A School Without Computers

As you may have read earlier this month, I was asked to help a school in Tanzania, Africa raise money for computers. I met the founder of the school, Evaristo Sanga, about a year ago and spoke with him about how I could help out. The short, stocky Tanzanian man said, “We need computers.”

We agreed to have me make a video and then start an online fundraising campaign. In exchange they’d help pay my way to visit Africa and teach at their school, Magulilwa Area Secondary School.

Here’s the campaign: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0X14a

He gave me a CD of two hours of footage of the school, teachers, and students. And included were interviews with some of the most impressive teenagers I’ve ever seen. They were bright, hopeful, industrious, and mature young men and women. I was like, “Man, we got to get these students some computers! What a waste not getting these tools in their hands!”

So I made the 3 minute video, posted it to YouTube and featured it on the fundraising site, Fundrazr.com. (The video describes the total project which includes the building of a lab to house the computers. The online campaign just concerns itself with getting laptops.)

I informed you all a few weeks ago when I kicked it off. Now I’d like to give you an update with three days to go because:

1: It’s a cool project that I thought you’d like to hear about.

2: These kids do need computer access desperately and so hope to reach a few more people with this blog.

3: If we raise enough, I’ll be able to go to the school in January to help them set up and teach computer classes to the students.

Assuming this happens, I’ll be writing about the journey to Africa, share about living and teaching at the school in rural Tanzania, and then “take you with me” as I explore other parts of this region of the world.

As of today, we’ve raised $530. That’s cool, because these days that’ll buy a couple basic laptops. But we are well short of our goal of  $5,700 needed for seven more computers, desks, electrical infrastructure, and transport for me and the computers.

It’s been fun raising money online. It touches my heart to see others open their hearts, give what they can, and leave words of encouragement. It’s also fun because I don’t know some of these people. Internet fundraising–aka crowdsourcing or crowdfunding–is a pretty new phenomenon that is really taking off. It’s a new technical/social development that I might one day like to write about in this blog for how its changing the world. But for now I’ll just say that the chance to let anyone with an Internet connection participate in a worthy cause is pretty cool!

And in that spirit, I’ll ask you reading this to consider your ability to help these teenagers have access to computers. Their ambitious goals to become doctors, educators, biologists, and leaders of their country are hindered without computer know-how, and they are without the connections and knowledge the Internet provides.

Here’s the link one last time for the project. If you aren’t able to give, please share with those you think may be interested in doing so:

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0X14a

The students at Magulilwa Area School will thank you. (Literally. As a perk for giving–among other rewards–students will reach out to donors via email and their blog that we’ll start once I get out there.) Most important, you’ll help make the world a little better by giving these students tools to fulfill their potential.

The deadline is Saturday night.

-Brandon

p.s. Please write me with any questions: brandon@theperiphery.com

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