We want to make a difference.
We know this sounds generic, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Our desire is to bridge gaps in access to technology and education that continue to tip the balance of power in the world. We now live in the Creative Age, when solutions to some of the world’s biggest social problems must come from the intersection of technology, innovation and creativity. It is therefore important for children to experience learning in a range of contexts, and use their knowledge and skills creatively to impact the world around them.
Team Access aims to use technology to provide a means for self-expression to children, and help them use creative and media arts as a tool for social change.
Project- “Healthy Minds + Healthy Bodies = Healthy Communities”
Our local partner is Amajika Youth and Children’s Arts Project who has branches in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, South Africa. Founded in 1976, Amajika is an NGO that provides youth from impoverished areas access to opportunities denied to them during the apartheid era. While they work using mainly the arts as a catalyst for social development, they wish to incorporate technology into their curriculum. Visit http://www.tunokwe.com/Amajika.htm for more information.
We will deploy 100 XO's to 100 children ages 6-12 from Amajika’s target communities. We will pose the question: What makes a healthy community?
Using the project-based approach we will focus on two core issues: HIV/AIDS and Self-Esteem, and explore them through music, theatre and visual/media arts. Learning through the arts empowers young learners to express themselves and become problem-solvers. Using the XO, children will explore challenges, create solutions and disseminate knowledge to their community. This way, teaching and learning will be neither passive nor
unidirectional, but will flow back and forth between teacher, child and community.
Students will be on holiday from June 27th- July 17th. During these three weeks we will work with them each weekday using arts integrated learning activities (see chart below). The children will perform a play about HIV/AIDS as their final product. Thus they will become change agents by delivering a message to their community through theatre.
Once the holiday ends we will continue Saturday workshops for the remaining five weeks. Children will be encouraged to chat with one another during the week and given smaller projects that facilitate family learning. For example: Create a story with a buddy or family member.
We will spend the remaining weekdays training Amajika staff and volunteers so they can continue to use the XO’s in their programming. We will help Amajika fulfill previous goals of transforming part of their facility into a computer lab where children with XO’s can teach and mentor those without.
Fundraising: Propose a CMU sponsored OLPCorps Africa team for every year. As part of this, CMU will have an annual fundraiser that will raise funds for the current year's team as well as the previous year's NGO.
Social enterprise: Propose that CMU (or Pittsburgh companies) make special edition t-shirts featuring Amajika Youth artwork. All proceeds from sales go to the Amajika XO initiative.
Setup: We will spend our first ten days receiving and setting up the equipment. There is a catholic school with 24-hour security located opposite Amajika’s facility. They have agreed to receive and store the equipment. Amajika has already sourced two local IT specialists who will set up the server and provide technical support throughout the program. Amajika has ADSL connection and has assigned space for storing the server.
Classroom management: Amajika will provide 10 additional staff members to aid in classroom management.
Transportation: Amajika will transport students to and from the facility daily.
Communication: Children learn English at school, but communicate at home in their local dialects. Local staff will help to conquer any language barriers.
Evaluation: Qualitative data using journal entries.
Letter of Support
Sample Program Activities
||• Create weekly podcast episodes “for kids, by kids” focusing on project theme.
• Free and Open Source
|• Outreach and Advocacy
||• Create print media to advocate community issues.
||• Explore healthy self-esteem practices, and use journal writing at home as an internal process.
• Tam Tam
• Turtle Art
|• Child Ownership
|• Digital Stories
||• Interview community members/experts and create short scenes for the play
|• Play Production
||• Research and work collaboratively as actors in a play focused on spreading awareness of HIV/AIDS to the community.
• WikiBrowse English
|• Music and Composition
||• Explore the characteristics of rhythm and sound as they create musical soundtracks for the play and their personal experiences.
||• TamTamJam, Edit, Mini and Synthlab
||• Child Ownership
|• Friendly Fridays
||• Participate in child to child mentoring activities where children will be encouraged to bring peers within the community to explore learning.
||• Various software applications
||• Low ages
• Free and Open Source
Meet the Team
Carnegie Mellon University
|Masters, Arts Management
Course work includes: Technology Planning, Financial Analysis
|•Over 8 years of teaching experience in arts and computer science.
•Managed public education projects in the Caribbean, UK and Ghana
•Cert. in Theatre in Education
|Masters, Arts Management
Course work includes: Database Theory and Practice, Arts Education
|• 3 years education experience, arts, math and communications
•Implemented non-profit advocacy initiatives for arts education
•Cert. Visual Arts Education, K-12
||Chief Executive Officer
||Amajika Youth and Children’s Arts project
||Incredible Connections, SA
|Tebogo Richard Mathoko
||Ultra Tech Solutions