Author Archives: wendyk

Developing RACHEL on the Raspberry Pi

Category : Training

Our trustee, Howard has been heavily involved in making the learning resources of RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) accessible from a Raspberry Pi server. He was delighted to receive this endorsement from one of the developers at World Possible.

Everyone has appreciated the time you’ve spent on the forums helping others and sharing your advice. It has really helped bring a sense of community to RACHEL.

6 years ago I discovered the RACHEL project and decided to try bringing back support for the Raspberry Pi. I had just gone through a period of surgeries for vision loss and was unable to work due to complications. There were times where I didn’t want to continue, but you worked with me, encouraged me, and knowing that you and Giakonda were taking it into the world to be used motivated me to keep working on it. That ultimately lead to RACHEL-Pi being used globally and to me being hired by World Possible which has in turn changed many lives, including my own.

I want to say thank you for the all of the support over the years. Though we have never met, I have always been very proud to be a small part of the great things you have done for so many people.. .Please let your wife Wendy know that I am always available and would be honored to continue supporting Giakonda Solar Schools.

All the best,
James Kainer

Haiku Day

Category : zambia

LIt up view of Siamwiinga school at night





Power for rural schools
A boost for lifelong learning
For pupils old and young

Unexpected impacts

Category : News

Sometimes our efforts at improving the educational chances of Zambian children have even more impact than first expected. The following are quotes from MUnyama School.
“Munyama primary school has for many years been operating without power to run  electrical equipments/gadgets or enough to have lights in the classrooms for the pupils. Until MARCH 2018, when GIAKONDA helped the school by providing a solar system that eradicated many challenges the school used face when it used to operate completely without power. Currently the pupils are able to study in the night without any problems, the teachers are equally able do their work in the night due the availability of power and good cool weather.
In additional, the computer studies department received a heavy boost from GIAKONDA through the donation of Lifebook laptop computers which improved the computer to pupil ratio. This gesture eased the learning and teaching of computer studies especially the practical part. Teachers are equally able to type their work freely without congesting the computer which were not in the school at the time.
Further the RACHEL has also been a very good resource for both the teachers and the pupils as they are able to research additional material in line with their work.
Additionally, it has also improved the school community partnership and rapport. Many parents visit the school to acquit themselves with internet services.

The one other positive story is that, two male parents after taking interest in computer studies, did register for the grade nine examinations and progressed to grade ten. We take these as the GIAKONDA first fruits.

Lastly but not the least, the recent training on learning to learn program has played a fundamental role in the improvement of girl child enrolment and also making the lesson interesting to the pupils and the teachers themselves as they enjoyed learning while playing.

The training has equipped teachers with learner friendly methodologies

COSTAZ Conference

Category : News

Yesterday the Computer Science Teachers Association Zambia (COSTAZ) held a conference at ST Vincent de Paul School in Monze. One of the items on the agenda was the setting up of Code Clubs in Schools.

Over the last couple of years, Howard has been training a small group of teachers to run code clubs to teach programming and physical computing. Macloud from Kabuyu andIT technician Bridget, were invited to address the delegates about this. There was a great deal of interest and we hope that more code clubs will be rolled out soon. Thanks to Francis from St Vincent’s for arranging this.

Macloud setting up

Feedback from solar schools

Category : News

We have been gathering feedback from the solar schools that we assisted in Zambia over the last 8 years. We installed solar panels and supplied RACHEL learning esources via Raspberry Pi. Here are  a few quotes:
“Solar power is cardinal to most of the rural schools in Siavonga District. Most of the schools are not connected to the hydro electric power thereby lacking any means of running technological appliances.
Pupils have a chance to do hands on activities.
Only seven pupils failed computer out of thirty four pupils in the grade 9 2022 final examination.
Generally speaking,there is need for most schools in rural areas to have solar to move at the same pace with urban children.
Your donation came at the right time.”

“The provision of solar power at Sianyoolo Primary School has enabled the use of Raspberry Pi which has allowed anytime free education access by the poor rural school communities.”

“I write to inform you our sponsors that the solar power has helped the school in terms security lights, charging of computers and phones for teachers. The solar power has also improved the learning of information and communication technology (ICT) in the school as computers are always charged before lessons begin. The RACHEL has improved reading levels and abilities for the learners. This is due to reading resources contained in the RACHEL resource.”

“Having the solar panels, adult literacy learning programs has been introduced in the evenings.Pupils have also benefited since they can now do their evening study.
Teachers have directed benefited by lessening burden on lesson preparations. The lessons are now more effective by the use of RACHEL Pi and RASPBERRY PI.
The school has actually been earmarked for upgrade to junior/secondary, since it has now power.”

We have achieved these results with the help of grants from sponsors such as Hub Cymru Africa, Wales and Africa Grant Scheme, The Waterloo Foundation, The Didymus Foundation,  The Carmela and Ronnie Pignatelli Foundation, 

Progress with physical computing

Category : Training

Pupils from Kabuyu Primary School have been exploring their coding skills. The result is this video showing the motion sensor they made.

Meanwhile these photos show the Code Club at St Vincent de Paul School. Pupils are looking at each line of code to see what it does.looking at coding

code club

Talk for Henllys WI

Category : News

Thanks to Henllys WI for inviting me to talk at their meeting on Monday. It was good to see so many ladies interested and enthused to hear about our project in Zambia.

Thanks for the “appearance fee”. It will provide physical computing kit for a Siavonga code club.

Kabuyu Code Club

Category : Training

We are training Zambian teachers to introduce their pupils to physical computing. They run an after school code club.
These pupils enjoy programming a breadboard to light up on command. The buzzer is even more fun – if very annoying!

Code Club at Kabuyu schoolCode club

Ethical Festive Market

Category : News

This weekend @hubcymruafrica are hosting their Ethical Festive Market! We are lucky enough to have our trustee Wendy speaking at the event so please come along to support her at 1pm in the Temple of Peace Cardiff.

panel discussion Boycott Shop Support

There are more activities throughout the day with the event running from 11am to 4pm.

#development #international #education #ethical #festive #market #youth #engagement #sdg #discussion

Powering Potential in Kabuyu Primary School

Category : sponsors

We are very pleased to have been awarded £1000 grant from the Oakdale Trust.

The money will be used to assist Kabuyu School with solar power. This school has taken an active part in online training courses and Learning to Learn mentoring whilst struggling with the resources to do this.

We are looking to raise additional funds to complete this project.