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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CWS = No go

Looks like no one wants to fund travel. Not even Wellesley's CWS could think of how I could get to São Tomé!

On the hunt again...

Netbooks arrived to teachers today

The five netbooks I sent to São Tomé arrived today in the hands of our teachers. Just got an email from Nélys, absolutely astounded:

 noěs fundo d coraçaŢo...principalmente eu...NEěLYS.

pra ser sincero eu smpre acreditei k tu enviarias......os computdres..mas k n chgssem taŢo cedo...mas enfim...amei....e estou mt tudo isso....imagina soě as caras dosoutros colegas?
   bjs....e mt obrigado!

It's a good feeling when you see the work that the teachers have put into this cause. They deserve those computers. Now onto seeing how I can get myself over there to talk with someone about our OLPC program. Wellesley College CWS (Center for Work and Service), here I come!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guardian Angels

Today is a new day; I can feel it.

This morning we received three generous donations for our laptop program, one large and one very large. Though all support is encouraged and appreciated, you certainly can't deny that the most generous ones definitely make the greatest impact, and for this I am so grateful.

Thanks to the incredible selflessness demonstrated today, we will be able to buy 75 brand new chargers and 30 power strips (with surge protectors, so they don't blow out again) for our students in São Tomé. We'll also be able to pay for the very expensive shipping that will get them to the students before long, so that they don't have to wait for my next visit to keep things rolling.

This brings me confidence that I can get the funding I need to make the trip to São Tomé again this summer or fall to talk with the appropriate people about growing this program country-wide.

On an unrelated, but possibly quite related, note, it was supposed to be mostly cloudy today with a chance of thunderstorms. However, contrary to the weather prediction, the morning has given way to the most beautiful blue sky. I am eternally thankful for the kindness of people around this world.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Still looking for >$200 USD

Still need over $200 USD just to buy new chargers for our kids (we're ordering 75). This doesn't take the power strips into account. Please donate so we can afford them!!

Thank you!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Now what?

Things are at a hiatus, as usual. My contact at AICEP isn't turning out to be as determined to help me during his busy schedule as I would hope.

I talked with Professor Nélys today. It seems he has talked to both the Embassy of Taiwan and the Ministry of Education. Both said they would follow up with him, and both didn't. The Ministry does not believe that the Embassy will cover costs. For some reason, no matter how much the teachers tell them that it won't happen, they think that they are going to have to end up paying something.

While I think about how we're going to re-approach the subject (and if another trip to São Tomé, and another very annoying fundraiser-- not for me but for my friends and family-- is in order), I've sent Nélys on some research. He's going to find out how many students graduated to high school last year, and how that compares to the computer class, to see if there was a noticeable difference. As the school year this year will be ending in a couple of months, we'll have some hard data about two years of school that I am hoping will point to something.

If not, at least we tried.

Fingers crossed.

PS I met a lovely woman at the recent fundraiser at Hillyer in DC who works for IDB, who was interested in pursuing accountability a bit further with me. I never got her contact information but she assured me she would reach out to me after I gave her my card. If you're out there, I'm eagerly waiting to talk to you!


Please click the button below to donate to STEP UP OLPC to support the São João school's computer program in São Tomé:

Donate $200 and you will be paying for a computer for at least FIVE very special children at São João (as estimated computer life is five years). Thanks so much!

Want your donation to be tax-deductible? Send a check to STeP UP with OLPC in the memo. Then mail it to:

Eric McClafferty
Kelley and Drye
3050 S St. NW, #400
Washington, DC 20007