OLPCorps Wesleyan Kenya
CBO is a village initiative program that was founded by Samuel Maritim, Josiah Tarus, Dr Peter Cheboss Jr and Symon Kibitok in 2007. It is concerned mainly with raising the living standards of the four villages of Kiptenden, Tulon, Kapchepsir and Kona mainly through creating awareness about important social issues like education, HIV and Malaria prevention. The organization has been partnering with college students from Baraton University under the leadership of Josiah Tarus and Josiah Letting (), and Moi University under leadership of Peter Cheboss and Symon Kibitok. The organization has also recently partnered with Kapsabet Christian Intermidiate Technology Center CITC to seek to provide cheap and safe sources of energy. CBO also hopes to tap into the ICT technology and human resource from CITC to train villagers and school Children on how to operate and use computers. () The groups has written to the Constituency Development Fund in Emgwen Constituency to request for funding to keep the project Running. []
We have also requested a grant from Wesleyan University community service grant office to help in future sustenance of the program. [http://www.wesleyan.edu/crc/students/grants/wuseg/index.html ]and the Wesleyan projects for peace[http://www.wesleyan.edu/ocs/peace.htt ]We have also recently applied for funding from the clinton foundation to fund an extra 50 computers.
NAME SCHOOL EMAIL Samuel Maritim (Contact Person) - Wesleyan University - firstname.lastname@example.org. - Chemistry, ICT certificate, Worked as student manager for Wesleyan Instructional Media services and also as a computer technician.
Job Ogutu - Wesleyan University - computer science, ICT certificate, works for Wesleyan Information Technology service, ITS.
William Ndugire - Wesleyan University - Chemistry, Certificate in ICT. Works for Wesleyan ITS .
Josiah Tarus - Baraton University - CPA,Computer science, business finance,Diploma in software engineering
Dr Peter Cheboss Jr - Moi University - Medicine, ICT certificate from Eldoret Polytechnic
Symon M. Kibitok - Moi University - Computer science, diploma in information Technology, IT from Moi Univ. Works for Safaricom mobile banking.
Josiah Letting - Baraton University- CPA, BA Business Finance
Immanuel Amojong Lokwei - Wesleyan University
Kiptenden PrimarySchool is located in Kiptenden Village, in the Nandi district- Rift Valley Kenya. The Village is one of the poorest villages and has the highest illiteracy level in Kenya, with most of the villagers having dropped out of school before completing High school education. Only 5/1000 people have made it to University. Kiptenden Primary School, is severely understaffed, has acute shortage of books and stationery and children are always under immense social, and financial pressure to drop out of school. The problem facing children’s education in villages is very real to us since two of our members grew up and have family in Kiptenden .
Our team is strongly convinced that children are important agents in society. The big question, then, is, “How can the success of the children as agents of development be brought about?” Do we let the children drop out of school, join drug dens, consume illicit brews, engage in dangerous sexual misadventures in this age of HIV/AIDS and perish, or do we groom them up, provide them with solid foundation that will propel them into greater heights of prosperity? We believe the traditional set-up where power, status and wisdom are associated with old age, where “children are to be seen not to be heard” is wrong, ill-conceived, and suppressive to children. We believe that society’s progress (or lack thereof), is a direct result and reflection of how we treat our children. With help from Baraton University Outreach Program and the Christian Intermediate Technology Center (CITC), we have been deeply involved with children emancipation programs in villages, ranging from volunteer teaching during college recess, mentoring, distributing books and mosquito nets to ensure they stay in good health and fundraising for those who proceed to high school and with OLPC’s help, we can raise the living standards Children further.
