CyberFair Project ID: 3796

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Ukunda Schools Project
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Several schools
    Several cities (including Haarlem and Ukunda), Several provinces, Holland, Kenya and other countries

2 students, ages 17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 12, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005

Classes and Teachers: teacher: Rene de Vries

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The two students who worked on this project are coming from two different continents: Europe and Africa. Frank lives in Haarlem, The Netherlands. He is the son of Rene de Vries (teacher primary school De Wadden). Frank is a former student of primary school De Wadden. Haarlem is the capital city of the provence Noord Holland. Haarlem is about 15 miles away from Amsterdam, the capital city of our country The Netherlands. About 140,000 people are living in Haarlem. It has many historical buildings and museums. Both at home and at school, Frank has fast internet access. His situation is totally different than from Hilder Anami. Hilder lives in Ukunda, Kenya. She is the sister of Rose Anami. (Rose works together with Rene, the father of Frank). Ukunda is a a small village near the south coast. The people are poor; many people do not have work. Hilder just finished high school and she is planning to continue her study. When she wants to work on the internet, then she has to go to the local internet cafe. However, using the internet computer is very expensive for her.

2. Summary of Our Project

During their vacation (summer 2003), Frank and Rene paid a visit to an orphan's home and two schools in the village Ukunda. They were touched by the difficult circumstances of the two schools and they decided to raise funds for the elementary schools in Ukunda, Kenya. They got help from Rose and Hilder Anami. Since the summer of 2003, those 4 people work together on this project. Our Ukunda Schools Project fits perfectly into the Global Schoolhouse theme: Prepare and Unite. Isn't it true that there is a giant gap between the rich Western World (Europe, USA, some parts of Asia) and the poor world (Africa, South America, some parts of Asia). Frank and Hilder (and also Rene and Rose) show what can be done when people unite. To avoid an ever bigger gap, our project wants to encourage 'rich and poor' students to prepare for the future - by thinking about their own future plans, the conditions that will affect the future of their community, and issues of global importance. The purpose of this project to raise awareness about Ukunda and to give others an opportunity to help the local Ukunda schools. You can help us with donations. We need your support. (p.s.: we encourage primary and -junior- high schools around the world to help us)

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

The computer and network resources between Frank and Hilder differ as day and night: Frank has access to the Internet through ADSL, both at school and at home. Frank can use school computers in the computer lab and he uses his own computer at home. Hilder -alas- has no computer at home and her computer access is only restricted to a computer at the local internet cafe (which uses dial up connections with a modem). Hilder was not able to use computers at school for this project.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

As we mentioned before, Hilder does not have access to computers except the internet cafe. So, Hilder mostly collected the information about Kenya and Ukunda, wrote it down on paper, made a story about it and then she went to the internet cafe to type it on a computer and send the information by email to Frank. Frank has 24/7 access to computers and internet, so it was clear that he would do the designing and maintaining of the website. One of the priorities is to provide the Mvindeni school text books for the students; we also will try to raise money to buy a laptop for Hilder and her sister (coach Rose), so Hilder can benefit more from the computer knowledge of Frank.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our project is about international collaboration in which we will try to bridge the gap between those who have and those who have not. We hope that all the other participants of CyberFair 2005 will participate in our project to make Ukunda, Kenya a bridgehead in Africa.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our project is not a 'normal' school project. We will try to bridge the gap between the rich students of for instance USA, Western Europe, Taiwan and many more rich countries and the poor schools in Kenya (Kwale District, with Ukunda as central point).

Frank already has a lot of internet experiences; Hilder is learning new skills every day... well, that is our dream, but alas: even a simple modem with a simple PC is something which you only can dream about in Ukunda. So, most communication is done by SMS, snailmail and now-and-then an email (sent in ocal internet cafe).

Our project is not a project in which we are concerned about meeting educational standards. Our project is not about how it fits into the requirements for our school. Our project is about the unfairness of the big differences in schools in the rich countries and poor countries.

Our project is about the help YOU can give to the school children in Ukunda. So, do not only read this line, but act: make a donation !!!

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Frank (and Rene) used digital cameras, computers, software, libraries, books, newspapers and much more. In fact.. all the things which are 'normal' on schools you attend (or work on). Hilder used oral interviews and pen and some pieces of paper. And with some sponsor money she was able to pay the local internet cafe to send her reports and information by dial-up connection to Frank.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

Frank received last year an international award from Childnet International. He donated all the prize money into this project. He was on the BBC and in some news papers. We were able to get some help from some schools (see participants).

Rose was invited to come to England for the Childnet Award Ceremony. Alas, the British Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, refused to give a VISUM to her. One of the reasons to refuse it was: Rose is just a black woman, who works in a hotel... (and she was told to go back to Ukunda and just do her job). Right now, there is still discrimination and therefor it is very hard for Rose and Hilder to become ambassadors in Kenya.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

So far, the schools who helped us, were very happy that they could help us with a donation. Some schools, like De Wadden, even did an Africa Project during the period of raising money. We get a lot of nice messages in our guest book (and by email), but we wish that people not only send nice messages to us, but we also hope they will send us donations.

Our website is our most important tool to reach out to the world to let the world know that Ukunda needs help.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Of course, we first want to thank ChildNet International... thanks to them, our project got a nice blast off. We also want to thank ISMF for their Award. The schools who already made a donation: THANK YOU !

Frank and Hilder work together with Rene and Rose. Since this is a project about money, Rene (as adult) is the project manager and Rose (as adult) is the field manager.

We want to thank Joan Goble, for her advice how to contact schools in USA. We hope that her advice will help and that the (rich) schools in USA also will make huge donations.

We want to thank the people of GSN who 'adopted' our project, making it an official educational partner. This way, our project has a legal status and we are allowed to use the online donation forms of GSN.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

First lesson we learned: there is a GIANT GAP between the USA, Western Europe, Taiwan and more rich countries schools and the poor schools in Africa (Kenya, Ukunda). This is unacceptable and we all must join together to give ALL the students a chance. Can you imagine a school in USA, Western Europe or elsewhere where the students do not have a pen, no paper, no textbooks, (and of course no good school building, no computers, no electricity, no desks). Would your USA or Europe community agree with that fact? Right, we do not think so either.

So what in heaven's name makes it that 'we' accept it from schools in Africa? That is not right, and we must fight this dishonesty.

Second lesson we learned: do not send school supplies to Kenya but go there yourself and bring your money with you. Buy the things you want to donate in Kenya, so you know for sure it will arrive at the school you want to help.

Third lesson we learned: the people of the Embassy in Nairobi are working for the British Government. We always thought that the British Government is not discriminating... but we were wrong. Poor black women from Kenya will get NO VISUM, even the fact they are officially invited and all the costs are paid for (including flight tickets, hotel costs and other -food- costs). Of course this is not fair and we will continue fighting for equal rights !

We also hope to learn that there are many schools around the world who care ! So, help us and remember the slogan of this year's CyberFair: Prepare for the future and unite communities!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3796)

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