OLPCorps UCBerkeley Uganda
To make a tax-deductible donation to the UC Berkeley OLPC deployment:
- Send a check made out to "One Laptop Per Child" to P.O. Box 425087 Cambridge, MA 02142 USA. Write "UC Berkeley Uganda" in the subject line.
- Donate online here (http://laptop.org/en/participate/ways-to-give.shtml) by clicking on “donate to OLPC”. When you receive a confirmation email for your donation, respond to the email with the text "UC Berkeley Uganda" and the money will be transferred to our project.
Our goal is to provide children with the tools to teach themselves. Owning an XO laptop will be the first step of unveiling a vast expanse of information and communication opportunities. Youth are naturally more inquisitive and eager to explore than adults, and this gives them an advantage in the use of new technology. In a “trickle up” theory, they will discover new ways of thinking and problem solving that they can then share with their older caretakers and community members. We intend to guide their exploration of the laptops by assigning both group and individual projects that will activate their imagination and challenge them to solve problems that directly influence their lives. Once internet connectivity has been established, we will arrange access to a blog and ask that throughout the school year the children upload stories, pictures, and ideas they have developed through the use of their laptops. The ability to share their experiences and successes, will encourage them to explore the internet and continue creating new uses for their existing XO applications. We will also give them the tools to upgrade and adjust the XO’s programming, so that as they outgrow applications, they can create and install more advanced software and allow the laptop grow up with them.
 Team Members
- Pedagogical Lead: Tiffany Hsieh - Political Science, Public Policy (minor) '10
- Logistical Lead: Marie Collins - Political Economy, Global Poverty and Practice (minor) '11
- Technical Lead: Billy Grissom - Computer Science '09
We will deploy 100 laptops in the village of Buwaiswa, a small rural community in eastern Uganda. We will visit the village briefly from June 3th to June 7th, before traveling to the Kigali orientation, and then return from June 18th to August 17th for the 9 week deployment.
We will work with 100 students age 6-12 in the Buwaiswa Primary School. Classes will be in session throughout the duration of our nine week stay, so we intend to incorporate XO instruction into the daily schedule of lessons. We will host after school information sessions to build support among parents and community. Ugandan classrooms are taught in English, so we should be able to directly communicate with the children. However, because development tends to be more efficient, effective, and eagerly-embraced when local people become leaders of the process, we will be collaborating intensively with teachers and members of our partner NGO. We hope to give them the tools to teach the children themselves, by providing technical training and lesson plans. We will be there every step of the way to help them, but believe that the program will be most effective and sustainable if we transfer much of the responsibility of implementation to community members.
 Local Partner
We will be working with The Organization for Good Life of the Marginalized, a non-governmental organization headquartered in Jinja, Uganda. Their organization objectives are to:
- To improve the welfare and socio-economic development of orphaned children and their elderly grandmothers
- To contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS among the marginalized and to work towards the improvement of sexual reproductive health & rights
- To empower HIV/AIDS orphans, vulnerable children, grandmothers, and women to access economic resources so as to reduce poverty.
They will be our primary resource in fostering community interest and support to create a sustainable program in Buwaiswa. OGLM runs the Buwaiswa Chilren’s Home, which houses HIV/AIDS orphans. They maintain close communication with the Buwaiswa Primary School where we will do our actual laptop deployment. We will work with two of OGLM’s local staff in every facet of the laptop deployment, so that when we leave they will have the full range of knowledge necessary to continue teaching the children, and assisting in the repairs and “end-of-life” removal of the laptops. Hellen Lunkuse, OGLM’s Children’s Computer Trainer and Instructor, will join us in the Kigali training workshop in June. We are putting particular emphasis on training OGLM staff because they have shown overwhelming support and interest in maintaining a long-term commitment to the program. We will also be working with local volunteers with a stake in the sustainability of the program. Also, due to the possibility of teacher turnover, we feel that OGLM will provide a more stable base for program maintenance than primary school teacher training alone.
See our 750 word draft here.
See our working budget on GoogleDocs.