Receive OLPC laptops, set-up the Amagezi Gemaanyi Computer Lab, and install internet access · Introduce Project Objectives and Curriculum Syllabus · Assess participants’ level of computer literacy and math proficiency with online worksheets/activities · Intro to Basic Typing Skills o Learn the rows of the keyboard, how to type letters, symbols, command shortcuts o Based on math assessment from previous week, utilize interactive games that focus on addition – this will be individualized and the level of difficulty will be modified for each student · Continue Typing Practice: Dictation Exercises o Utilize interactive games that focus on typing and figuring out answers to addition math problems
- Continue Typing Practice: More Dictation Exercises (focus on subtraction) · Give students math problems to transcribe; typing exercise and completion of math problems will be timed · Intro to Web-Surfing – utilize Google Search Engine to find online math exercises that focus on both addition and subtraction · Continue Typing Practice: More Dictation Exercises (focus on multiplication)
- Intro to E-mail and Chatting– set up Gmail accounts for all project participants; children will practice sending e-mails and chats to fellow project participants describing how their week has progressed and providing math problems and solutions · Utilize Google Search Engine to find online math exercises that focus on multiplication · Continue Typing Practice: More Dictation Exercises (focus on division and fractions) o Typing exercise and completion of multiplication problems
- Continue with E-mail Exercises-teach students how to upload photos and attachments, format emails, save drafts, and forward emails · Complete a final assessment of computer literacy and math proficiency with online worksheets/activities · At end of month 4, prepare an exhibition for AGYA membership and participants’ families and organize graduation celebration, and conduct final evaluation
The following plan/curriculum will be implemented over the course of 4 months with children ages 12-20. Every 4 months, we will register 10 new youth, and begin a new implementation of the four month curriculum. Classes will be held two times each week for 2 hours. During the 20 month loan period, we will register 50 youth ages 12-20, and complete 5 total curriculum implementations.
Month 1 (Youth Class)
- Register first round of 10 youth · Receive OLPC laptops, set-up the Amagezi Gemaanyi Computer Lab, and install internet access · Introduce Project Objectives and Curriculum Syllabus · Assess participants’ level of computer literacy and English proficiency with online worksheets/activities · Intro to Basic Typing Skills o Learn the rows of the keyboard, how to type letters, symbols, command shortcuts o Based on English assessment, utilize interactive games that focus on vocabulary and spelling – this will be individualized and the level of difficulty will be modified for each student · Intro to Web-Surfing – utilize Google Search Engine to find definitions to vocabulary words o 10 new vocabulary words will be introduced each week; students will need to construct sentences and stories using the vocabulary words and practicing spelling and grammar; students will work individually and in groups of 2-3; by the end of the 4 month curriculum session, students will have learned 120 new words
- Intro to E-mail and Chatting– set up Gmail accounts for all project participants; youth will practice sending e-mails and chats to fellow project participants describing how their week has progressed and sharing their sentences and stories using the vocabulary words · Utilize Google Search Engine to find articles that use the vocabulary words; students will focus on contextualization and reading comprehension · Continue with E-mail Exercises-teach students how to upload photos and attachments, format emails, save drafts, and forward emails · Intro to Blogging – students will work in groups of 2 to make a project about an issue they feel poses a major challenge to Ugandan youth; project must involve internet research and include a proposed solution to this problem
- Continue vocabulary lessons · Intro to Internet Research – students will be assigned different topics/current events; will be required to research, type their findings in their own words, and present to the class · Development of Blog – students will develop concepts for their blogs, post updates, write articles, upload photos, and link to articles and/or online resources
- Continue vocabulary lessons · Continue blogging and internet research · Present blogs to the class · At end of month 4, prepare an exhibition for AGYA membership and participants’ families and organize graduation celebration and conduct final evaluation
Specify how you prefer to communicate your ongoing progress and obstacles!
The team leaders will communicate our progress and obstacles through weekly (sometimes daily) e-mail correspondence with our mentor as well as frequent updates to the Project Blog, and AGYA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.