Children are always eager to learn and help others, often play important roles in households whereby older ones take care of their younger siblings, and since children often communicate and share more than adults, they are better positioned to pass on their knowledge from school to their families and thus influence the greater community. Moreover whatever children learn is more likely to be applied for the rest of their lives. Since children are the future parents and grandparents, they are important agents of change and thus the OLPC program is able to reach youth, society and future generations. Our society’s ultimate agent of change is the Child Brain Power! We believe that allowing children to work together with their peers will show them that they are themselves a source of knowledge: and besides having free access to networked computers will provide them with unlimited source of access to knowledge and helpers. With the programs in the XO laptops, children’s future couldn’t have looked any brighter. We believe that just like living a language is the best way to learn it, living math, English, Science, geography or history is the best way for children to learn them. The XO laptops will allow children to live their education. They can always work at their own pace, play around with the programs, look up info online, access online books that would’ve otherwise been unavailable to them. They can also write, share their stories, ideas, and questions with their peers worldwide. Most importantly, children can PLAY and have FUN commensurate with the age without endangering their lives in dangerous activities. Just as in adults, ownership is a very important aspect to children. Since Children will own their laptops and projects, they’ll have time to build personal relationships with their projects, discover, research and use programs not it because it’s computer time, or because it’s a Tuesday, or because the teacher said so, but because they are intrigued, and want to. Looks like life and education just got more FUN.
We are a team of seven college students, (majority from Wesleyan University) and we plan to deploy 100 XO laptops to 300 primary school children of Kiptenden village in Kenya. We also plan on getting Swahili translations for OLPC. All our members are proficient in ICT and computer science, and are conversant with the local language. Three of us lived and grew up in this village and fully understand the challenges faced by the children here. These members are already involved in the village through the Cheboss community based organization, (.http://wiki.laptop.org/go/cheboss_community_based_organization_%28cbo%29 ].
The first phase of our project will involve setting up and connecting (Safaricom wireless) all the computers together whereby will need to purchase a generator, solar panels, and connection wires. We will then start sessions to teach the children about the basic operation and use of the XO laptops and familiarize them with the basic commands and functions that they will need in order to operate the laptops for various uses and before they can own the computers. Since English is the language of instruction in Kenya, teaching will be made easier as kids already understand English. As kids become proficient, we will assign tasks (to be submitted to the discussion boards), evaluate them, and use the evaluations to assist those in need of help. The main goal will be to let the children work on projects and programs that are of interest to them and to the community e.g. researching the best choice of fertilizers suitable for the village soil and crops, how to control crop pests, parasites and diseases, and efficient energy alternatives since they have no electricity. This way, the children will be directly shaping their present and future lives as they are always directly affected by the performance of their parents’ farms and animals. They can also research on basic health safety techniques like how to prevent diseases that plague the village e.g. malaria and typhoid and share the info with their parents. To encourage creativity, team-work and research, we’ll hold a competition/ presentation whereby the whole village will be invited. The competition will cover programming, blogging, writing, studio recording and project relevance to the community.
The program will be conducted after school, from 3-6pm for (Tuesday, Thursday) and 5-7pm (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).We will also conduct weekend sessions from 11-3pm and full time during the July/August holiday. We believe that just like “living a language is the best way to learn it”, living science, math, or geography is the best way for kids to learn them. Whenever possible, and with the individual teachers’ permission, we will integrate the laptops into the class structure. This way, the children will for example, be able to ‘see for themselves’ whatever it is that they are learning in class, be it the Pyramids of Egypt, the geographical locations of various countries, or the rhythms of the heart .
We also want the program to compliment the normal school curricula, and help the kids get quality education. We will assign some members in the group, to assist teach the normal school curricula with the aim of making the school to be the best in the district. We have also contacted volunteer student teachers from Baraton University, and Moi University teach the normal curricula. The Kapsabet Christian Intermediate Technology Center (CITC) has also agreed to partner with us. They will provide us with technological assistance during set up, and repair any the computers if any broken computer. The CITC volunteers will also teach the children and the villagers about safe and sustainable sources of energy like biogas and solar panels (a possible project topic for children). CITC has also agreed to help us raise sustenance funds whenever they can. We have also applied for future sustenance funding from Wesleyan University projects for peace grants and ,and to the constituency development fund http://www.cdf.go.ke/index.phpThe Baraton University community outreach program has agreed to partner with us and will ensure that the program stays operational. They have also agreed to receive and store the laptops on our behalf since they have the capacity to receive packages of over 250Kgs. They will provide the human resource, technical and financial assistance where and whenever it is needed. They will also be responsible for running the program after we leave. The continuity of the project will also be ensured by the three graduating team members who will stay to run the project with help from Baraton university.