Those of you that have been following our advanced programs in Uganda know that we’ve had a dream for a long time of getting a team into the VEX World Championships in 2017. There are many “robotics clubs” in Uganda, but they are generally reserved for wealthy kids and their programs are generally pretty lame, use old equipment and frankly the skills they use don’t translate into real-world problem solving. We wanted to be different. We’ve always wanted to get a team of typical Ugandan kids, who did not have access to expensive schools and see if we could help them along a path that was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
You guys have donated money and equipment through the years, and although it was a slow start we started training the kids from Jinja SSS in the Hackers For Charity hackerspace in Jinja Uganda and things really exploded when we were joined by the folks at Just Cause Uganda who brought in a much needed desire and skillset in STEM training.
Things are really ramping up now. According to Michelle from Just Cause:
Hi Johnny, we just submitted the Jinja SS kids first two entries into the VEX competition online for 2017 season!! This is the first time a team from Uganda has competed! Thank you for making this possible and taking a chance on these kids, on us and investing both yourself and Hackers For Charity in this effort. The kids worked so hard and loved it. We loved working with them, watching them learn and connecting the students in North America with them to collaborate and share their love of STEM. While I know it’s not perfect in terms of editing, graphics, and content I think it’s an honest reflection of the kids learning and self-taught efforts..It is something they can be proud of. Here is what they put together. I’m so proud of them and I hope you are too.
Thank you Johnny for making this dream come true for these students. This is impact! I hope this brings a smile to your face and you can picture the buzz of excitement that was everywhere from the kids during the most recent exchange as the kids unveiled this final product. Now the next steps are how do we start things in motion to get them to the physical competition in 17 months from now!
You can also see their official webpage here, which shows a lot more about the team, including a huge shout out for HFC.
All three of these sites were built entirely by the kids themselves! This marks a huge step for and we are so proud of them!
Thank you all for your continued donations and support. You’re making this happen for team J-Robotics in Uganda! I’ve often stressed out about how much overhead it takes to run our programs in Uganda, but this makes the effort worth it. It’s exciting to see kids taking such major strides in technology, and it’s certainly a first for Uganda.