For those of you that don’t know about “Jaaja Barb”, you should read about her here. In a nutshell, she’s a 70-year old single grandmother from Canada that has a heart for kids in Uganda. She had a vision of a creating a home, especially for “street kids” but she didn’t have any money. So she started baking banana bread to raise funds to build a home. Nine thousand (9,000) loaves later, her home is a reality. Amazing.
We’ve been doing everything we can to help Jaaja Barb because she has such a kind hart and God is really using her in a powerful way, but she’s really being taken advantage of. We’ve spent a lot of time with her in the past months helping her in any way we can, so when I brought back some Chromebooks, I had an idea..
We lent one of our “loaded Chromebooks”. To Jaaja Barb to use with her kids. As you might remember, these Chromebooks are designed to be super-resilient, hard for students to “mess up” and loaded with content from RACHEL (Wikipedia, Khan Academy, Project Gutenberg, Hesperian, CK-12 and more) and GCFLearnFree.org. The students don’t need an internet connection to take courses in everything from Match to Science to Information Technology. You can read more about the “loaded Chromebook” here.
Desire, shown in the black dress, is especially interested in her lessons. She’s super-excited and is now showing off her typing skills after only a few short days, despite having never used a computer before.
Dennis takes GCFLearnFree.org lessons on the Chromebook at Barb’s place and takes copious notes on notebook paper. Then he goes home to his grass hut and pours over his notes, studying them and organizing them to prepare for his next day’s lesson at Jaaja Barb’s. His primary interest is in learning Microsoft Word and Excel. We might need to move him over to our Jinja-based computer training center for free lessons.
I’m happy to report that the loaded Chromebook is holding up very well. It’s keeping a great pace, and it in one piece. There are no software problems, and the guest mode ensures that the students can’t “break anything” when they play around. Not bad for a $250 educational station.