PCs for Migrant Children Campaign

by Travel Paulie on June 29, 2010

[Update: for a progress report please see the follow up article to this campaign posted 2 weeks following this one]

I’m here to humbly ask for your support.  It wont happen because everyone else donates, but only if you offer your support too – no contribution is too small.

Hopefully we can get computers that look a little better than this!

Hopefully we can get computers that look a little better than this!

Here, more specifically, is Mae Sot on the Thai-Burma (Mynamar) border.  The walkabout video below illustrates much more succinctly than I could ever do in writing, so please take a few minutes to watch the video and see how you can help.

Please use the links such as the Facebook share link, to share this page with your friends.  Copy the address of the page (http://paulgoodchild.net/blog/cat-volunteering/pcs-for-migrant-children-campaig/) and email to your friends asking them to consider helping out too.  Your help in spreading the word about this project is hugely appreciated!

The Video

The video is just under 5 minutes and is a walkabout around the school grounds I took this week.  It begins with the kindergarten area and at the time of taking this video, they were at play-time.  It then shows the park they have, and then on to the classrooms. The first class you see being taught is an English class.  The teacher has okay English but that’s all they’ve got for English training (except for native-English speaking volunteers).  After the classrooms I simply take a walk around the back to show you the washing up area.  I could take a lot more footage, but think this is fairly representative.  There is no “computer lab”.

If you can’t watch Youtube where you are, you can watch the alternative video on Vimeo.

The Project

I want to get computers into this school, and other schools in the area.  There are around 65 migrant schools catering for migrant Karen and Burmese children.  This school in the video has around nearly 200 students and not a single working computer among them, and this is a similar story repeated throughout the schools.

I don’t necessarily want to create miracles here and kit them out with a computing suite, but I want to get these guys 1 or 2 desktop PCs from which they can gain a familiarity with computing.  Finances allowing, I want to then repeat this for as many schools in the area as possible.

What do the children stand to gain from having these computers?

  • Imagine a child growing up in education today without ever seeing, much less using a PC.  When you have a mouse in your hand here, you don’t double-click it, you eat it.  😉
  • The children will be able to use the computers to learn word processing skills (in English, Burmese, and Thai), learn how to use various office suites, become intimately familiar with Microsoft Windows and how computers work.
  • They will have access to English-learning software so that they may also supplement their in-school learning.
  • There is no internet at the schools, so I’m not providing a web-surfing platform so they can check Facebook and play Farmville.  The only thing they will have available to them is the software suites that I supply.

These computers don’t give the kids a competitive advantage, rather they provide a basic IT foundation/exposure that many children in the Western world, and even the so-called “developing world” take for granted.

Where your donations will go

Using the link to donate, every single penny, cent and yen that is received will go directly to the purchasing of IT equipment for this school, and other schools in the area.  Depending on how much money in total is received, I will distribute the hardware amongst the schools evenly according to local conditions and student numbers.

Further, I will publish details (while retaining donor privacy of course) of all donations and for each piece of equipment purchased I will show receipts.  Every ounce of cash you donate will flow directly into this cause – I wont deduct any “administration fees”, or pay for printer paper etc.  Whatever is used to purchase the computers and ship them to their destination will be clearly published.

I will also show video evidence of the computers installed in each site, and the children using them so that you may witness the difference you have made.

My role will simply be to install the hardware/software, train the children on proper use and maintenance, and then leave the rest to them.

I understand reluctance for many in donating money to causes since we often don’t know where exactly our money is going, and that can be a little discouraging.  My approach to this project, and any others that I initiate will be full and comprehensive transparency.

If you do not know me personally, and you’ve followed a link to this page from a friend, don’t let that put you off =)  I’m a nice guy really.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions whatsoever about the project.  Also, please pass this link on to your other friends, or share it on Facebook for everyone to see.  The more the merrier.

To put it into perspective, a donation equivalent to the cost of a pint of beer ($10) by a 100 people will provide 3 computers.  But we can do MUCH better than that!  Consider 2 pints?  Or a whole round of beers!  The more weight you can throw behind this project, the better.  If you cannot donate this time around, I hope that you can contribute the next time.  Please remember though, you can donate as little or as much as you want.  It’s all up to you, but know that every contribution helps.

How to donate

I’m going to provide 3 options for donations – online using Paypal, or paying directly into either my Japanese or UK bank accounts.  If you want to pay into my bank account, please drop me a message to say that this is how you’d like to make a donation and I’ll reply with my details.  I’m not confident that putting bank account details online is a safe option.

Paypal

The ‘Donate’ button below will bring you to the Paypal website where you can make your desired donations using credit cards.  If you can make a bank transfer, this is preferable since Paypal will deduct a percentage of the money received for services rendered.  You do not need to be a member of Paypal, and you don’t need to sign up to donate (unless you live in a rare country that is exempt from this).


* Please note that name on the donation page is ‘David Goodchild’ – that’s my brother and this is his merchant payment system I’m using 🙂

Thank you so much in advance for your support!  And please share on Facebook below 🙂

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