(Disponible también la versión en castellano.)
After three months here in Peru, we're beginning to have a better picture of our work and its place in the whole. This far we've prioritised the dialogue with our local contacts, but we've also had to present our work and ourselves so many times it's time to publish a version here as well.
Objectives of our work
Both of us have a history of voluntary work and a strong sense of solidarity. To do something more important than before, we chose the Latin America, where we're concerned about the great post-colonial class inequalities. Our general objective is to apply our skills to preventing via better education the marginalization of the rural children who come from the lower social classes or from the indigenous populations.
Sharing this objective, the Peruvian OLPC deployment project of the Ministry of Education as one of the first in the world has bought the OLPC XO-1 laptops (One Laptop Per Child, the “green laptop”) for some 177 000 pupils and teachers in the rural one-teacher primary schools. The ministry has also organized one-week trainings for these teachers.
However, the ability of technology to transform education remains internationally unproven, let alone that of one-to-one laptops, and much more needs to be done to reach the potential of the laptops. We as a two-person team don't have much resources to help the children and their teachers directly, but we collaborate with the local ministry and NGOs as well as with other international and local volunteers.
We've identified opportunities in supporting the local volunteer community, training of teacher supporters, advising culture NGOs in participation, developing educational applications and games, and improving training materials.
Work realised this far
Too big part of the first three months has gone to administrative work, coordination and planning. Fortunately, we've also accomplished something:
- Got to know people of the ministry's project as well as of the local NGO Escuelab and the volunteer communities around it.
- Assisted in a teacher training week of the Ministry of Education in the city of Satipo in the region of Junín.
- Asked for laptops from the ministry to the school Comunidad Shipiba in Cantagallo (a shanty town of native Shipibos in Lima).
- Trained the primary and kindergarten teachers of the strategically important Comunidad Shipiba. (View a report in Spanish)
- Offered technical and pedagogical support to three schools in the district of Yarinacocha (outside the city of Pucallpa in the region of Ucayali).
- Organized two workshops of collaborative learning for the interested teachers in Yarinacocha.
- Organized a three-day training for the teacher's pedagogical supporters of the provinces of Coronel Portillo, Atalaya and Padre Abad, Ucayali.
- Initiated a list of existing training material in Spanish.
- Got in contact regarding future collaboration with the Embassy of Finland, the NGO Warmayllu, a student from Germany, UNICEF, and a nascent American NGO.
- Teacher with the specialisation of Master of Special Education
- Studies for Master of Psychology in the University of Jyväskylä, Finland
- Studies for PhD in Special Education in the University of Eastern Finland (research topic: the relationship between learning difficulties and depression in the adolescents)
Most of her teaching experience is from supporting pupils who have learning difficulties or emotional and behavioural problems in lower-secondary schools. Her interests in general include learning, motivation, and emotion, especially in the adolescence. She wants to implement the global human right to education for all, adapted to individual strengths and weaknesses.
- Free software developer
- Studies for Master of Computer Science in the University of Jyväskylä
- Experience of academic research in the University of Jyväskylä and in the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), National University of Ireland, Galway
Most of his experience is in developing novel free software on Linux. His interests in general include programming languages, user interface concepts, technology marketing, and their integration on Internet scale. He wants to adapt information technology for better usability all around the world, to advance the global human development.