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[liberationtech] Fwd: Very busy building a prototype

Yosem Companys companys at
Sat Dec 27 13:29:22 PST 2008

>From a former professor of mine at Harvard...

Happy holidays and happy new year to all!  :-)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Calestous Juma <calestous_juma at>
Date: Sat, Dec 27, 2008 at 1:20 PM
Subject: Very busy building a prototype
To: companys <companys at>

Bold Tech Vision for Western Kenya Submitted by tanderson on Fri, 12/12/2008
- 8:00pm.
[image: Kenya-Institute.jpg] <>

*Harvard Professor plans innovative tech Institute in Kenya.   4 week tech
volunteer trip planned.   *International development expert develops model
media lab for community of 60,000 people in Western Kenya where he was
born.  WCE is looking for templates for design and implementation of a model
multi-media center.

Calestous Juma is Professor of the Practice of International Development and
the Director of the Science, Technology and Innovation Program at the
Harvard Kennedy School.  He volunteers as a member of the International
Advisory Council of World Computer Exchange (WCE).

Hear *BBC about this
* (middle third of their 23 December Digital Plan show)

Recently, Professor Juma took the lead with WCE to help get more schools in
the Western Province of Kenya connected to the Internet. He is helping to
plan a shipment of 200 donated used computers from WCE to connect seven high
schools in Port Victoria in  Bunyala District where he was born and raised.
These schools have about 4,000 students. The community is a poor fishing
community with 60,000 people who will also be invited to use this new tech
resource.  Dr. Juma has asked WCE to include a copy of the 11-million page
eGranary Digital Library that was developed by the University of Iowa.

Dr. Juma said, "I enjoy working with WCE. Together, we are planning to bring
a team of volunteers from the U.S. and other countries to help our local
volunteers in Kenya redevelop the John Osogo secondary school into a
technology resource for students in nearby schools. - and for the community.
The John Osogo school is especially important to me because I studied there
as a child, long before continuing my education in Britain and long before I
started teaching at Harvard and other universities. I was taught there by a
Peace Corps Volunteer."

The John Osogo school will serve as the focal point of this WCE shipment as
well as a focal point for One Laptop per Child on whose foundation board Dr.
Juma serves. In addition, WCE and the school will help to distribute other
educational technologies, scientific equipment and books.

Last year, his former teacher and Dr. Juma arranged for some computers from
WCE to be placed at this school. Something amazing happened there. With
almost no supporting program, two students taught themselves and came in 5th
on project design and presentation in a national science competition.   Prior
brief I*mplementation
this prior WCE shipment.

The average annual income in Kenya is $1,700 and about 7% of the people are
currently using the Internet.

Professor Juma is now contacting his friends and colleagues to explore if
they might be willing to join him in financially Sponsoring part of the
$22,330 for content materials, sourcing the computers and the logistical and
shipping costs needed to make this happen. Dr. Juma said, "I hope they will
help to develop "my" Victoria Institute of Science, Technology and
Innovation. As part of this, the seven participating schools will match each
donation with funds raised from parents, schools, local government, Rotary
Clubs and local companies." Their match is a key ingredient in showing the
priority they place on their children receiving these computers and ensuring
a strong sense of local ownership.

John Ouko, the principal of the John Osogo school said, "The main objective
here is to build a strong technological network as the basis for community
development in Bunyala District. The ultimate goal is to establish the
Victoria Institute of Science, Technology and Innovation in the area, which
will service technology-driven development in the entire Lake Victoria Basin
bestriding Kenya Uganda and Tanzania. This Institute will link schools,
institutions of higher learning, research institutes, industry,
government and communities in a unique development-focused web powered by
information technology, research and innovation. We are now putting in place
the building blocks for transforming the region into an IT hub, starting
with IT Labs at John Osogo Secondary School and a Community Information
Center nearby."  John Osogo school will serve as a pilot model school in IT
learning and research for high school students and teachers. Running
concurrently with this will be a Community Information Center - a
modern resource providing library services, Internet access,
mobile/satellite telephony, information and research services. The John
Osogo IT Lab and the Community Information Center will collaborate in
providing outreach services for community development.

Gary Hansen, Professor & Associate Dean, Technology Management Program,
University of California, Santa Barbara stated "We are delighted to be a
lead university collaboration with students from Education, Computer
Engineering, Psychology, Global & International Studies ready to
participate. "

The long-term vision is for this to evolve into a college and a university
offering experiential education. The first project for the students will be
computer programming.

*          ALSO:  WCE is sending an eCorps tech team of 10 departing for
Kenya on the 10th of July for 2 weeks.  Dr. Juma and John Ouko have
requested that 2 of our eCorps team work for a full month in Port Victoria
and stay at the Institute that is right on the shore of Lake Victoria.
There is a picture of the Institute and information about it at their
WEBSITE <>.   If you
are interested in this eCorps please contact: **
Kenya at* <>*
We will ask that you complete our **eCorps
*   eCorps volunteers pay directly for meals, medical & evacuation
insurance, vacinations, and your visa.  Your donation to WCE will cover your
flight cost and a $400 administrative fee for World Computer Exchange.  WCE
will arrange your flight from your country to Kenya.*

*BY CHECK:*  If you wish to donate to this shipment via a check on a bank in
the USA or Canada,  please include the note "Kenya-Osogo" on your check and
mail it to: WCE 936 Nantasket Ave. Hull, Mass. 02045 USA.

*BY CREDIT CARD*:  If you are going to use the Network For Good link below
to donate to this shipment, please enter "Kenya-Osogo" in one of the boxes
on the form.

We will send you a tax deductible receipt if you are in the USA.  Our
affiliate WCE-Canada can send you ar receipt if you donate to them.  We send
a cc to Dr. Calestous Juma  so that he will know who has donated to his

We expect the seven participating schools to donate a total of $7,130 of
this shipment's total cost of $22,330.
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