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Building a computer lab in Uganda

I want to take a second to clarify my goals this trip to Uganda. The main objective is to start a computer lab at the Uganda Youth Aid Nursery and Primary School, Kampala. It is a K-12 school, but we focus more on the junior and senior classes. We have been supporting them for years and now want to build something more sustainable to help them learn.

Thanks to our incredible donors, I am able to bring a bunch of laptops and tablets. Once we get these connected, we'll be using Kahn Academy and YouTube as beginning resources, in conjunction with their curriculum. I’ll spend three weeks figuring all this out with them.

Internet and power are an issue but not like it used to be. Much of Kampala now has WiFi, but like electricity, it’s a pay to play type system. If we can use a renewable resource, such as the sun, we can keep kids on those computers longer and learning.

We are about sustainability and real time transparency and education. Our number one mission is to provide tools to these students to build their own futures. Opportunity is hard to find, but it is there and we believe we can help them find it.

A solar kit is ideal. We could have purchased one but getting it into Uganda is difficult. I read they now demand 57% duty and $600/day if they have to store it (which they will inevitably figure out a way to do). I will look into their solar systems, but I have my doubts. Although I have been assured it is just as feasible to build solar there as it is here. We’ll see. Either way, the dream is solar— then satellite internet.

These are big goals. But more than doable. I will be showing every step, in real time through our various social media platforms. Please follow me for more.

—Peyton Thomas

Executive Director

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