Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Metz Grant:
We were awarded $5000 by the IU Student Foundation Metz Grant in order to purchase 200 individual solar panels for the laptops. These solar panels will allow us to move away from the unsustainable generators that we installed last year as the student's primary source of power. The generators are not very efficient as they require gas to be delivered to them each week. Because they are installed at the schools and many children do not have power sources at home, the students could only use their laptops at school, which greatly cut down on the time that they could spend learning and exploring. The individual solar panels will allow children to use their laptops at home for more hours, and they are more cost efficient and sustainable in the long run.

IU Student Association:
We were awarded $4900 by the IU Student Association to subsidize our flight costs to South Africa and Rwanda.

Individual Grants:
Carolyn and Gordon were each awarded $2000 from the IU Hutton Honors College International Experience Grant and Savanah was awarded $2500 from the IU Hutton Honors College Professional Experience Internship Grant. These grants will subsidize the cost of transportation and accomodations.

The 2009 Team

Our 2009 deployment team consists of 4 returning members and two new members. We have a wide range of skills and interests that we believe will work in our favor. Get to know the 2009 team...

Savanah Franklin is a senior at Indiana University majoring in Economics and International Studies with concentrations in sub-Saharan Africa and Integration and Development. She spent last summer interning with Femme Développement Entreprise en Afrique, a microcredit organization in Dakar, Senegal. She is currently working on her senior thesis, a statistical study of the effectiveness of World Bank and IMF aid on GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa and is excited to take part in her first XO deployment.

Joseph Shikany graduated from Indiana University in May 2009 with majors in Marketing and Operations Management from the Kelley School of Business. He is proud to be a member of this project because he believes in the use of technology as a primary tool for developing nations. He was a member of the One Here…One There Indiana University South Africa deployment in 2008. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, friends, and reading.

Joe Peoni grew up in Indianapolis and currently attends Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, majoring in Public Financial Management. He had the pleasure of being a part of the 2008 IU One Here... One There deployment. He is currently working on this year's OLPCorps deployment, and applying for internships in Washington D.C. for the fall of 2009. He will be going to South Africa in mid-May to assess where the project is at from last summer, then going to Rwanda for the summit, and returning to deploy 100 more laptops in Haenertsburg.

Carolyn Commons is 19 years old and from Indianapolis, Indiana. She is a freshman at Indiana University, majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Global Health. She became interested in One Laptop Per Child through her brother and then joined his team going to South Africa for the 2008 laptop deployment. Eventually, after graduation, she hopes to work doing something in medicine in sub-Saharan African.

Born and raised in rural Indiana, Gordon Lang now attends Indiana University and is pursuing a degree in nursing. Ever since a trip to Tanzania several years ago, he has been interested in sustainable development projects in Africa, and is looking forward to this XO deployment. In the future he hopes to assist in implementing clean water solutions and malaria prevention projects in West Africa.

Joe Delehanty grew up in Indianapolis, IN. He attended Brebeuf Jesuit Prepatory School in Indianapolis, and became an Indiana University student in the fall of 2005. He is twenty-two years old, and currently lives in Bloomington, IN. He has three majors: History, Economics, and Germanic Studies. He is currently working on a honors paper in History, which will deal with the comparison of the Volstead Act of 1919 and the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 and their effects on race relations. Joe was also a part of the 2008 One Here... One There XO deployment.

What We've Been Up To: October 2008-May 2009

It was immediately apparent when our team returned to the US in 2008 that we wanted to work with XO laptops again in the future. We knew that our project had a major impact on the lives of children in Haenertsburg, but we also knew that there was much more to be done. (You can visit our 2008 blog at www.iuohot.blogspot.com to read about last year's deployment.) The prospect of raising enough money to buy 100 more laptops and accompanying equipment seemed daunting, especially in the midst of such a widespread economic downturn, so we were overjoyed when we found out that OLPC was starting a new internship program for university students called OLPCorps (largely due to the hard work of Paul Commons and Bryan Stuart, we love you guys!). OLPCorps gives teams of university students 100 XO laptops and up to a $10,000 stipend for equipment and operating costs.

We went to work immediately on drafting the required 750 word proposal and accompanying wiki page that explains project details. You can view our wiki and project proposal at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPCorps_IU_South_Africa. Being accepted into OLPCorps was no piece of cake- the application process was strenuous and the competition was tough- but on April 18th, we found out that we were 1 of 30 teams chosen out of more than 220 applications to participate in the 2009 OLPCorps.

We have spent the last few months planning and fundraising for our return to Haenertsburg. We will once again be partnering with Thusanang Trust and working in the same three local primary schools with the new 5th grade class. This summer will be different because our team will spend a total of 13 weeks implementing this project, rather than only 3 weeks like last summer. The extra time will give us the opportunity to document our project in the way that it should be documented, to work on larger projects such as a South Africa wide XO workshop weekend, and to spend more time teaching the students about educational programs on the laptops. Joe Delehany, Joe Peoni, and Joey Shikany are currently in South Africa evaluating the effectiveness of last summer's deployment. We want to know what worked for the students, what problems they faced after we left, and what we can do to strengthen our deployment this summer. We will also spend 11 days in Kigali, Rwanda (from June 7th-June 17th) for an all expenses paid training workshop for all of the 30 OLPCorps teams.

We are all very excited about what we can accomplish this summer so be sure to check back for regular updates!