OLPCorps FSU Rwanda

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Organizational Background: Global Peace Exchange (GPE)[[1]] is a student-run development organization out of Florida State University[[2]] operating in Rwanda since the summer of 2008.

Target Population: All terminal year classes at Bukomero primary school will participate in the program. This allows a specific group of 11-12 year-old students to obtain ownership as well as teaches them the responsibility of acting as mentors to their younger peers.

Site Details: The project will be located in rural Byimana at Bukomero Primary School and Umuryango Children’s Network (UCN)[[3]. Fifty XOs will be located at Bukomero with the rest at UCN, which houses the first and only internet connection in Byimana and a technical center of five computers. This connection will provide access to updated applications and new materials for expanding the laptops' existing resources. UCN also has electrical capacity to charge batteries, while Bukomero does not. Splitting the XO's resolves the electricity roadblock until Bukomero's infrastructure can be expanded.

Duration: Eleven GPE project managers and volunteers arrive in Rwanda on May 14th to continue English language programs at Bukomero begun in May 2008. At least two managers will remain in Rwanda until August 5th, at which time the program will transition into the hands of locally-based partners.

Security: UCN staff will be responsible for laptop oversight on their property while Bukomero's laptops will be stored in a padlocked cabinet each night.


Weekly Schedule: The program will operate on a rotational basis where each class spends several hours throughout the week engaged with computers in the classroom and takes turns keeping the XOs overnight. One class will walk to UCN each day, where batteries can be charged, while another utilizes computers at Bukomero. The classes will rotate such that all receive an equal amount of class and home time with the laptops each week.

Alternative Schedule: On the weekends, “computer camps” will be opened to the rest of the children at Bukomero, where the upperclassmen help to teach their peers how to use the laptops. During the school break from late July to mid-August, a similar series of camps will be held as well as sessions designed specifically to train teachers. These seminars will better prepare teachers to incorporate technology into their curricula on a regular basis.

Staffing & Partnerships:

  • Universite Catholique de Kabgayi (UCK)[[4]]: GPE will hire at least one IT student from UCK to oversee the program as a paid staff member. This IT instructor will serve as the main contact and responsible party when GPE managers depart. A core group of volunteers from UCK will also facilitate the IT classes with Bukomero students, providing guidance and instruction in the native languages of Kinyarwanda and French.
  • Bukomero Primary School: Teachers will be cooperating with GPE site managers and IT staff to create a rotational schedule and open Bukomero facilities on weekends.
  • Umuryango Children’s Network: Staff from UCN will be responsible for security oversight of the laptops and evaluation of the UCK staff/volunteers.


  • Basic computer literacy: General trainings at the inception of the program will provide otherwise marginalized rural students with a grasp of computer literacy, a marketable skill of increasing importance Rwanda’s growing IT sector.
  • English education: Computer applications such as WikiBrowse, Journal, and Record will be utilized in conjunction with English curriculum at Bukomero designed by GPE, FSU, and the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) to aid the transition from Francophone to Anglophone education for, again, otherwise isolated youths.
  • Self-Expression: Using musical and visual activities available on the laptops, students will receive the opportunity to creatively express themselves through mediums not previously available, an outlet that promotes positive development--a method often utilized to help youth escape Rwanda's violent past. An emphasis will be placed on empowering teachers to incorporate creative projects into their lesson plans, specifically through photography and visual mediums.


Funding: This program will be incorporated into GPE’s $20,000 project budget, maintained through grants, FSU support, student-led initiatives, and private donors.

Management: GPE site leaders and a paid IT staff member will form the basis for project management. Involving teachers and families through trainings will enable them to continue the program when GPE managers are absent from August 2009 to May 2010, while children will take ownership through personal use and mentorship. UCN staff will further provide a level of management and accountability to the project through its established position within the community as well as by overseeing the performance of the IT staff member.

Future Projects: GPE will continue its relationship with UCN, Bukomero, and UCK each subsequent summer where site leaders and volunteers will continue to work on these ongoing projects.


Item Cost (FRW/USD) Number Total
IT Staff Member 102221/180 12 1226648/2,160
Internet Connection 170368/300 12 2046536/3600
Transportation 8000/14.09 52 416000/732.68
Housing 283946/500 1 283946/500
Tables & Chairs 51103/900 10 & 20 51103/900
Airfare Adjustments TBD ~2 TBD

TOTAL: $7892.68

  • IT Staff Member: At a salary of 102221frw or $180/mo, the total salary per year is 1226648frw or $2,160.
  • Internet Connection: At 170368frw or $300/mo, one year of internet access costs 2044413frw or $3,600.
  • Transportation: This will cover costs for UCK volunteers to travel from UCK to Byimana. Travel is estimated at 400frw each way for at minimum two volunteers. Per week, this amounts to 8000frw or $14.09. Per year, this total is 416000frw or $732.68.
  • Housing: One month of housing not already covered by volunteers is roughly 283946frw or $500.
  • Tables & Chairs: The cost for additional tables and chairs for the UCN technical complex is 511103frw or $900.
  • Airfare Adjustments: Ticket adjustments will be necessary for at least two GPE site managers as their tickets to Rwanda have already been purchased. Cost of rebooking and airfare adjustments is TBD.