OLPCorps UCBerkeley Zambia

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Umoja OLPC

Project Name:"Umoja Ya Wa Toto Kwa Dunia Ya Computer", or "Unity of Children in the World of Computers" in Swahili
Participating Schools: University of California, Berkeley & Cavendish University of Zambia
Deployment Location: Lusaka, Zambia

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(Meheba) -12.554564, 25.72998, UNHCR Meheba Refugee Camp Meheba, Zambia http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/GNA?page=zmb&newsid=47b2f4422 5#B2FF7108 </googlemap>

About Us

The Cal OLPCorps team has partnered with FORGE to deploy XO laptops in Zambia. Originally, we intended to run the project in the Meheba Refugee Settlement in rural Zambia. However, we soon discovered that the project and investment of power infrastructure would be unsustainable in the long-run with the prospect of repatriation for the current refugees. As a result, we have shifted the focus of our project towards working directly with refugee university students as part of our team to deploy laptops to a primary school in Lusaka, Zambia. Many of the refugee students are pursuing degrees in non-profit management, so this is also a great opportunity for them to gain experience for similar roles in the future and for OLPC to invest in the next generation of local leaders.



Umoja connects The Arthur Winna primary school with access to open information through the technology provided in the XO laptops.

The number of Arther Wina students who have used computers is very small. Even though no actual percentage could be obtained from the Deputy (Vice) Headmaster Patricia Musokota, there was a computer program at the school for a short time, but it was fee-based so most students couldn't attend. Plus it was for the upper grades so the students who were involved have left the school. The staff with whom we met thought that a few students might have computer access outside of school. My guess is 1%.


Umoja shares knowledge that inspire our future generations.

Through interaction and collaboration with Arthur Wina primary school students, our Berkeley Team and Zambia Team will share our experience in mentoring capacity. Kids will share XO laptops to create and publish contents in print and on the web. Umoja will partner with existing summer session curriculum.


Umoja empowers societies to create vibrant communities by taking an initiative to education children

OLPCorps Proposal


Umoja OLPC Team

Umoja is a true partnership among Berkeley team, Zambian team and grassroot educators. In order to engage the local community in a sustainable manner and provide knowledge-sharing at every part of this process, half of our team will consist of local university students in Lusaka. As the International Team works to find resources and partners for the deployment, our counterparts in Zambia will begin working with local primary schools. Over the summer, the two sides will come together for mentorship and a knowledge-transfer of technology, resources, and local community practices.

Berkeley Coordinators

Role Name University Major Driving Force
The Architect Jessica Yueh UC Berkeley Business Administration & Development Studies Effecting change starts with connecting individuals. Collaborative action and equal access to resources, technology, and education can break down barriers to growth.
The Geek Jack Chi Rice University

UC Berkeley

Computer Science, Managerial Studies, & Psychology I believe every child is a miraculous marvel of the world, and the impact on future generations is our shared legacy.

The Pedagogue Laura Keys Washington University in St. Louis

UC Berkeley

Computer Science, Linguistics, Mathematics Access to information should be universal; education and forces from within communities can make a change for the better.
The Adviser FORGE Staff advisers: Abby Speight, Kjerstin Erickson www.FORGEnow.org FORGE builds upon the capacity of African refugees to cultivate empowered communities and to create the conditions for peace and prosperity in their countries.

Zambia Coordinators

FORGE Education Fund sponsored refugee university students (FEF scholars)

Role Name University Major Contact
The Architects Boas Fernando

Kwase Mohammed Abdallah

Cavendish University Zambia

Cavendish University Zambia

BA NGO Management

BA Economics

Kwase: +26979128772
The Geeks Antoine Ngeleka


Cavendish University Zambia

Cavendish University Zambia

BS in Computing


The Pedagogues Kikassa


Cavendish University Zambia

Cavendish University Zambia

BA NGO Management


The Advisors Audrey Reese
FORGE Lusaka
Refugee Development +26979409733

P.O.BOX 38568 Lusaka Zambia

Arthur Wina Basic School

The Arthur Wina Basic school is located in Chilenje South, Lusaka; southeast of the capital of Zambia. The school provides basic education for students ranging from 5 years old to 19 years old. According to Headmaster Mrs. Veronica Mwila Sinpila, there are 2,500 students in Arhur Wina Basic school.

The following reasons makes Arthur Wina Basic School ideal for OLPCorps mission deployment:

  • The school offers summer session from May to July- it operates weekdays from 7:30am to 5pm
  • ZESCO-powered; quite reliable since its governmental
  • Passionate grassroot educators involvement

Arthur Wina Basic School P.O. Box 380033 Lusaka, Zambia



FORGE is a US-based nonprofit organization that works with displaced communities in Africa. We build upon the capacity of African refugees to cultivate empowered communities and lay the foundation for peace and prosperity.

Since its founding in 2003, FORGE has implemented over 60 community development projects that have served more than 70,000 refugees in the four refugee camps in Zambia & Botswana. An official Operating Partner of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), FORGE works in Zambia, hand-in-hand with refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Burundi and Sudan.

Among FORGE's many projects are three solar-powered computer training centers, a network of libraries serving 50,000 individuals, a rights advocacy program, health education services, women's empowerment projects, multiple preschools, arts, music & writing programs, and repatriation resource centers. FORGE also operates a Microfinance Institute serving refugees in Zambia, and an Education Fund that provides school sponsorships for refugee youth who would otherwise be unable to afford school.

Project Ideas

The OLPCorp designate 100 laptops for our project. You are right, a typical primary school in Lusaka ranging from 400 ~ 600 students, we will not achieve our original goal- "one laptop per child". However, I believe this mission is moving towards the right direction. You had said you wanted to "...change my community and the world at large". I am with you on that goal 100%. How? It is done with one act of random kindness at a time. So you might ask..."how do we allocate 100 laptops for 500 students?". I have a couple of ideas:

  • Sugar Cubes

    Umoja holds workshop on outdoors math, digital art, web design, language, etc. Fully utilizing XO's outdoor and measurement capability
  • Sugar Hours

    Umoja works with Arthur Winner school to allocate lap hours for kids to explore the connected world!
  • Mobile Sugar

    Umoja students will partner one-on-one with existing class for research - we would go into different classrooms in a mobile XO center

The idea here is to accomadate and expand upon the original curriculum. Let's say if a history class is doing a lesson on the Egyptian pharohs- here the kids would get access to updated ruin discoveries, join the chat with real historians. We can run office hours to help kids learn to do simple word processing. The afterschool workshop will focus on getting the kids passionate about their interest. It will involve hands-on activities where they will interact with other kids through exploration.

conversations with Kwase
What nearby school might be interested in participating? Can you meet with an administrator there and make sure they would want some computer access added to their school?

Among other schools we went to, we have picked a school called Arthur Winner Basic School, located in Chilenji South, Lusaka. Kikassa and I talked to the Head Teacher Mrs. Veronica Mwila Sinpila and she was more than ready welcoming the Project and said, she was all along looking for such chance to come to her school. She said, she was ready to work with us and provide any necessary support that makes the Project a success at the end of the day in her school. According to the Head Teacher, her school’s students ages, range from 5years to 19 years.