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Knowledge Mosaic Employees To Bring Power, Opportunity To Nepalese Children

June 2, 2011

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Over the years Knowledge Mosaic has been proud to support a number of charitable endeavors — whether it’s a Seattle Works day cleaning up our city’s parks, donating science kits to young girls under care of the state of Oregon, or picking our favorite children’s books to donate to a community center for at-risk youth. One such cause now being undertaken by Chief Technology Officer Cliff Swiggett and Programmer Tilak Pun aims to make a big difference on the other side of the world.

In the remote, mountainous village of Shikha, Nepal, where Pun is from, frequent power outages prevent more than 350 public school students in Grades 1 through 12 at Shikha Higher Secondary School from fully utilizing donated computers in the school’s computer lab. These outages often last for days, severely limiting options and opportunities for study. According to Pun, a reliable power source would provide access to the internet, communication, and the outside world — critical enhancements to student learning in a community where trained, skilled teachers are not readily available.

Swiggett and Pun have developed a plan to alleviate this problem by traveling over 7,000 miles to Nepal to install solar panels that will not only provide power, but as Pun says, will “give these children access to the wealth of knowledge and educational resources available on the internet [that] will enable them to dream big and realize new possibilities.”

In August, Swiggett, Pun and Swiggett’s two teenage sons will travel to Nepal, where they will trek along the Annapurna Circuit, one of Nepal’s most famous trekking routes, to an elevation of almost 7,000 feet.  Along with as many as 20 students and several mules, they will carry more than 1,400 pounds of equipment, including ten solar panels and ten batteries each weighing over 80 pounds.  Even without baggage, this trek would take over ten hours, and is usually a two-day trip.

We here at Knowledge Mosaic have worked to support the effort to make Pun’s vision a reality by donating money and logistical support. We will be eagerly following this venture as it unfolds via frequent updates, pictures and more. You too can follow this incredible adventure right here on blogmosaic by tracking the Nepal tag on our blog or just checking back regularly once the expedition begins.

For more information you can review our press release, email info@knowledgemosaic.com or call us at 866-650-3600.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Leo Whitman permalink
    June 3, 2011 3:17 am

    This proposal has been making its rounds in kathmandu:

    Nepal National Internet Education Network

    So this is how I see it happening:

    1. We set up a technology school in a building with work space to repair computers.

    2. We get companies and corporations to donate their old computers whenever they buy new ones.

    3. We train students how to repair computers, giving the students valuable job training while repairing and upgrading the donated computers.

    4. All the computers after they are repaired and upgraded are donated to the Education Department for distribution to the schools.

    5. Throughout Nepal we set up classrooms with simple internet setups: computer, television, satellite uplink/downlink (where necessary), internet connection (where available), small camera and microphone, power supply (including alternative energy sources – wind, solar, water generated) and battery backup.

    6. These internet classrooms are connected via internet (where available) and satellite uplink/downlink (where necessary) to a central Communications Teaching Broadcast Centre in Kathmandu, where there are television studio classrooms.

    7. Using technology, we create the Nepal National Internet Education Network

    8. Right now many school districts are lacking enough teachers or lacking qualified teachers to teach many subjects.

    9. This way, all students in Nepal (especially in rural areas) will receive an education from qualified teachers in Kathmandu, with two-way interactive communication; and no student will be left behind in their education because of where they live. All students will receive an adequate education.

    10. We have the technology, this is not so hard to do and not very expensive. Money from Education budgets, NGOs, donated computers, support from Nepal Telecom, Ncell and other ISPs, one time up-front costs for some equiptment, donated computers, building space for technology repair school and building space for the central Communications Teaching Broadcast Centre.

    That’s it.

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