Electricity (and a computer lab!) Are Coming to BeeHive
BeeHive School has recently received a generous donation from The ESC Foundation, a small German family foundation. These funds will be used to install electricity in one of the school buildings. The building has the offices, library, and a space for a computer lab. As well as better lighting, the electricity will allow us to set the computer lab back up. The teachers and students are excited to have the computer program back in the curriculum!
Computer ProgramIn June of 2008, two MIT students came to BeeHive School and helped set up a computer lab in BeeHive’s old location, a house the school rented. The students brought 12 computers and a wealth of knowledge. They set up the lab and taught the teachers basic computer skills, how to operate the lab, and teaching strategies. Shortly after the lab was set up, Beehive students entered the lab with bright eyes and high expectations. The program was successful and the students were able to learn basic computer skills such as mouse movements, keyboard typing, and file structure. They engaged with educational games and learned basic programming.
The teachers also benefited from this lab, developing computer skills themselves. They participated in teacher training programs and learned how to use computers as teaching tools.
When the school moved to its new location, the computers were placed into storage. Now that the third building--which contains a room for the computers--is completed, the school is getting ready to set up the lab again and integrate computers back into the school curriculum.
Connecting to the InternetThe school also hopes to eventually connect to the Internet, which they have never experienced before. This will benefit teachers and students for countless reasons, including having access to online resources, being able to communicate through e-mail, and being able to connect to others around the world.
Free online resources, such as Kahn Academy and resources from the British Council, will be incredibly helpful for teacher training, and student learning. E-mailing the PTA, parents, and teachers will make communication much easier. Connecting with other schools worldwide will also allow BeeHive School to enrich their curriculum and teach their students about other cultures.
Library & LightsIn addition to supporting the computer lab, Internet, and e-mails, electricity will greatly enhance the library. The building was constructed with light in mind, and significant amount of light comes in the windows. Despite that, it will be much easier for the students to read with additional lights on, especially when it’s dark outside.
A photocopier for the office would be also be useful, for worksheets, newsletters, etc, but the school does not have one right now. Unfortunately, in Malawi copiers cost around 800,000 kwacha (more than $2000), so they’re likely not going to be purchasing one soon. Even so, having electricity will mean that if the school was able to obtain a copier, they would be able to use it.
We will update with photos once the work for the electricity is done!
Thanks to your support we are getting closer to our first tool kit shipment. So far we have $3,141 donated and once we have reached $10,000 we will secure a small workspace to collect and sort tool kits. At that time we will then begin to recruit volunteers to help prepare the kits for shipment. Our current plan is to work through training centers in Nicaragua and provide tool kits as requested for their needy graduates.
Many young people have managed to acquire skills from local training centers but have no way of using those skills because they cannot afford to buy tools. We at ASAP believe providing a simple but quality tool kit will change the lives of an entire family.. Usually one person is the provider for a family. That tool kit enables a son or daughter to generate income using those skills. The family will then have money for food, clothing and schooling for the youngsters.
It’s getting close to the end of October. That means Harvest festivals and Halloween here in the US. In Zimbabwe it is the onset of the rains, time to plow, prepare for planting – and prepare for final exams! Exams are written in late November and December. They determine whether or not students continue on to the next grade. For Grade 7 children, their exams at this last year of Primary School will determine which Secondary School they are qualified to attend. Being able to attend school, something we take for granted here in the US, is a life changing opportunity for a young girl in Africa. Studies show that girls that attend Secondary School have a greatly reduced risk of contracting HIV-AIDS and are often able to stay out of abusive situations. The more you contribute, the more girls ASAP will be able to help in the coming year. The money you generously donated will have a huge impact on the life of a child in Zimbabwe. At the end of December, ASAP will select the new girls to be funded for all three terms of the 2013 school year. The need is great. The number of students ASAP can assist depends on your donations. We will select the most deserving girls and look forward to sharing information about each of these fortunate children in January. Please continue to give generously! Thank you again.