OLPC Corps: UTSA and Baylor – Kenyan Project


We are a team of students from Baylor and the University of Texas at San Antonio who share a common passion about the life conditions of underprivileged children in Africa. The UTSA students had been working with the Invisible Children organization (http://www.invisiblechildren.com/home.php) and had heard about a group of students from Baylor who had gone on short missions to Kenya through a program cosponsored by their school and a church called UBC (http://www.ubcwaco.org/2007/Default.aspx) in Waco, Texas. Our team consists of five members: Sophia Worth, UTSA – Psychology; Alex Del Aguila, UTSA – Pre-Med; Leila Benitez, UTSA – Biology; Brandon Webb, Baylor – Human Resources, and Cory Osburn, Baylor – Religion. Our US based NGO sponsor is University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas (http://wiki.laptop.org/images/e/e9/Letter_of_Support.pdf). Our sponsor in Kenya is City Harvest Ministries in Kibera(http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Image:CHM_Letter_of_Support.doc).



1) Establish an innovative and collaborative learning model for the children and teachers with a fundamental emphasis on a child to child teaching methodology.

2) Improve basic reasoning, writing, and reading skills through projects that drive passion such as local fable re-creation and genealogy research.

3) Fundamental mastery of 21st century technology that leverages the intelligence of these young minds.



The host community that we are partnering with is an orphanage called Shelter Children Rehabilitation Centre in Ngong, Kenya (http://www.shelterchildrenkenya.org/Default.aspx). This orphanage shelters 130 children from infancy to age 21. We are also planning to partner with local schools that service the Kibera slums.



Edward Simiyu, Pastor of City Harvest Ministries and Ben Dudley, Pastor of University Baptist Church have committed to sustaining the OLPC project through funding and human resource support.

Plan Summary:

Our goal is to deploy an XO to each child from age 5 – 15. The orphanage is building a private school that will educate most of the primary school children, however currently all are attending various public schools. With this in mind we are looking to the orphanage to be the primary infrastructure and setting in which the XOs are deployed and managed. There will not be a problem with deploying the laptops to the kids during June through August because they live at the orphanage.
We will consult with local stakeholders to arrange for children to take their XOs to their public schools. We will encourage an approach where the schools will set aside time during the day for the children with the XOs to hold informal “classes” and teach other students about their new technology. These children are growing up with somewhat of a social handicap because they do not have parents and (potentially) do not receive the same 1 on 1 time that their peers experience. Empowering these children with XO’s will help them to connect with the world, create friendships, explore vast opportunities, educate themselves, their community and positively impact the world.


Learning Task Examples:

1) Develop Literary Skills: Kids will research local Kenyan Fables (3 or 4), make a mini-book with text and pictures obtained from the internet, make artwork with “paint” programs, read and present the book to other kids.

2) Emphasize Creativity: Kids will write their own Fable, make artwork and present.

3) Generate Passion (Genealogy): If appropriate and on a case by case basis, ancestral history research projects will be encouraged. Oral and written stories will be recorded and embedded on personal web pages and on a common school website. This will develop the children’s technical skills while participating in an activity that generates passion.


Logistics – Key Components:

We have carefully considered many of the logistical details and are prepared to elaborate on our plans should our proposal be chosen to move forward. In respect of your time we have condensed what we believe to be the major components:

1) Briefings, planning and buy-in from local schools and community

2) Training of key stakeholders and children

3) Deployment of XOs, Server, Network Infrastructure

4) Develop and implement program and mini-curriculum for child to child teaching


Because we are introducing XO’s to a sub-group within the schools we recognize that there will be a potential for conflict. A thorough understanding of local customs and traditions will be necessary prior to any engagement in order to fully understand what may work and what may not work. Two of our team members are prepared to go to the 2 week orientation that OLPC administers and all members will read the book called Culture and Customs of Kenya by Neal Sobania (http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Customs-Kenya-Africa/dp/0313314861).
In addition, one of our team members has been on two prior trips to this orphanage and the surrounding region and has established a significant awareness campaign at Baylor University (generating in excess of $30,000 for projects in the region). Another team member has been to the orphanage on one prior trip.
We believe that by allowing the school teachers to lead the effort in developing a setting, such as a one hour class period, the likelihood for success will improve. Furthermore, allowing teachers to control the curriculum and be the guide for the students who own the XOs will ensure the success of the program.
Setting up the server, digital libraries, networking software, management, security, internet connections and all other aspects of a 100 client implementation can be quite complex for a few college students to design and implement. We understand that many of these issues have been worked through by prior implementation teams and we plan to leverage as much of that knowledge as possible.



Total budget includes a $10,000 grant from OLPC and $12,000 in student fundraising for a total of $22,000. Please note that 1 student will be supporting the project from Texas, 2 students have committed 2-3 Weeks and the remaining 2 have committed to 10 weeks in-country.

Item # Description Unit Cost Total Cost Comment
1 Airfare 2500 5000 2 x Texas / Kigali
2 Airfare 2500 5000 2 x Texas / Nairobi
3 Transportation 500 1000 2 x Kigali / Nairobi
4 Room / Board 1400 2800 2 Student X 10 weeks
5 Room / Board 420 840 2 Students X 3 weeks
6 Backup Server 700 700  
7 Power Strips / Misc. Hardware 300 300  
8 Supplies 300 300  
9 XO Transport 400 400  
10 Stipends 400 400 Children / Stakeholders
Total Total   16740  
Reserve Reserve   5260  


5 responses to “About

  1. I’m going to be in Nairobi the last week of July – I’d love to stop by and check out how the deployment is going by then.

    • ubcolpc09

      Hello Wayan,
      We will be deploying at the Pokot tribe. It is about a days drive from Nairobi and we would be living in tents. You are welcome to come visit our deployment site- we may also be in the city, depending if we are on schedule with the teacher workshop. We are leaving this thursday. Please e-mail me at sophiaworth@yahoo.com

  2. Great Work Done by this team. Bravo to everyone supporting this initiative.

  3. thank you very much, the project is continuing well with a lot of encouragement from SNV KENYA

  4. Mark

    I’m a Kenyan student in Minneapolis interested in fund raising to purchase XO laptops for kids in Kenya. Do you have a final report on the planning and implementation that could be helpful for my future activities?

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