to the donations of Florian, Alex and Oxana as well as the laptop
donations from Florian, Alex, Elena, Manuel, Tilek and others we now
have enough resources to make the ComputerLab for school children in
Belo a reality! :)
So, we kicked off this project early last week starting with:
1) Getting Electricity
the NGO office: done. the electricity company (Sonel) has installed a
pole and a meter. Today they activated the current, and tomorrow an
electrician will hook up the electricity to the interior of the house.
the brand new pole (L) and the meter (R)
the floors and the
walls of the computer lab room: We got two builders to come up with a
cost estimation and went with the cheapest one (75.000 CFA). We bought
and brought over sand (early this week) and 6 bags of cement (today).
On saturday the builders will start and they should be done on Monday.
The plastering is necessary because the floor is currently a dirt
floor, and the walls are plain mudbricks. We also needed to build a
wooden frame around the top edges of the walls to ensure straight
plastering and for a possible ceiling.
| Getting the sand and wood for the plastering||Installing the wooden frame for the plastering |
the computerlab: Joshua contacted a carpenter to construct a large
computer table for the room (12.000CFA). We also got 2 holes in the
center for efficient cabling and a shelf below it to support the laptop
adapters. The desk was finished yesterday. Now we still need to
construct some benches and a bookshelf to hold the (paper) library.
Constructing the table for the computerlab
. I brought a roll of whiteboard sheets with
me to Cameroon, and with the help of our field assistant (Sabastine)
and the local carpenters we were able to create 3 whiteboards (1 large,
2 small) using framed plywood. The whiteboard markers and eraser were
kindly donated by Google (okay, I just snagged them from the stationary
room ;)). The whiteboard will also double as the projection screen for
Constructing whiteboards for the computerlab (and schools)
Other things we might do if we get the budget is
to paint the walls, create a ceiling, get a door for the room, and get
a better window (that can be shut) to keep dust out.
room is finished, it will support 6 laptops (running ubuntu linux), 1
printer, a projector, a sound system, a wifi router, a 1TB external
drive, and hopefully a scanner (my scanner broke in transport..). We
will be sharing a USB dongle with a GPRS connection through a bridged connection to a squid caching proxy to provide
(excruciatingly slow) internet to all laptops and also provide an
external uplink to the school down the road by using a nanostation2
antenna attached to the electricity pole outside that can share the LAN
services & Internet over 15km distance (nice!).
Local services we
can offer over the LAN are the digital library (a collection of 200K
books in digital format), Wikipedia for schools, OpenStreetMap, and a
bunch of documentaries.
Overall I'm really excited to see this
project get started, and will push for completion before I'll leave on
March 14. More updates on this project as it develops :)