Volunteer Opportunity posted by: Casa-Nica
Posted on: October 14, 2013
The OLCP project in Nicaragua is run by the Zamora Teran Foundation which is a non-profit organization founded by Maria Josifina Zamora de Teran and the LAFSE Bank. Their goal is to provide access to information technology and the internet to every primary school child in Nicaragua. This is achieved by providing a specially designed laptop to every child in a chosen school and installing an internet connection.
The foundation currently have around 30,000 laptops in the country and are always working towards increasing this number.
You will always work directly with the Foundation staff and many other Nicaraguan volunteers and is an excellent time to practice your Spanish.
The foundation offers several areas that a volunteer can work in. These are as follows:
Repair and Maintenance
The laptops are returned to the foundation from each school at least once per year to be physically checked and logged in the inventory system. Each laptop is subjected to a physical inspection, cleaning process and OS re-installation. Any broken machines are repaired from spares or out of service laptops. Full training is provided for all procedures and the laptops are designed to be easy to repair so anyone can do this! Only very limited Spanish is needed here.
Teacher / Student Training
The Foundation works hard to ensure that the laptops are used and beneficial to the classes by providing initial and ongoing training to the teachers. The Foundation has a specialized team that goes out to schools and organizes events to train the teachers. A slightly higher level of Spanish is needed here.
Backend Linux Systems
If you have experience in linux system administration and can assist with the command line installation and configuration of monitoring, inventory, wiki, cms, website and other applications then you can help in the technical office with their systems here.
When a new school is supplied with laptops the Foundation always welcomes help on the day of the distribution. These are always enjoyable with lots of excited kids and smiling faces.
Each school receives a server and several wireless access points. The Foundation often needs assistance with the physical installation of these systems. It usually involves running cables, drilling mounting brackets, testing the system and configuring to optimize coverage.
You will gain experience and confidence in disassembling and repairing computers. This is not as hard as it sounds!
If you are planning on working in the NGO field then you will see how another NGO meets the challenges of running a large and complicated project with limited resources and in challenging environments
The OLPC team are all young, very enthusiastic and great fun to work with.
They are receptive to any new ideas you have to improve their procedures and systems if you want to.
The foundation provides a free lunch to all volunteers.