Tech Share finally boots up

We received some refreshingly positive news last week from our Tech Share project on the other side of the globe. Anyone who has followed our efforts knows this has been slow going.  Some difficulties that we anticipated have persistently dogged our efforts, and a couple unexpected roadblocks popped up, as well.  It felt like we were taking a step back for almost every pace forward.

We did a lot of prep for obstacles like shipping snags, damages incurred during transit or setup, security of the computers in the school, teachers with no computer experience, costs running higher than quoted, and the like.  For the most part, our advance preparations helped us bypass these issues.

However, the popularity (and scarcity) of the Eee PC when we were sourcing them a year ago set us back a couple months, which was the longest unexpected delay.  Then over-zealous customs officials applying Ugandan tariff schedules in, well, "creative" and "dynamic" ways sat on the computers a few months while we disputed negotiated wasted time, before paying the ransom. The latest snag involved difficulties with ensuring that the lab was truly secure and supplied with power.

Additionally, there is the to-be-expected disparity between how we would attack these problems were they to confront us in our environs and how the over-worked administrators of a grossly under-resourced school in a poverty-stricken urban setting within a developing country address them.  We’re learning to exhibit patience but not passivity, to communicate urgency and provide measured assistance with appropriate expectations.

Feeling like we’ve hacked through a thicket of obstacles and just emerged into a bright clearing, I’m thrilled to say that the students of Ebenezer Educational Center in Kampala, Uganda have finally been able to spend some time with their brand new Asus Eee PCs.  There are still loose ends to be resolved before the lab is established as a fixture at the school, with Internet access, but we’ll keep on this in pursuit of those goals.  For now, just check out the looks on these kids’ faces.

 

 

 

 

Over a year ago, we asked for donations to help us make this concept a reality.  We received over $7,700 from you, our readers, and several hundred dollars of donations and discounts on hardware from sponsors.  With the largest hurdles behind us, we still have about $1,700, which we hope to direct toward getting the school Internet access for at least six months.  There are other needs we’re considering as well, such as a printer/copier and some basics like consistent access to reliable power and better furniture and fixtures for the school.  As soon as we’ve fully attained our original goals, we’ll see what funds are left and evaluate what their greatest needs are to see whether we can extend this project or possibly help in other ways.  We’ll keep you posted. 

Comments closed
    • floodo1
    • 10 years ago

    man way to make my friday even better!

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    Sounds good, but how did you manage to hook up with this particular school in the beginning? Seems like a lot of support going to a (seemingly) random place.
    In case that’s been discussed already, I’ve forgotten. :ฯธ

      • floodo1
      • 10 years ago

      a lot? wow man, this is nothing. Americans as a whole should be doing this on a MUCH MUCH grander scale. But we’ve all forgotten about the rich history in the US of charity ๐Ÿ™ Consumer culture has tricked us into thinking something like this is a lot of charity ๐Ÿ™

      • Inkling
      • 10 years ago

      Scott and I visited Uganda a few years back and worked closely with one of the founders of this school. At that time he was a teacher in another school at which we volunteered for a few weeks. More information here: ยง[< https://techreport.com/articles.x/13793<]ยง

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 10 years ago

    Just awesome!! Totally! Let’s keep this ball rolling, let us know how and/or when we can contribute more.

    *high five*

      • Inkling
      • 10 years ago

      Thanks! Stay tuned – more news soon hopefully.

    • xzelence
    • 10 years ago

    Just awesome guys. I’m so happy the shipments finally got through customs. You just reminded me that there IS some good in this world. Thank you.

    • oldDummy
    • 10 years ago

    Good Stuff!

    Money, I consider, well spent.

    • eitje
    • 10 years ago

    I paid for the computer in the 3rd picture! ๐Ÿ˜€

    When can we expect emails from them? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kiwik
    • 10 years ago

    I hope these guys don’t come in contact with 4chan… But seriously, I think it’s great to see this finally happen.

    • just brew it!
    • 10 years ago

    Sounds great! Glad to see things are finally coming to fruition.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 10 years ago

    Have you guys considered raising more money or perhaps another charity project? I didn’t get a chance to contribute last time.

      • Inkling
      • 10 years ago

      As mentioned in an earlier post, after we fulfill all our original goals, we will evaluate options like continued Internet access and other needs at the school to see how we might be able to continue to help them. We’ll let you know if and when we plan another fundraiser.

    • leor
    • 10 years ago

    great stuff guys, too bad about all the red tape!

    • Jigar
    • 10 years ago

    Nice one guys…

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    q[

      • eitje
      • 10 years ago

      you’re in the CIA!?!?

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        Would explain why he couldn’t find the reply button in front of him.

    • MBIlover
    • 10 years ago

    Most excellent, dudes! Glad to see our contributions and your efforts are starting to pay off after such a long time.

    Sort of alarmed that they’ll only have net access for 6 months. How much can it be per month? Will sponsors continue to help cover the costs beyond that or will there be further fundraisers?

      • Inkling
      • 10 years ago

      Internet access looks like it could be almost $200/month. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Though I’m still looking for better options.

      We have enough to give them at least temporary access. Depending on how that goes and whether they’re able to make good use of it, we are certainly looking into various options for helping them continue with the service.

    • zimpdagreene
    • 10 years ago

    Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s wonderful. Now they can learn more and will do more than I will do. Mines plays games so that distracts me a lot.That’s the downside of faster video cards for me.

    • herothezero
    • 10 years ago

    I figured the gear would wind up in the hands of unscrupulous customs folks, knowing how common bribery is there.

    Good to hear otherwise.

      • sweatshopking
      • 10 years ago

      you ever been to uganda? or just an expert on african customs?

    • Dposcorp
    • 10 years ago

    Wow, that is awesome. Those pics my made day; great to know I was a small part of that.

    • Hoser
    • 10 years ago

    That’s great to hear everything is coming along. The look on the kids faces makes it all worth while.

    • FireGryphon
    • 10 years ago

    Thanks for the update! I’m happy to see the kids are getting some computer time.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 10 years ago

    I’m glad to see it finally happened. I was just wondering what ever happened to this project.

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