Projects/MaasaiConnection

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Objectives

Our project objective is to create equality for the Maasai in Kenya. One of our main ways of doing this is through education in the following ways:

• Provide online tutoring to rural Maasai students to enable them to pass the Kenya Certification of Primary Education (KCPE) test and thus achieve entrance into secondary school.

• Provide a digital library to Maasai students, helping to alleviate the desperate need for books.

• Give the resources to match students’ excitement to learn.

• Establish a laptop lending library for students to use them at home and outside of school.

• To enable webcam communication for pen-pal programs between rural Maasailand and “western” societies.

Timeline

Present – June 19th: We are preparing the project and acquiring the resources needed to be successful. We are communicating with the Maasai community leadership to insure that this project is congruent with their aspirations.

June 19th – August 9th: we will be in Maasailand working directly with the communities implementing the step-by-step plan outlined in section four.

August 9th – Future: We will stay in touch remotely via Internet communication. There will be yearly student trips back to the communities that Prescott College is involved with on an on-going basis with the education center.

Our success will be shown with the excitement of the students sharing what they have learned through the XO laptops, digital library and internet resources. Quantitatively, success will be proven when the students grow to the age of taking the KCPE test.


Needs

The schools we work with have very little educational materials making the availability of the laptops an invaluable resource.

The KCPE test is required to graduate to the equivalent of the 8th grade and move on to secondary school. Students get one shot at passing and if they fail they cannot proceed with their education. Less than 1% of Maasai have ever passed the test because they have not had the resources—schools have few books, and no electricity for studying after dark.

Educational success will provide the Maasai with more employment opportunity once they finish school. With a higher number of employed Maasai community members, funding for rural schools will dramatically increase. Education is the greatest possible recourse for all of these people and with it their possible futures are endless. With the communities’ current situation educational recourses are limited. They have only a few books and pamphlets and those are locked away behind a wire cage so that they are not destroyed by over usage. The XO laptops can provide the Maasai people with Internet resources, digital books, educational games and other incredible educational tools that will advance them far past their current situation. These communities need these laptops so that they will no longer be educationally handicapped-- not by their mental ability or desire to learn, but simply by their lack of modern resources.

This project will further the OLPC mission by creating a valuable connection to a successful application of the program. Outside of the OLPC community, access to XO laptops will bring cross-cultural communication between western school children and the Maasai communities through tutoring and pen-pal communication. The XO laptops are needed for the project because their durability and design will function perfectly in the rural area where the Maasai live.

We work with numerous students and schools that need more solid educational resources. These computers will be serving more than 540 students. Since this is such a large community we plan on having a library system where students can check out laptops. In addition we are doing presentations asking for older laptops that people are no longer using to increase the size of the library. We are requesting 10 X0 laptops because we want to make the computers available to as many students as possible.

Salvaged/rebuilt or damaged XO Laptops would be welcome (as long as they are still functioning). The people we work with are desperate for whatever they can get and every little bit will advance them far beyond their current educational situation.


Project URL: MaasaiConnection.org

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