Classroom Technology Empowers Disadvantaged Youth and Provides a Window to the World
Updated: Aug 17, 2018
Lelt Foundation is thrilled to announce the opening of our Computer Lab in Karakore, Ethiopia! We know the advanced educational opportunities we provide for our students are incomplete without technology skills and access to the greater world. In a region where electricity is often down for days at a time and Wi-Fi is limited, setting up a high-functioning lab was a difficult task. After considerable research and analysis, Lelt determined that a clean-energy alternative to the unreliable power grid was the critical first step.
Lelt was extremely fortunate to enlist MIT-trained computer engineer and educator, John Harrison, to build and design our technology lab. Thanks to a generous contribution from project partner, Volo Foundation, Lelt was able to purchase 24 computers and install a bank of solar batteries that stores energy during power outages. In addition, they provide a clean, safe and economical alternative to oil-burning generators.
"Over 20% of public elementary school children in our region are illiterate. Lelt’s programs are designed to narrow the educational gap for the most under-served population in our community."
Our full-time IT instructor teaches classes to students age 10-17 six days a week,
with open lab hours a priority
After we installed commercial-grade Wi-Fi at Lelt’s Community Center, John Harrison joined us in Ethiopia. With a particular focus on educational coding software developed at MIT, John navigated logistical issues during set-up while also building software and curriculum guides to empower our students to become experts in the technology industry. He designed a progressive technology lab that will help our students learn coding, programming and IT skills. In a bustling, emerging city like Addis Ababa, computer professionals are in high demand, and we want our students to have the opportunity to be the next generation of technology engineers and coders in Ethiopia.
The students we serve at Lelt’s Community Center live in acute poverty. Their educational opportunities are limited – the public school student-to-teacher ratio here is often as high as 100-to-one, a sure recipe for educational delays. In fact, over 20% of public elementary school children in our region are illiterate. Lelt’s programs are designed to narrow the educational gap for the most under-served population in our community.
Lelt Foundation and the Lelt Community are extremely grateful to the Volo Foundation, whose partnership and contribution to this project helped make it a reality; and to John Harrison, whose leadership and expertise opened the doors to a promising future.