OLPCorps fing South Africa

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Team Members

  • Technical Lead: Paulo Sande, Analista de sistemas, Universidad de la Republica, Facultad de Ingeniería Uruguay paulo(a)sande.com.uy
  • Manager: Sebastian Castro, Analista de sistemas, Universidad de la Republica, Facultad de Ingeniería Uruguay castrosebastian(a)gmail.com
  • Logistical Lead: Fransisco Guella, Estudiante avanzado, Universidad de la Republica, Facultad de Ingeniería Uruguay guellafj(a)gmail.com

The three of us are computer engineering students, and we are currently working on software company as developers, tech support and infrastructure.


  • Ugenderan Gangadaran (Durban, IT manager)
  • Henrik J. de Bruin (education-psychologist, Rotary District Governor District 9270 - South Africa, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal) [2]
  • We've continued to make efforts to minimize the logistics costs in South Africa. Throughout the Governor of Rotary Club International [1] – (Mr. Ulises Gallareto District 4970 – Uruguay) Rotary committed to supporting our team, providing logistical support for transportation, and accomodation.

[1] http://www.rotary.org

[2] http://www.rotary9270.org.za/governorspages/


Alston Primary School in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is a very good school (the teachers are excellent) but is financially poor and caters for many children from families with very low incomes. Most of the childrens are between the ages 6 - 12. 98% are from a Zulu background but are essentially taught in English.

<googlemap version="0.9" lat="-29.590681" lon="30.38445" type="map" zoom="10" width="300" height="300" overview="yes" controls="small"> -29.590681,30.38445, Alston Primary School </googlemap>

OLPCorps Proposal

Problem Definition

The Uruguayan and South African rural schools have lot of things and problems in common. Each country resolve those problems based on their experiences, but technology allow the "know-how" to be easily transferred and adapted to each circumstance. What we want to focus on is in the lack of communication between rural schools and the rest of the community and maximize over internet their communication with other Rural community, allowing both schools to exchange experience and knowledge.

To accomplish this we need to focus on school infrastructure and knowledge transfer to teaches and people on change. So they are able to solve basic problems and develop new activities for children.

Program Goals

  • Achieve and educational Exchange between Uruguay and south Africa rural schools.
  • Contribute to improving the quality of education through the integration of technology into the classroom, the school and the family. "Plan Ceibal"[1]
  • Develop a collaborative culture among students.
  • Create the software “Visit Africa”
  • Knowledge transfer to teachers.

Program Outputs

Targeted skills

The project will seek children to achieve:

  • Have their first contact with a computer.
  • Use technology as a tool to collaborate in projects and share information.
  • Understand how technology can complement their learning.
  • Play, learn and share activities with the laptops as an other tools.
  • Communicate with other children of the same project in other parts of the world.

The project will seek teachers and school to achieve:

  • Using the computer as a tool to teach their students.
  • Create an environment to develop, create ideas and put them into practice within the school.
  • Create the necessary contacts and know how to solve problems relating to the XO and its administration.


The program is divided in two stages, the first one is build the infrastructure, The second one is to develop a software for the XO and help the teachers group with any problem or they might have.

  • Stage 1, 4-5 weeks- We will build a computer lab for the kids and small workshop for teachers who are interested in the project. This means we will set and install the hardware, provide training for basic support and how to contact if there is any issue, talk to teachers about the different activities (blogs, internet and different uses of the XO) and share our experiences and knowledge. Also It’s really important for us to be in classes, we want to be there in their first contact with the XO laptops and set some activities (plan them with the local teachers first). We strongly think teachers are the ones to keep this project up and running.
  • Stage 2, 4-5 weeks- After the lab/workshop is completed we will go to the school 3 times per week (more if needed but three is the original idea), be around and help with anything we can. This is when the teachers will fell free to work on what they want and our main concern is helping them. We also will translate and do the final tunings on “knowing Africa” (a trivia program, please see below).


  • Fly tickets: U$s 2000x3 = 6000 U$S (includes ticket to Argentina-Rwanda-South Africa)
  • Recidence: U$S 2000 10 weeks
  • food: U$S 2000
  • logistics: U$S 850
  • total U$S 10850.-
    • We have contacted one Uruguayan enterprise to provides the extra funds if needed, some of those are estimated depending on the place we shall stay.



Children’s and teacher’s lab/workshop.

Using the same classroom and infrastructure we want to build a lab for kids and a workshop for teaches (also people interested in the project will be welcome). We have to create a presentations and show the different projects been done in Uruguay.

OLPC Interaction between Uruguay and South Africa school

  • Present the XO to the kids and the Uruguayan experiences.
  • Do a video conference between the South African school and Uruguayan rural school ("Escuela Granja #17", 5 miles from town “Libertad” and "Alston Primary School" in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal).
  • Do a video-presentation of Uruguayan school to be shown in South Africa.
  • Do a video-presentation of South Africa school to be shown in Uruguay.
  • Both videos will be done by the kids of each school and will have everyday things of each school, flora and fauna from each region, and anything else they would like to add.

The Uruguayan rural school
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="-34.580948" lon="-56.608992" type="satellite" zoom="17" width="300" height="300" overview="yes" controls="small"> -34.580948, -56.608992, Escuela Granja Num. 17 - Colonia Italia - San Jose (near to Libertad city) </googlemap>

The South African school
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="-29.590681" lon="30.38445" type="satellite" zoom="17" width="300" height="300" overview="yes" controls="small"> -29.590681,30.38445, Alston Primary School </googlemap>

Develop “Visit Africa” (XO trivia software)

Release “Visit Africa”, trivia software for kids regarding Africa geography (based on “conozco Uruguay” software). With the below options:

  • Add questions by teaches (in an easy and interactive way).
  • There are 5 different questions randomly selected, if all of them are answered correctly a message is displayed.
  • Special thanks to “Ceibal Jam” Project and “Conozco_Uruguay” software developers.
    • Ceibal Jam [2]
    • Conozco Uruguay[3]

Technical Details

  • We have XO laptops to testing purpose but we actually are using virtual machines. We also have an X server for testing purpose.
  • “Conozco Uruguay” use python source code and was developed with GNU license. Each of us have a developer background.
  • Also Linux and Networking knowledge.