Saturday, January 26, 2008

Computers for Kahenge Combined School


Greetings from Kahenge Combined School in Namibia! My name is Ben Sigrin and I am a Peace Corps Volunteer Teacher at Kahenge C.S. For the past 14 months I have been living and working in Kahenge. In addition to teaching, my central project has been to establish a computer lab at the school.

From the start our project has had tremendous success. Our first step was to convert an unused classroom to make it suitable for a computer lab. Next the school, with blessings from the community and staff, spent most of its 2007 school budget to purchase 6 computers and a printer from a Namibian NGO, SchoolNet Namibia. Unfortunately, 6 computers is simply not enough for 560 students! Even today I have had several students ask me if they will be able to learn computers
this year. Sadly, for most, the answer is no. This motivates the second phase of the project: an expansion of the lab to 20 computers. In December 2007 I successfully wrote a grant proposal to the Peace Corps Partnership Program that allows donors to contribute tax-deductibly to this charity.

What is Kahenge Combined School?
Kahenge C.S. is located in the village of Kahenge in the Northern part of Namibia in Southern Africa. The school has 560 students in grades 1-10 and 22 teachers. In addition to the fledgling
computer lab the school has a library, science laboratory, and administration block,. Kahenge's students are poor. Many have difficulty paying their school fees and for school supplies. Most of the students have never used a computer. Despite their disadvantages, our students are disciplined and hard-working. They are ever-aware that education is the key to a better life and to supporting their family.

How Will the Donations Be Used?
The school will purchase 14 additional computers, furniture, and an upgrade for the central computer. All of these will be purchased through SchoolNet Namibia, a Namibian NGO dedicated to providing computer technology and internet to Namibian schools. SchoolNet will provide installation of the computers, training of the teachers, and technical support. The funds will be used in a transparent way, following the detailed plan of the PCPP proposal. I am also able to monitor collected funds and am given names of donors, to ensure they receive acknowledgement.

How Can You Donate?
You can donate in three ways:

1)Donate directly to the Peace Corps website using a credit or debit card at this
website: click here
Note: my project is code number 697-044 Your donation will only be used for my project and not go into a general fund.

2) Send a check made out to the Peace Corps to address:

Peace Corps
1111 20th St. NW
Washington, DC 20526

Note: you must put my project number, 697-044, in the memo line.

3)Send the same check to my mother who can forward the check for you (please contact her by e-mail if you want her address)

Please contribute towards this project! I can personally guarantee that your donations will directly help the school.

Questions and Contact Info
Please note that due to the lack of internet at Kahenge I am unable to field your questions by e-mail. In general, please refer to my mother, Kathryn O'Gorman