Computers Delivered for Shipment to Monrovia
Pictured above is Gabriela, an exchange student from Liberia living at MCSS Superintendent Isaac Zawolo's house in Maryland while she attends Northern Virginia Community College. She is sitting behind the 35 computers she had just helped me unload on Saturday, April 9th, when I delivered them as planned to Isaac's house for shipment to Liberia. These are the computers I will need for the Summer program I'll be teaching in Monrovia, Liberia starting as soon as school lets out in Arlington in mid June.
Huge Shout Out to the Arlington Career Center National Honors Society!
The NHS at the Career Center ran the campaign to solicit laptop donations. Our goal was to 15 to 30 computers, which we exceeded with our total of 35. Isaac and I are both deeply grateful to the ACC NHS and to our colleagues at ACC for their help with this project. We hope this is just the first act in an ongoing relationship of collaboration and solidarity between Arlington Public Schools and the Monrovia Consolidated School System.
Next Step: Crowd Funding in the Free Software Community
With the equipment obtained and delivered, my next step will be to reach out to the free software community to see if I can get some assistance in defraying the cost of my trip. All of the computers we are sending are running free software, with all but a few running Peppermint OS. This is fundamental to they way I understand my mission in going to Liberia - as an act of international solidarity aimed at building the solidarity economy in both Liberia and the US. By using software that belongs to the people, my students will not only be able to learn valuable web design and development skills with me this Summer, but they will be able to take all of the software tools we use and adapt them over time to their particular local needs. The GNU General Public License and the other free software licenses on all software I will use with students in Liberia will grant them the freedoms needed to use the tools for the benefit of their country. It is my deepest hope that this will begin a process that will lead to development rather than dependency.