solar computer lab PROJECT
EKONAK PRIMARY SCHOOL • EPAU VILLAGE • VANUATU
Shalin's wife Frances is currently serving in the Peace Corps in the island nation of Vanuatu. She is stationed in Epau Village and is working closely with the primary school to establish a Solar Computer Lab to benefit the students, teachers and members of the community. The Shalin Happiness Foundation would truly appreciate your help in this project.
WHERE WE ARE
Vanuatu is a young and developing island nation comprised of 83 islands. It gained independence from Britain and France only 36 years ago and has since been developing quickly in its urban areas. Technological development throughout Vanuatu is changing rapidly, especially on the capital island of Efate. Epau Village is located on
the main island, but development has been slow to reach this rural village. Despite the rapid improvements happening in the capital of Port Vila only an hour away, Epau Village still appears to be a period behind without electricity or running water. Most households are powered by noisy, gas-powered generators or solar panels.
Ekonak Primary School is an elementary school based in Epau Village. Our primary school has approximately 125 students from grades 1 through 6. Epau Village has a population of roughly 500 people and is located along the east coast of Efate island.
OUR SOLAR COMPUTER LAB PROJECT
The people of Epau Village want to establish a Solar Computer Lab in the Ekonak Primary School to give community members, teachers and students alike the opportunity to gain new technological skills to (1) make their work more organized and efficient, to (2) enable them to qualify for jobs that require computer literacy, to (3) increase access to internet resources and to (4) become more connected to the global community.
Currently, there is a high population of young adults in Epau who cannot find work in the city because they lack basic computer and technological skills. Many have dropped out of school early (from grades 7 through 10) due to lack of interest or finances. We hope with the establishment of this computer lab, we will be able to create a computer training program to help these young men and women find stable jobs in the city.
In addition, this lab would be used by teachers and students alike in the primary school. Teachers currently spend hours recording and writing grades, posters, tests and homework by hand. With this solar computer lab, they could spend less time transcribing and more time focused on lesson planning and student engagement.
HOW THIS PROJECT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
There is great interest among community members and students in learning computer skills.
There are no local opportunities for students or community members to learn basic computer skills affordably.
It is important for students to learn basic computer and technological skills for their future academic careers.
The solar computer lab will save the school and community money as it is a renewable and sustainable resource, unlike generators that require money for gasoline to run.
The lab is a project that unemployed young adults in the community can utilize to improve their employability skills.
Computer literacy training will save teachers time in recording students’ marks, writing tests and homework.
Laptops can be used as multimedia devices to enhance lessons and provide more resources in the classroom.
WE WOULD LOVE YOUR HELP!
We would like to ask for your generous assistance in jump starting our solar computer lab. Through a small grant, we have recently installed a solar charging system in our school buildings capable of powering laptops and tablets. We currently have 5 previously used donated laptops, but they are all severely outdated and energy inefficient. To establish our computer training classes, we are looking to acquire a class set (about 20) of laptops and/or tablets, computer mice, and a projector. We would truly appreciate computer equipment donations (laptops, computer mice, tablets or projectors) or monetary donations through The Shalin Happiness Foundation (via PayPal below).
You may find our Solar Computer Lab Equipment wish list on Amazon here.