Linking Schools

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I have been invited to help with a project to connect a poor school in Dallas, Texas with a poor coffee-growing village on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, providing computers to children at both ends. Obviously, the OLPC laptop will not be available for this project, so we will have to raise the cost of some other system. I plan to link as many schools as possible, regardless of the hardware we have to use, so that we will have a base to show governments when the OLPC laptops start to be deployed. I consider the extra expense to be well worth it for the speedup it may offer for OLPC.

Anybody who knows WiFi, VoIP, alternative laptops, or other appropriate technology, or the coffee business, is welcome to talk with us about how we can make this work for this particular school and village. We intend to make the coffee available to OLPC volunteers, and to any organization that supports ending poverty at a profit, to drink or resell, as theiy like. Or any of the rest of the essential work, for example in health, which we can't do at a profit until we get the major global epidemics under control. Then we can talk about micro-insurance for the poor until their governments get their acts together.

Anybody who would like to connect a local school or church or scout troop with some other part of Africa is welcome to sign up for the service. E-mail me, echerlin@gmail.com, for now. We'll get a Web site up separate from this Wiki ASAP. Volunteers welcome there, too.

The plan is to get schoolchildren on both ends of the connection to connect via e-mail, chat, Webcam, blog, and whatever other means we can find, and to learn from each other. Along the way, we want to have the children at both ends learn about the obstacles to development for their new friends, and to assist with Internet-enabled business opportunities and political support. We also want to make such projects a staple topic of the Africa Channel, and from there get into the rest of the media.--Mokurai 07:36, 8 December 2006 (EST)

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