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Give Thanks, Give a Solar Powered Digital Library!

By Bob Marsh on November 27, 2015


This week, Inveneo launched a Generosity crowdfunding campaign to deliver 15 Solar Powered Digital Libraries to Haiti. Your support can help us light up learning and expand educational opportunities for hundreds of Haitian children. Just listen to Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist:

“Education is potentially the great equalizer, the basis of democracy, and tech like the Solar Powered Digital Library is a great step in that direction.”

We are grateful to Craig for generously donating $10,000 to help kick off our campaign! However, we need your support to reach our goal of $50,000 by January 23, 2016!

Expanding the Empowering Effect of Tablets Inside the Classroom

Inveneo has implemented tablet projects in Haiti, Ethiopia, and the Philippines and has witnessed first-hand the empowering effect of tablets in the classroom. As part of the Transforming Teaching through Tablets program, we trained over 70 Haitian teachers how to use tablets as an educational tool at schools in Petit-Goave, Hyacinthe, and Cascade Pichon between 2014 and 2015. Check out testimonies from some of the teachers and school administrators below:

“This training enhances the quality of teaching in Haiti. When our teachers learn about technology, [they] get access to resources and new ways of teaching, [and] learning is easier for our children. Teachers can be more creative and confident in their work.” – Thony Dominique, Director at Methodiste de Hyacinthe

“This training has been a means for me to improve or change the way I work to improve myself as a teacher…The tablet used in this program is a very good technical and pedagogical tool. I will make it my best friend for learning and teaching.”- Emilien Renault, Teacher, Methodiste de Hyacinthe

Lighting Up Learning Inside 15 Haitian Classrooms

Help us light up learning and expand educational opportunities for hundreds of Haitian children today. This holiday season, give thanks, and give a Solar Powered Digital Library to Haiti.

In collaboration with partners Heart to Heart and La Vallee Alliance, we have identified the following 15 schools to be the initial recipients of the Solar Libraries:

  1. Ecole Nationale Bois-de-Lance in Cascade Pichon, Southeast Haiti
  2. Ecole Nationale Baie d’Orange in Zappe, Bellanse, Southeast Haiti
  3. National’ school at Corai Lamothe in Corai, Bellanse, Southeast Haiti
  4. National’ school at Marbriol in Chaudry, Bellanse, Southeast Haiti
  5. Ecole Moderne in Ridore, La Vallee de Jacmel, Southeast Haiti
  6. Ecole Sainte Therese in Laviale, La Vallee de Jacmel, Southeast Haiti
  7. Ecole Saint Joseph in Dure, La Vallee de Jacmel, Southeast Haiti
  8. Ecole Saint Joseph in Fondwa, Western Haiti
  9. Ecole Methodiste de Hyacinthe in Hyacinthe/Petit-Goave, Western Haiti
  10. Ecole Mixte Notre Dames de Lourdes in Village Rapatries/ Cite-Soleil, Western Haiti
  11. Inst. Mixte Vision Cesleste in Village Rapatries/ Cite-Soleil, Western Haiti
  12. Ecole Nationale Savane Plate in Savane Plate, Central Plateau Haiti
  13. Ecole Nationale Tierra Muscady in Tierra Muscady, Central Plateau Haiti
  14. ECACEB in Boukan Kare, Central Plateau Haiti
  15. Ecole Bon Berger in Domond, Central Plateau Haiti

We are targeting these schools because they are located in precisely the areas that compelled us to design the Solar Library in the first place: they are remote, rural, and lack (or have extremely limited) books, educational resources, and the Internet. And with your help, we can transform their schools with digital tools.

Filed Under: Education, Featured
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Written by
Bob Marsh is Inveneo’s Executive Director and co-founder. A key member of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club and a recurring character in Steven Levy's 1984 book, Hackers, Mr. Marsh is passionate about bridging the digital divide.
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7 Comments to “Give Thanks, Give a Solar Powered Digital Library!”

  1. Sean M. says:

    This listserv seems to be blending advertising with real content.

    Is there a version of this list that I can sign up for that only includes the articles and not the Inveneo advertisements?

    • Internet Comment says:

      Agreed, there’s definitely been a lot of advert heavy pieces lately. You’re best best is to unsubscribe and keep tabs via RSS.

      • William Grates says:

        How many sites do y’all look at that have zero advertising. ICTworks seems to be quite close to none. Why shouldn’t Inveneo toot it’s own horn once in a while?

      • Wayan Vota says:

        Sean and Mike, I’m sorry that you find a promo now and again to be so distasteful. Here we thought crowdfunding for a good cause to be quite different from a paid advert for a commercial service or banner ads cluttering up the site – neither of which we do.

        I’d love to see a list of what you consider “a lot of advert heavy pieces” so we can get a sense of what is irking you, and your ideas for how ICTworks can have the support it needs to operate without a sponsor shout-out now and again.

        • Mike Dawson says:


          Just in case you were wondering the above “Internet comment” wasn’t me – though of course as I put on the previous article I think there are significant conflict of interest issues. This article is not as outwardly promoting what was just critiqued as the post that came before on the topic; the core issue remains the same.

          I’d suggest putting something like this at the bottom of the article: Disclaimer: This article was written by (Inveneo / FHI-360) who are also co-sponsors of this blog.

          Perhaps in the about ICTWorks section say “From time to time the partners may promote / raise awareness of their own projects via ICTWorks”.

          I don’t think it’s a problem for Inveneo / FHI-360 to do some promotion; but for integrity’s sake that should be marked as such. For the reputation of the publishers it’d be wise to double check what they write about themselves (e.g. avoid any implication that an offline solar powered digital library is a new innovation etc).

          If it’s made clear that there are co-sponsor shout outs and which articles are the shout outs; then I don’t think there would be any issue.


        • Sean M. says:

          Great to see this get some attention. Before this goes further, no one called anything distasteful or said that advertisements/promotions were irking them.

          My issue isn’t that there are advertisements, it’s that (as Mike said) ads are blended with editorial content. I think it’s reasonable for readers to request clear distinctions between promotions and editorial content. The way that publications make those distinctions is an important and explicit decision, which defines the integrity of the publication and the trust of the readers. It’s not a criticism, it’s a request for ICT Works to take the next step in its natural growth and have a clear policy about how it treats sponsor(ed) content vs. editorial content.

          I’ve been surprised by how personally everyone has taken what is a pretty common question in the way that publications – particularly industry specific publications – feature content as they grow. I’ve enjoyed getting ICT Works, and I don’t begrudge anyone a business model, I simply ask that it be done openly so that the community can make its own informed decisions about the value and independence of the material presented.

          • Wayan Vota says:

            Sean & Mike D, thanks for the thoughtful response that we can work with. I am all for constructive criticism – its the 1-2 line jabs w/o context that leave us unsure if we should dismiss it as negativity to ignore or take it as a starting point to make changes.