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The RUDEC Computerlab: Now open! :)

posted Feb 24, 2010, 7:29 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager   [ updated Feb 24, 2010, 8:10 AM ]
So yesterday was the big day, the culmination of a lot of my efforts in Cameroon combined with the many monetary and hardware donations from friends and family: The RUDEC Computerlab for kids!

the finished computerlab before the opening: 6 computers, wireless, GPRS internet access, printer, whiteboard, digital library, UPS, projector, and paper library. In total there is room for 12 kids.

We decided to introduce the children that visit our after school program fist, by taking them to the lab after school on Tuesday and letting them have a got on the computers! Unfortunately it had just rained very heavily, which is always a bad sign for our after school class (this week were were teaching maths) as many children go home.

Luckily some of our die hard pupils stayed around (There is this kid called Didymus for example, he is so smart and enthusiastic about leaning everything!..but that is another story), so in total we had around 8 kids. Some weeks earlier we had introduced them to computers by bringing some of the donated OLPCs to the classroom, but the children had to share one laptop between around 10 students. So now the kids were really excited to hear that there were 6 computers in the lab and they could use one all for themselves this time. Even better they can now visit the lab every day after school! You should have seen some of their faces :)

The after-school children checking out the brand new computer lab

We gave them a brief overview of computers and their components, the rules of the computerlab and an introduction to the Internet: The kids really liked to search on Google images for their favorite soccer players, animals, and all the different kinds of food they dreamed of eating ;)

Overall this has been a very rewarding project for me, as I know this will make a big difference on these kids lives. Soon we will create an email address for each of the students and who knows where they will take it from there? We have only one rule: If one of the kids is ever caught scamming (as many adults do in the internet cafe's) they are never allowed back into the computer lab.

We (RUDEC) hopes the computerlab will be a resource the kids can use to educate themselves in areas of their own interest, and so I was very happy to see a whole bunch of kids coming in today during their 12AM-1PM lunch break to use the lab! As the word spreads I'm sure this lab will become very popular!

Not only is the computer lab room useful for children, our NGO can now use the room for our organizational meetings with volunteers, and we are also thinking of providing small evening courses for adults.

Finally a big thank you to all who have helped to make this lab a reality!!

  • Alex
  • Florian
  • Oxana
  • Sven
  • Pedro
  • Fili
  • Elena
  • Tilek
  • Manuel
  • Olivier
  • Sytske
  • Rob
  • Paulien
  • Juan
  • Gyula
  • And those who I forgot to mention (shoot me a mail if I forgot you!!)


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