Expanding Free Access to Offline Education Initiative

We are developing a soft-launch of our new initiative to expand access to free offline educational resources in rural areas of developing countries, especially for girls. To further benefit schools and families in these areas, we are working with partners to combine free educational resources with the local production and utilization of biochar. Keep reading for more information about this initiative!

Converting Obsolete Personal Computers into Educational Servers

Our initiative combines the free resources created by the organizations associated with Ubuntu Distribution of Linux, offline versions of Wikipedia and Kolibri. This combination of software enables obsolete personal computers to become useful repurposed tools to support education. To make it easy for any computer-literate person with access to the internet to be able to do this, we created a step-by-step guide along with short videos on how to convert an obsolete personal computer into a Linux-based education information server that enables users to access content from it via WiFi from other digital devices. The information content on these educational servers is organized and distributed using two complementary software platforms; Kolibri by Learning Equality and Kiwix.

The educational material includes topics such as:

  • Math
  • Sciences
  • History
  • Technology
  • Climate Solutions (e.g. Biochar)

Softwares

Along with serving educational content to users, these software platforms allow administrators to add additional educational material to this server by downloading content from the master Kolibri and/or Kiwix online servers.

Reaching out to Agricultural Centres

Our first step in this initiative is to reach out to agricultural centres to share free information on how to grow biochar to improve crops and food production while also helping out the planet and creating an ongoing source of income.

What is Biochar?

Biochar is a charcoal-like substance made by heating organic waste (also called biomass) in an oxygen-limited environment. It can be combined with organic matter and incorporated into soil to enhance its ability to grow food. One study found that when mixed with compost, biochar can increase a crop yield by 40%.

Our new initiative combines the production and utilization of biochar with comprehensive education, especially for girls. Since biochar is an internationally recognized way of removing carbon from the atmosphere and it can be produced in developing countries, a significant amount of money can be earned by farmers and organizations creating this product. Biochar also has many valuable uses, including enhancing soil to increase food production.

 

Climate-Smart Education, Especially for Girls

Climate-Smart education refers to a wide range of educational activities that support climate action. This includes providing education to girls and training people on a wide range of climate-smart technologies like drip irrigation and biochar-producing equipment. Educating girls in a community has been shown to increase a community’s resilience to climate change and reduce carbon emissions. When girls are empowered with a high-school education level or greater, they have access to wider possibilities and can contribute to a community’s resilience to climate change. Another co-benefit of educating girls through high-school is that the typical family size has been observed to be reduced by about half compared to providing no education. 

The offline educational server mentioned above includes considerable information about how people can become more resilient to climate change including information about how to make and benefit from biochar.  Therefore, the free offline education resources we are facilitating and the biochar initiative mentioned above are very complementary to each other. 

Our Next Steps

As we raise more funds for this initiative, we plan to reach out to international NGOs that focus on education in developing countries with the capacity to provide online technical support to these organizations. This technical support will complement the online forums provided by Kolibri and Kiwix.

After we reach out to education-focused international NGOs, we plan to connect with smaller NGOs that are based in one of our selected developing countries and focused on education. Ultimately, we plan to expand our initiative to as many developing countries as possible. Over time, our goal is to increase awareness on how to convert obsolete laptops into educational information servers and on the benefits of biochar. 

After we reach out to education-focused international NGOs, we plan to connect with smaller NGOs that are based in one of our selected developing countries and focused on education. Ultimately, we plan to expand our initiative to as many developing countries as possible. Over time, our goal is to increase awareness on how to convert obsolete laptops into educational information servers and on the benefits of biochar. 

To learn more about the overall plan with our partners along with links to more detailed information, visit: Opportunity to Implement Biochar and Climate-Smart Education on a Global Scale

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