Dedicated to sending solar-powered laptops to schools in Africa
Henny’s Kids launches with first delivery
July 2014 – Award-winning US travel writer Candyce H. Stapen (gfvac.com) recently visited Wilderness Safaris’ Toka Leya Camp from 15-17 June, not only to enjoy Zambia’s renowned hospitality, but also to donate 11 new computers from One Laptop per Child (OLPC) to Twabuka Community School in Sinde Village. The laptops are powered by their own individual solar panels, which eliminates the immediate need of providing electricity for the school. The computers’ programmes are also able to operate without Internet access when necessary, although Internet access is a plus.
Watch the video of Candyce Stapen’s return visit to the school in July 2016,
click image to watch.
“I am delighted to be working with Children in the Wilderness (CITW) to bring One Laptop per Child (OLPC) computers to rural schools in Africa. The project, Henny’s Kids, is named for my mother, Henrietta, who was an elementary school teacher”, says Candyce H. Stapen. “She would have been extremely proud to see how quickly the children learned how to use their new laptops and she would have been delighted to provide access to reading material and to a whole new world of educational opportunities.”
According to Dr. Sue Snyman, Programme Director for CITW, one of the main priority needs previously identified by the School PTA and village headmen was access to computers. Toka Leya’s GM, Petros Guwa, and Dr. Snyman work closely with the school in terms of community development projects and meet with the PTA on a regular basis. “The teachers are extremely enthusiastic and proactive and we will be working with them an ongoing basis to ensure the correct assistance and training is received. Ideally we are hoping to grow this project so that the school has the required number of laptops to ensure maximum benefits to both the children and teachers”, Snyman added.
Photos by Mike Myers
OLPC is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 with the goal of transforming education by providing every child with access to a connected laptop computer, the XO laptop. Connected laptops provide a cost-effective way to create learning environments that facilitate the greatest possible development of all children. OLPC is driven by a firm belief that laptops have a unique ability to leverage children’s innate curiosity and desire to learn, to develop critical thinking skills, and to foster a lifelong love of learning.
A laptop and solar panel, plus shipping fees, cost USD350. Donations of any amount are welcome. So that U.S. donors can receive a tax deduction, Henny’s Kids works with Empowers Africa, a 501 c (3) nonprofit organization.
If you go to Zambia
In Zambia, see spectacular Victoria Falls as well as rhinos and giraffes at Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Then, add a morning or afternoon of helping the children at the nearby Twabuka school with their computers. This volunteer experience is available from Wilderness Safari’s Toka Leya Camp. See the Men’s Fitness article on Henny’s Kids.
About Children in the Wilderness (CITW)
• The programme makes use of camp programmes, run at Wilderness Safaris lodges, as well as Eco-Clubs, run at schools in areas that neighbour the wild areas in which Wilderness Safaris operates.
• CITW aims to develop leadership values amongst the participants, so as to create leaders who are inspired to care for their legacy and can show others the way.
• CITW was initiated after a visit by the actor Paul Newman to Botswana in 2001. His organisation, the Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, is dedicated to offering educational and recreational camps for children with life-threatening conditions in America and Europe. Inspired and assisted by this organisation, the programme began in Botswana in December 2001 and has since been successfully implemented in the other southern African countries where Wilderness Safaris operates: Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Seychelles.