Providing Lesotho's Children with Keys to the World

This is the story of our efforts to end the vicious cycle of poverty, disease, inadequate education, and early death
in a remote rural community in Lesotho, Africa, by providing quality education and life skills
to the young children there. Join us on our journey ...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Updates -- OLPC support; Purchasing XO laptops

Check out comments made on the 4 February 2010 posts for updates:

* more XO laptops purchased (see Big Changes, part 3)

* reply from OLPC on our request for support & training (see "Big Changes, part 2)

Here's an excerpt from the response by OLPC (emphasis is mine):
"... send [your proposal] to me so I can look at ways we can support you. I would not be against you joining an OLPCorps training; however, this year trainings will be in the host countries and be more specific to the program on the ground. I suggest we first look at your proposal and see how we can proceed from there."

They've now got the proposal and promise to review it. We're moving forward ...

- Janissa

New Team Member -- Shaun Ilderton

We have a new member on our team, Shaun Ilderton of Durban, South Africa. Welcome to the team, Shaun!

Shaun will be an excellent asset to our project. He is a family man and is active in community affairs. He works as an I.T. specialist for a Durban company, and he frequently travels to Sani Pass, Lesotho.

Shaun was thinking about starting a project similar to ours when he came across our website. Instead of duplicating our efforts, he offered to join our team. Shaun has jumped in with both feet. He is already investigating what is required to form a nonprofit in South Africa to raise funds for the project.

Because of limited leave, Shaun will serve as our technical adviser from a distance; however, there may be a chance that he will be able to travel to Ketane to assist us on site. Shaun has already provided assistance with information about internet assess and sources of modems.

We look forward to working with Shaun in the coming months.

- Janissa

Nohana Primary School internet still down

Aaron is back in Ketane after several weeks away at Peace Corps training and a little R&R. The internet modem for the school has still not been fixed, but he's hoping to get it repaired on his next trip to Maseru. In the meantime, he is using the Ketane clinic's internet to stay in touch.

Because the school has no access to the internet, and the clinic is about an hour's walk from the school, we haven't heard from Mapesh in a while. Aaron has tried to text message him on his cellphone, but hasn't gotten a response yet. Hope all is well there.

Janissa has contacted Vodacom about buying another modem and having it shipped to Ketane, but hasn't heard back from them yet either. She's also inquired about setting up a monthly internet subscription for the school.

Sometimes it's hard to communicate when you're half a world apart, even in this day and age.

- Janissa

Laptops to Lesotho - tax-exempt status

Janissa finally got the IRS Form 1023, application for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, in the mail yesterday. The application ended up being 16 pages long with 8 pages of attachments and 12 pages of supporting documents >> 36 pages!!! The process supposedly takes 2-3 weeks, so hopefully we should hear back sometime around the end of February or the beginning of March. Here's hoping we get approved!

- Janissa

Fundraising - Training, Presentations

Janissa has signed up for two fundraising seminars:
* signing sponsors in a lean economy (webinar, Feb 16)
* grant writing basics (at Boise Idaho, Feb 23)

She's also started putting together a powerpoint presentation to give for local groups as part of her fundraising effort.

Andrew has given several presentations in Colorado.

- Janissa