One night, as Shawn was explaining Chocolate University and the Tenende, Tanzania project, I believe the theme music for Mission Impossible played in my head. Shawn was bouncing around some crazy idea about how he wanted to provide an internet based education system to a school in a remote part of Africa that not only is without Internet, but doesn’t even have electrical power. Most people would have brushed aside his ideas aside as being crazy, but as a former Marine and current tech nerd I said, “LET’S DO IT.”
I won’t bore you with the details, but the plan was basically twofold: gather some gear and some software, and figure out how to power these things. The scope went from one laptop as a test to five fully loaded classroom laptops and projectors. In the beginning, power will come through a generator, with bio and solar solutions following close behind.
I have been working in the technology field for over 15 years and the generosity and ingenuity of the IT industry still amazes me. With just a few requests we were able to acquire most of the necessary equipment: laptops from HealthMEDX; laptop bags from Aztec Computers; and a monetary donation from the Southwest Missouri Association of IT Professionals. I have also had organizations that have been working in Africa offering their assistance on this project.
There is a lot of work to be done, but we are going to bring something to this community that most of the world takes for granted. We are going to bring access to knowledge; access that has been denied due to lack of resources, extreme distance, and the feeling that it was an impossible mission. I can’t wait until I can report back that the Mission is Complete.
I am honored that I have been asked to join this group and this project. The 13 young adults going on this trip are simply amazing. The passion they have to make a difference is inspiring beyond words. Please contribute today. Show these kids that they are supported by their community and that anyone with a dream and a desire can make an impact.