Ned Hamson's News from the Second Line: Update on Mac Computers for Mayan Kids    
 Update on Mac Computers for Mayan Kids1 comment
picture17 Aug 2006 @ 02:25, by Ned Hamson

Now I understand why there is more talk about computers for every child than action -- it takes time and many steps whether you are getting computers for use here in US or overseas.

We are blessed with some bulldogs though, so we are moving forward. 400 plus Macs are in Guatemala. Funds are being sought for to build 15 small computer outbuildings at each school.

Will Blessing in Massachusetts is still helping by getting an updated wish/need list up on MacInTouch. This is one of the dozens of difficulties you run into. Eighty-five of the Macs need USB keyboards and mice or converters and we are in need of Dram batteries, as well as OS 9 education related software in Spanish, if possible.

Will it all come together? Yes! I'll probably be able to share photographs and messages from the kids, teachers and families in 6 months or so.

Until then, wish us the best and don't hesitate to help if you find a similar opportunity.

Which reminds me. A lot of folks think that projects like MIT's of inventing a laptop for under $100 for every kid in the world sounds really great... until...

Who's going to put up say $90 for one billion laptops, the software to go on it, people to train kids on how to use them, and the cost for access to the internet?

It's a nice idea but why invent a wind up, solar computer, except to get - sorry for the cynicism - press for MIT?

Only a small fraction of computers that could be recycled and donated for use here in the US, ever get recycled and donated. An even smaller fraction of just US computers ever make it overseas for donation.

The probable truth? There are enough computers tossed out and not recycled every year in the "first" world to provide a computer to every needful student in the second and third world section of the first world, as well as make a huge dent in the second and third world's needs for computers. Will it happen? It could but it's unlikely... unless people such as you decide to personally do something to at least see that one, two or three computers are recycled to needful students.

How about this for a really nutty idea? If you are getting ready to get new computers, find someone who can use the ones you now have. Then deliver it yourself, set it up, and volunteer to do a little start up training. How's that for being really radical? After all, who can you really count on to deliver the goods except yourself. What do you think?

I am not bragging but I have recycled four Macs that way - right here in river city - Cincinnati. Why don't you join up in taking action yourself?


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19 Aug 2006 @ 15:20 by jerryvest : Right on, Ned. I'm happy to see
that your project is doing so well and hope all of the parts and other things come together for you and your partners. We have also gotten some used computers and donated them to many social service agencies who don't have funding for equipment. One of my partners did as you suggested and took them directly to these nonprofit agencies, set them up and got them online.

Because we are next door neighbors with Mexico, a few years ago, our students raised money to place computers in a Juarez University so that we could interact with them. It is often hard to get this equipment across the border, but nothing is impossible when we have the Will to provide service to and with humanity.

Thanks for hanging in there and for your determination to help others.

Best wishes for continued success.

Jerry  



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