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For the month of December, we will be sharing stories of great Rotary projects being done around the globe. This week, we are highlighting Computers for the World, a Rotary district 5030 District program that has been running for over 15 years. When I was an Ambassadorial Scholar in Montevideo, Uruguay, I worked with C4W to bring over 200 workstations to install in schools, community centers, and orphanages across Uruguay. It made a huge impact on the lives of those who gained computer skills, but also on the lives of the students who came to Uruguay to install the computers. Below is a excerpt from the website with more information about the program, as well as a short video that talks about the great project work being done in Antigua.

 

If you have a Rotary story you want to share, please email it to me.

 

Vision

Computers for the World (C4W) creates a platform for exchange among people by supplying information technology to the international community. With this platform, they provide for better learning, communication, and sharing of information and ideas that help people participate in the global community, while simultaneously letting students gain real world experiences in leadership, organization and international relations.

This program is designed to create an educational medium to educate the students in an interdisciplinary field of technology and education. This program will create a level of sophistication that will allow students to have an interactive multi-educational experience. Those students are an integral part of C4W projects that empower them to have college-level job skills, in technology, leadership and project management skills when they graduate from high school.

The substance of the program is to obviate the technical divide and to empower those within the program to be educated for technical high paying skilled employment and other areas where they can use the skills learned in our programs. This is our C4W mission.

Lab In a Box

C4W is proud to have partnered with InterConnection in creating a Lab in a Box where any person can take a whole computer lab as small as 6 stations with unlimited potential for future expansion with them to an approved C4W project. The box contains 5 workstations and one station for the teacher. From the main station, the teacher can project lessons to all other computers, monitor all activity, and provide guidance as needed.

The whole lab packs into a box that can be checked in with your luggage or shipped relatively inexpensively. With this Lab in a Box we are now able to amplify our effectiveness while cutting costs. We will now be able to send an entire lab, whereas before we could only send 1 computer.

Computers for the World

History

C4W was started in 1998 by Emerald City Rotary Club (Seattle), Garfield High School Interact Students, Rotarians and Technology Teachers at Garfield High School in Seattle. Student participants are Rotaract and Interact members with technical, linguistic or leadership skills, and the determination to help those in need. In 2000 this program became a Rotary District 5030 Project. In 2001 the program was expanded to include Ballard High School in Seattle.

Between 2002 and 2004 several new schools were brought into the program, they are: Mount Si High School in North Bend WA, Truman High School in Federal Way WA, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bellevue, WA, Skyline in Issaquah, Newport in Bellevue.

The Rotary clubs that have been involved in this program are: Sammamish, Issaquah, North Seattle, Mercer Island, Snoqualmie Valley, Kirkland, Federal Way, Rush Hour, West Seattle, Seattle Four, Des Monies, Ballard Rotary, Bellevue Lunch, Bellevue Breakfast and Emerald City Rotary Clubs, and there are many others who have helped with individual projects, supporting the various project teams and C4W.

Many organizations have been involved along the way such as Group Health Cooperative, Premera, Microsoft, the Gates Foundation, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, United Airlines, Rotary International, Seattle Public Schools and many others have contributed to this program.

Past Projects

Computers have been sent already to Belize, The Gambia, Colima, Mexico; Gatchina, and Petropavlovsk, Kamchatsky, Gatchina Saratov and Balashov Russia; Tbilisi, Georgia; Ethiopia, Mozambique, Poland, Philippines, Guatemala, India, Navajo Nation, Uruguay and Uganda to serve as teaching tools in rural elementary schools, middle schools, technical universities and orphanages. The trips to Maputo, Mozambique, Lodz, Poland, Montevideo Uruguary and Guatemala City, Guatemala used the Rotary Foundation Matching Grant Program.

If you cannot see the video below, you can reach it through the following link: https://youtu.be/FsjW4MsiHAA
 
 

Current and Past Business Partners

Major Seattle-area business partners InterConnection, Group Health Cooperative, Blue Cross, Microsoft, the Gates Foundation, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, United Airlines, Seattle-area Rotary clubs, Seattle Public Schools, and many others have contributed computers, software licenses, funds, air miles, and more. Other businesses are encouraged to contribute in the future.

"Be a Gift to the World"
 
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