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March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

Nohana Primary School is situated in Ketane in Mohale's Hoek district of Lesotho. Ketane is one of the most mountainous regions in Lesotho and also in Africa.

Majority of people staying in this region earn their living by working in the fields and by raising animals.

Because of
its geographical features, means of communication and transport are very difficult. For instance, more than four-fifths of its villages are not accessible. The whole region is not connected to the internet, except only one government clinic.

In general, this is a technologically underdeveloped place, e.g. there are some villages whereby residents know nothing about cellular phone. Some residents have never seen and watched a television in their life. In some villages, majority of villagers have never seen a car. The same applies to the computers. This is the place where Nohana Primary School is located.

It is really true that these laptops are a treasure to our local community. We give great thanks to everyone who contributed to make this precious project success.

ACHIEVEMENTS
Teachers were equipped with basic computer skills.
Teachers started to train 24 student group leaders.
Teachers mobilised the pupils, community, local stakeholders and educational authorities.
Two teachers went to a one day training at Kliptown Youth Centre and Lilydale Primary School in Soweto.
Project leaders briefed Maseru Rotary Club members about our project.
All Nohana Primary School teachers got a three week school based training. My colleagues highly appreciated it. It encompasses laptop repairing, shelves fixing for computers, wiring and running generator. We got chance for practical activities that served as preliminary implementation of the project.
We formulated the regulations and contracts for teachers and parents. All these people would abide by their terms. This will guide us on how this mega treasure should be handled.
The next quantum leap was to make a work plan and schedule that classes 4, 5, 6, and 7 will be our target. Each class will have practical lesson twice a week. They can feel the presence of this treasure of Laptops to Lesotho, and also promote the sense of ownership.
We registered all 50 of these computers. This helps us to know and trace their movements.
We fixed burglar proofs in three rooms; one for computer lessons, another one for computer storage and charging and the last one for the generator.
To raise funds for the project, we have decided that our school's solar panel be used to charge cell phones and people pay as little as 30 cents per phone. This is used to buy fuel for the generator. We have also planned to have a concert once a session.

SUCCESS
Our school's roll has increased from 314 to 374 pupils. Implementation of this computer projects has reduced the rate of absenteeism. It has also improved the learners behavior as they now compete to score points about good things they do at school so they can take laptop home. Pupils are excited and motivated. They are grasping very quickly. Some community members have also shown interest in learning. We are trying to fix a plan to accommodate them in the computer reaching learning programme.

THANKS
My school gives great thanks to the people and companies that have been so instrumental from the planning up to the launching of this project.

PART 2
Nohana Primary School is engaged in a campaign against HIV and AIDS. Lesotho has infection rate of 23%. In rural and poor societies like in Ketane the case is worse. We have decided to formulate a policy whose main objectives are:
- to reduce stigma
- promote self awareness amongst pupils and community
- encourage the regular use of ARV's.

Our motto is "Education is the best vaccination for HIV/AIDS."

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I attended training in Soweto and at Nohana Primary School. I work with Andrew Dernovsek, Janissa Balcomb, Graig Balcomb, Delia Helie, and Aaron Laufman-Walker. In March 2011, I traveled to United States for a professional and cultural exchange sponsored by Foundation for International Professional Exchange and Laptops to Lesotho in Pueblo West, Colorado.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them more money and recognition.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Andrew Dernovsek was a Peace Corps Volunteer who helped our school.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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help with fundraising, design computer lesson activities, answer emails, arrange logistics, coordinate schedules, make phone calls, enter blog and social network updates