Ol Pejeta’s partnership with the Rotary Clubs has been instrumental to a number of community projects across health and education - helping us link conservation to a brighter future for young Kenyans. One of our key collaboration areas is in the provision of ICT to schools. At the start of 2019 for example, support from Rotary International and Afretech Aid Society enabled us to install Africa Ruggedized Education Solution (ARES) boxes in eight schools, along with 80 desktop computers, 80 notebooks, and audiovisual equipment in these schools. Funding also supported out education team to provide training to teachers, to enable them to get the most out of this technology. Now, they’ve been asked to take their skills abroad.
The ARES box is essentially a server, loaded with educational resources and designed to operate in remote environments. It is resilient to intermittent power surges, dust, and heat, can run for over 6 hours on its battery and connect with up to forty Wi-Fi connected devices – such as notebooks, tablets, smart phones.
ARES was designed byMark Knittel, an IT Director at Afretech - a Canadian NGO that has been installing libraries and computer labs in Africa since 1992.
Our education team are big champions of the ARES box, and have seen first hand the incredible impact it has had on the quality of learning for students in rural schools - many of whom don’t have a constant power or water supply. Last month, Teacher Support Officer Nicholas Njogu, and Ian Muiruri, Deputy Manager of Community Development Projects, were both sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lilongwe to go to Malawi and train teachers on the use of ARES.
They provided training to 25 teachers from the Atsikana Pa Ulendo School, covering ways to upload new content, and how to use data organisation tools. Our education team will go back to Malawi in January 2020 to make address any challenges that the teachers may be experiencing.