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Grants: YEF Grant 201106

YEF Grant Content

  • Mission Statement
    • We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to provide free computers and free and open source software to disadvantaged kids and schools open to the public. Our mission is to set up computer labs in schools around the world where kids have no other access to technology. We use donated, used computers, open source software and volunteers.

      We bring in computers, set them up, provide training and work with local volunteers to provide long term support. We encourage schools to work with the broader community in order to sustain the lab for the future. We ask schools to work with parents in supporting their children's education and ask that they solicit donations from local businesses.

      Our computers come from individuals, other nonprofit organizations, as well as companies such as banks and computer companies. Our volunteers come from many different places, all professionals interested in bringing technology, open source software and education to children. Our schools are very poor schools but have very engaged teachers and parents willing to work with us to give their kids opportunities.
  • Brief History of Organization
    • Kids on Computers was started in 2008 with the goal of setting up one computer lab a year in schools or areas where kids do not have access to technology. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers and donors, we have far surpassed this goal. In the last year and a half alone, we have set up six computer labs in schools in Mexico and Argentina.

      These labs have been successful beyond our expectations. 18 de Marzo, a school we set up in June 2009, in Mexico, initially collected money from parents to pay a computer teacher. After proving the lab's success, the government now provides funding for the computer teacher. Santo Domingo, a girls' school, works with local businesses to get internet. Another school, CAM, a school for kids with disabilities, has internet donated by a parent of a former student, and enables the parents to come in during the evenings to research their kids' disabilities and assistance available.

      We have also worked with organizations such as FedEx, Partimus, System76 and Caja Popular Mexicana to coordinate computer donations and logistics. This year, we upgraded 2 schools and set up 2 schools in Mexico, and are now setting up new labs in India and Zambia.
  • Champion Statement of Support
    • Kids on Computers is a nonprofit organization which strives to give children in developing countries an opportunity to break out of the poverty of their surroundings. The organization has proven itself successful in creating labs in developing countries and not only inspiring the students, but also the communities of these students.
      By establishing computer labs with internet in remote developing regions, students, their parents, and their communities are given access to the outside world so they may educate themselves and realize new dreams.

      Members take time outside of their day jobs to set up labs and coordinate logistics in remote countries. I recently heard about their trip to Huajuapan where they upgraded labs in two schools and installed labs in two other schools. It is amazing to see what the group is able to accomplish with their limited resources. I am very inspired by the work they do and know funding them would allow them to continue to expand their efforts into India and other developing countries.

Project Information

  • 1. Please indicate which focus area is most associated with your project.
    • Education & Youth
    • Community Building & Families
  • 2. How much money are you requesting? (Up to $5,000)
    • 5000.00
  • 3. What project are you requesting funding for?
    • Expansion of KOC into India
  • 4. What is this project's budget?
    • 17,500
  • 5. What is the organization's budget?
    • 2,000
  • 6. How many people will be impacted by YEF funding of this project?
    • 1000
  • 7. What will this impact look like? (200 word limit)
    • The labs we've set up in Huajuapan de Leon, Mexico have made a huge impact on the community.
      We've made a difference in the communities and lives of children around 5 schools in the area. At the 18 de Marzo school, because of the lab, the local community also built a library, a room to house gym equipment, and hired a school psychologist. Another school, Escuela Primaria Manuel Gonzalez Gatica, is a one room school in a small rural town. Most of the town doesn't have electricity, phone lines, internet, or any modern conveniences. Each school serves approximately 50-300 kids plus their parents and extended community.

      We believe we can expand this impact into other countries like India. With money from the YEF grant, we would be able to set up a lab in a rural region of India where kids are currently not given the opportunity to learn via computers.

      Four of our current community members have family in India. We believe that we can prove our model works in other countries by expanding to India with their help and the help of their families.

  • 8. What geographic area will be served by this project?
    • We are planning to establish labs in the rural regions of Kerala, India and Assam, India where our members have family that can help with local logistics.
  • 9. Specifically, for what would YEF funding be used in this project? (200 word limit)
    • YEF funding would be used to go towards buying inexpensive netbooks ($250) for our first computer lab in a school in India.
  • 10. What specific community need are you addressing, and how does the project address it? (Be specific - 400 word limit)
    • Many of the kids in this region get very little education. They have no access to technology in elementary school. In India 25% of the population is still illiterate; only 15% of Indian students reach high school, and just 7% graduate. As of 2008, India's post-secondary high schools offer only enough seats for 7% of India's college-age population. [see: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Education_in_India]

      Our goal in setting up these labs is to give disadvantaged kids with no access to technology and their communities a true opportunity at a modern education. This new lab in India will be in a school and if at all possible, it will be open to parents and communities in the evenings.
  • 11. If there is a selection process for the people who benefit from your services, what is that process? In other words, what determines who is served? (200 word limit)
    • In order for a school to be selected for a lab, there must be someone local willing to handle the logistics for setting up the lab.

      We need someone local to coordinate volunteers, supplies, schedules, research options for internet, and infrastructure. The school, the principal and the parents must also be heavily engaged. In addition, we have technical requirements including, but not limited to, a room that locks and stays cool enough to have a room of computers.
  • 12. What are your main goals, metrics for measuring each of the goals and how will you determine if you have succeeded in meeting those goals? If possible, please provide data on how you have performed against those goals in the past. (200 word limit)
    • Our goals are to:
      • Expand our efforts to another country India.
      • Set up a computer labs in a school in India.
      • Provide training for the students and teachers. Often at the schools we work with, the teachers have never used computers either. We provide training while we are there and set them up with local volunteers.
      • Get internet access for all of the schools. Four of the six schools we've set up have internet now, one is about to, and one doesn't. We have provided internet by working with different organizations from parent organizations to local companies.
      • Another goal is to get parents and the community involved. We've been successful in different ways with this goal. In one school, parents chip in to pay for a computer teacher. In another, a local business provides the internet.
      • A final goal is sustainability. We do this by building out the local technical volunteers and keeping in contact with them.

  • 13. What other sources of funding are you pursuing for this project, and for other projects you are involved with? (200 word limit)
    • We look to several sources for funding and support:
      • Monetary donations from individuals.
      • Donated computers from individuals with help from computer companies.
      • Donations from US companies and companies local to the schools where we are building the labs.
      • Our volunteers donate their time and pay for their own travel.
      • Other grants. For example, we received a grant from Fed Ex in 2009 to ship computers to one school.
  • 14. How do you create long-term benefits that go beyond the immediate provision of services, for instance through enabling self-sufficiency of those served when possible? (200 word limit)
    • We strive to make the communities self-sufficient. We work very closely with local open source and technical experts, school principals, teachers, and local companies. We have local Linux experts who volunteer their time to maintain the labs. We've gotten donations of computers from local businesses, such as the Caja Popular Mexicana bank as well as computer repair services from other businesses. All of our schools are self-sufficient now. We continue to try to build on that and enable them to do more to further their students' education.
  • 15. Regarding this specific project in the proposal, what other organizations are working on projects related to yours? Will you be collaborating with them? Why or why not? (200 word limit)
    • We've collaborated with several other organizations and nonprofits such as Partimus, System 76, and Zareason. Partimus helps set up labs in the United States, but not in developing countries. We've worked with them on receiving and fixing donated equipment, installing software, and sharing best practice for setting up labs.