OLPCorps SimmonsCollege Ethiopia

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Proposal: Adana Children Center, Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia

We propose that one hundred XOs be donated to the Adana Children Center in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia under the supervision of Blessing the Children International[[1]] , a non-governmental organization based out of Michigan that has been doing an excellent job in its own goals of providing shelter and education for orphaned Ethiopian children. The organization has pledged their support in this project, and is willing to collaborate in any way needed, such as with translators, assistance in travel to ensure the laptops would arrive at the center safely, et cetera. Because the laptops will be distributed to the children in the care of this credible organization, education and care of the children is financially sustainable even after our team departs as a result of child sponsorships and donations to BCI.

The Deployment

There are approximately one hundred orphans from ages five through thirteen at the center where there will be enough laptops to saturate the center’s child community. There are classroom facilities where the children learn English on a daily basis, and during these classroom hours, time will be devoted to demonstrating the XO’s capacities and guiding the children on how to use it for a variety of projects. While some of the children already understand English, there will also be local translators who speak Amharic (the local language) who will assist in teaching the classes. The laptops can be stored in the classrooms where children can use it whenever they wish and where our team can account that each one is there and working properly. They will then be redistributed to each child in the morning to prevent theft or damage. Laptops will be labeled with each child’s name to preserve assignments and projects the children work on and also to maintain their ownership status. The orphanage does have a source of dial-up internet, and if a wireless router can be set up that can project a wireless source, the children should be able to access the internet on their laptops. This would open up great opportunities for them as far improving their literacy skills and improving the usefulness of the laptops. We would also like to bring one or two printers/scanners with enough ink to last for a substantial amount of time so children may be able to print projects. During our time in Debre Zeyit, not only the children will be taught how to use the laptops, but also the aid workers at the orphanage. By doing so, children will still be able to be guided even after our time in Ethiopia is over, and continue to develop their computer skills and use the laptops as a means for personal development via the XOs’ various programs.

Project Ideas

-Showing the children how to be investigators with the making of a “Why Book”, where the children pose questions about their world and environment, and then use the laptops to conduct research, and then maybe illustrate what they are investigating via the art program on the XO or if it is something local, with the camera inside of the laptops.
-Opening up the world to them with the project of a “Where Book” where the children work in groups, and each week pick a different country in the world and compile information about it. They can use the built-in Wiki, and when the internet works, Google Earth, and other information sources. The children can then present their findings to their classmates, thereby improving their communication skills as well.
-Teaching the children to discover who they are themselves with a “Who Book” where they write and illustrate who they are, what they like to do, their goals for the future, their dreams, what they would like to be when they grow up, where they would like to live, etc.
-Setting up an "E-pal" relationship with a local Boston school where the children send emails to a class telling students who they are and what they are using the laptops for.
-Improve their quantitative methods by demonstrating how to use the calculator application on the XO. Time will also be spent in teaching them about basic finances, such as the value of their currency, why money is important, and how they will one day have opportunities to earn it.


Need Cost
Rosanne’s Airfare from Cairo to Kigali to Addis Ababa to Cairo $1500
Monika’s Airfare from Cairo to Kigali to Addis Ababa to Cairo $1500
Cost to stay at Orphanage for the summer x 2 people, including transportation, food, rooms, etc. $3736
Supplementary classroom supplies, such as maps, writing utensils, paper to make the ‘Books’ $250
Two printers/scanners with ink $250
Two Ethiopian visas for a stay of 90 days $40
Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Typhoid at MGH including mandatory consultation and administrative fees x2 $1023

Total $8,049

Team Members

Rosanne Izzo: Senior at Simmons College studying economics and international relations. She has already been to the center in Ethiopia as a short-term volunteer teaching English to the children in 2006, and will be returning for the laptop deployment.

Monika Koszalka: Junior at Simmons College studying economics and international relations, and will also be traveling to the center for the deployment. She is fluent in Polish and French, and also is knowledgeable in computer technology.

Feras Iskanderani: Sophomore at Northeastern University studying computer science, and also the director of IT and graphic design for Outre Records[[2]], a musical not-for-profit organization. He will stay in the U.S., but is contributing with project ideas, research, and will also provide technical support via the internet during the deployment.