I'm Nittai Malchin, a senior at Palo Alto High School in CA and the founder of One Love Advocates. Our mission is to do whatever possible to improve access to education in communities that are struggling with destructive or endemic problems. My immediate focus is helping kids in Haiti gain access to educational opportunities. I recently traveled to Haiti, and I will be documenting my trip on this site. There are 4 sections (see navigation above) to my mini site: (1) my blog where i document my activities, impressions and thoughts from Haiti (2) About One Love where you can read more about the initiative (3) Support One Love where you can learn how to get involved, donate or help (4) contact info. And on the right sidebar you will find more info such as links to other sites, feeds, photos, videos, and ways to contact me or share One Love with others. Also, check out the cool toolbar on the bottom of your screen to see our videos, photos, and Facebook page, for translations, and more. Thank you for visiting and feel free to share your thoughts.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Helping Build a Stronger Haitian Future - Launching a Computer Pilot

Among the most exciting moments during our trip in Haiti came during our planned visit to a tent-school in which we showed a class how to use a computer for the first time. Using a portion of the money that we raised, we purchased one HP laptop along with one HP printer. We installed a "photo booth" type of program on the computer along with "Paint" and other such interactive and fun applications. Next, we were able to find a technician named Carl (who speaks Creole) who we hired and was willing to help us out and launch a program through which we would teach children how to use computers.

The pilot program has now Carl cycling through the 14 different Prodev schools, going to each school every couple weeks, and ultimately teaching them how to use the computer and printer. Although this may seem trivial to you and me, Haitian children have, for the most part, never used a computer in their entire lives. Every time we meet with a school, we will incorporate something new into the lesson plan and, thus, broaden their scope of knowledge. We are now in constant contact with Carl so that we are able to coordinate new additions to the program, and hear how it is going so that we are able to make improvements whenever they are necessary. In the near future we are also planning to add internet access to these lessons and eventually connect schools in Haiti to schools here in the US.

Above is a video of the pilot class of this program. Most of the students, if not all of them, had never seen a computer in their lives, let along had the chance to play with one and print out a photograph of themselves. It was exciting to see the awe and joy on the faces of the students. Many could not believe what they say and some even considered it to be magic at first. However, after a couple hours of explaining and experimenting, all of the students were able to successfully take pictures of themselves using the webcam, and print out a souvenir of this special day.

As Fitu said (in the "Day 2 in Haiti" post), one of the major problems in the Haitian infrastructure is that the country is incredibly underdeveloped. Even the teachers at the school were eager to learn about what seemed like a mystical object to them (the computer), as they had never witnessed one either. Programs such as this one provide us with the opportunity to help the Haitian people leapfrog their current situation and dive into a brighter and more prosperous future. With an educated youth, Haiti should be able to expect improvements in their government, economy, education, and more as the emerging leaders are simply more knowledgeable and resourceful. It is our hope that, little by little, we are able to truly make a difference, and it is completely feasible that things like this can do just that.

P.S. Thanks to Avrami - who helped via phone with software and hardware decisions :)

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