At the moment we are trying to raise money to bring laptops to children in Bura Tana, Kenya. The laptops are $100 apiece.
This whole adventure started in an Interior Design class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We, the students, were tasked with designing disaster relief shelters out of cardboard. One of the shelters was built to full scale and on display at the Modern Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin. We researched different types of disasters and interviewed victims to help inform us on how to design semi-permanent housing out of cheap, easily accessible materials. Our goal was to help people gain self-esteem while feeling connected to a community. Through a very random sequence of events, Susan Miller, a resident of Mequon, WI who has a connection to the Bura Catholic parish, Diocese of Garissa in Bura Tana, Kenya, saw pictures of our shelter. She contacted our instructor, Lesley Sager, and started the ball rolling. Bura Tana is a region in Kenya that suffers from long periods of drought coupled with rare, but intense, rainfalls. The result is that there are very little natural resources to build homes that can withstand both extremes and many people are left homeless. The initial plan was to bring our waterproof cardboard tube design to the mission in Bura Tana with the goal of teaching people how to build their own shelters, however, we decided that we didn't want to impose a new concept without getting to know the people and their needs first. Our trip to Kenya this January will focus on observing the culture and researching the feasibility of our shelter concept. But we also want to start helping the people of Bura Tana immediately. This is where One Laptop Per Child comes in. This is a wonderful organization that creates cheap, durable laptops and sends them all over the world to children who otherwise wouldn't have the same educational opportunities as children who have easy access to computers. We want to be able to bring as many laptops as we possibly can to the students of the John Paul II Academy in Bura Tana. There are about 200 students between the ages of 6 and 12. This school is unique because it promotes education for girls and actually has about equal numbers of girls and boys! Each laptop costs only $185 to produce, package, and deliver to Kenya. The money you donate will go directly to a laptop that will improve at least one child's education. Please donate whatever you can - every little bit will help!