The Open Source Initiative (OSI) invited Powering Potential to apply for membership and unanimously accepted us as an Affiliate Member and as their first African Affiliate Member. We were invited to apply for membership after OSI featured our work on their blog in June. OSI is an organization dedicated to promoting open source software development, innovation and collaboration on a global scale.
Powering Potential has a firm commitment to enhancing education in rural Tanzania. To do so, we utilize 5-watt Raspberry Pi computers powered by solar energy. Each unit is fully configured and contains open source software from other OSI Affiliate Members such as Debian Linux, LibreOffice, and Python. We also use an open source programming language called Scratch. This software enables us to sustain our programs by keeping maintenance costs down while enabling students to benefit from leading edge technology.
We hope to strengthen the open source movement internationally with this collaboration and provide more opportunities to the Tanzanian people in the process. This includes spreading awareness about other OSI Affiliate Members and open source projects in Africa.
Open source technology is a platform we use to encourage Tanzanian youth to compete on a world stage. Our Educating-Through-Technology programs with the RACHEL offline educational content from WorldPossible.org have reached more than 10,000 students and enabled them to advance their education and secure employment with their technology skills.
Founding Director Janice Lathen expressed her excitement about this development: “We are honored to be an Affiliate Member of OSI and especially honored to be their first African Affiliate Member. This membership reaffirms our commitment to open source and other aspects of the sustainability movement such as solar energy.”
The following Swahili proverbs are courtesy of The Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois. Swahili is the beautiful language of Tanzania:
Kila chombo na faida yake.
Every tool has its use. Nothing is done or made without a reason.
Iweke mizizi ya juhudi.
Plant the roots of generosity.