SPARC+ Plan at Soit Sambu & Lake Natron

Powering Potential has set its sights on expanding the SPARC labs at the Lake Natron and Soit Sambu Secondary Schools for our next project. Both schools are located in the Arusha region of northern Tanzania, home to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Arusha National Park among other natural wonders.  

The original SPARC lab installations were part of our three school plan in the Ngorongoro District that we completed in July 2014. The third school, Nainokanoka Secondary School, was successfully upgraded to a SPARC+ lab in January 2017.

 

Nainokanoka Secondary School in 2017

The extreme remoteness of the Lake Natron Secondary School makes it an ideal location for our programs. The school is named after nearby Lake Natron, a salt lake fed by the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro River and the nesting ground for millions of flamingos. There are more than 500 students (girls and boys) at this school and with the expansion to a SPARC+ lab, students will have more time to use technology to explore educational resources. 

The Soit Sambu Secondary School has faced hardship. An accidental fire in 2015 completely destroyed one of the boys’ dormitories, rendering them homeless. Thankfully, there were no injuries, but the year-long rebuild caused delays for other initiatives. This school has more than 400 girls and boys and they continue to flourish with active enthusiasm for their education. We are excited to return there.  

 

Solar energy system equipment

Our plans involve increasing the number of computers at each location to 20, expanding the solar grid and upgrading the Raspberry computers with additional software. The staff at both locations will also benefit from new training. The arrival of our team always creates excitement among the student body. The students are inquisitive, eager to learn and even volunteer to help!

Every project we undertake is made possible by dedicated individuals like you. Your role in our cause is vital to enhancing opportunities for students lacking resources we take for granted. As we enter the holiday season, give the gift of technology education by donating today

SPARC+ Upgrade at Kabasa & Mekomariro Schools

Last month Powering Potential completed SPARC+ (Solar-Powered Access to Raspberry Computing) upgrades at the Kabasa and Mekomariro Secondary Schools in the Bunda District of Tanzania, Africa near Lake Victoria.

Three Bunda schools received original SPARC labs in 2015 and with this project all three schools now have a SPARC+ lab with 20 Raspberry Pi computers and digital content. In the video below, check out what Dorcas thinks about the new computers at her school.

The Bunda District is one of seven in the Mara region. Home to just under 350,000 inhabitants, it is also the birthplace of Tanzania’s first president, Julius Nyerere. Rolling grasslands and wooded hills dot the landscape for children walking to both Kabasa and Mekomariro for their education. Electricity and other resources may be scarce, but the enthusiasm of the students for learning is abundant. 

Students unpacking computers at Mekomariro
Students unpacking computers at Mekomariro

Upgrading to a SPARC+ lab entails expanding the solar grid, increasing the number of computers in each lab to 20, and providing additional training for the staff. This means a combined total of 900 students at the Kabasa and Mekomariro Schools, girls and boys, will benefit from the programs we provide! Technology education will also give these students a stepping stone towards both higher education and employment in Bunda’s more populated areas, which in turn will raise the standard of living in their native villages.

The schools built additional tables and chairs for their expanded computer lab and the other expenses were funded by Moneygram Foundation, an initiative started by Moneygram to increase educational resources for the world’s children. We thank them sincerely for their generosity in allowing us to expand education opportunities for students in Tanzania.

Founding Director Janice Lathen also highlighted Hon. Stephen Wasira for his participation. “These two SPARC+ upgrades complete a Bunda District project that was started in 2015 with then Minister of State, Hon. Stephen Wasira. The involvement of this high level government official smoothed the path to implementation. We thank him for his facilitation efforts and the Bunda District Council for their support.”

Powering Potential remains committed to a future where accessible education is a reality for remote schools. By utilizing solar power, open-source technology and Raspberry Pi computers, we are bridging gaps in regions which traditional infrastructure has left behind. Our next project is a SPARC computer lab in the Serengeti at the Rigicha Secondary School. 

Our efforts continue because of amazing readers like you who are moved to contribute to our cause. Donate today. Thank you!