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Re: [OLPCVietnam] Re: Vung Vieng Village XO Project

Thank you Hung and Serge for your posts!

I continue to be patient and optimistic that our grassroots effort will make a difference to at least a few Vietnamese children who otherwise would have no opportunity to learn computer skills, and thus limited qualifications for 21st century employment as young adults.

Serge is correct. I like to think of Channa in Cambodia as the local project "Hero." Even though he is a paid teacher, his efforts to learn and plan curriculum and to teach creative fun lessons, go beyond what any other teacher out there does. A "local hero" has been key to a successful small project in Ntugi, Kenya. In that setting, one local person has had his tuition to teachers college funded and will come back and teach, and another young man receives a stipend for an "internship" to manage and document the project. Both of these local young men now have future opportunities that they would not have had but for that XO project. And the children in several villages there are all benefiting as well. The dollar costs are not high, relative to funds available by corporate partnership or grants.

But to grow their project, the benefiting community needs to step up and ask for help. To be successful, they must at some point take ownership. If the solar panels, inverter or charge controller has a problem, they need to contact someone for help resolving it. The people in the VVV are indeed poor. But there are investors in the "business" of that village, and there are at least several tour boat companies making a livelihood of taking tourists there.

I want to mention that this effort to spread digital education to the world's neediest children need not be dependent on just one type of computer; e.g., the XO, or another particular hardware option. In 2007, the XO was the first ever produced Net-book. Everyone thought it to be so light. While I still love its rugged design for the locations it was intended, in HCMC this year the Van Lang University students with their IPhones and IPads said "while we love it's clever design appeal, oh it's so heavy." I thought that was interesting.:) Yet, the Panasonic Toughbook is the only other computer besides the XO that will consistently stand up to the weather and elements in the rural Cambodia setting I visited. The few Toughbooks in the classroom there get a thorough workout. Now they redefine heavy! Let's support whatever hardware works to bring children who otherwise would not have opportunities to learn any computer skills at all.

I hope that in 2012 volunteers from our group can teach some children in a "shelter" in or near Hanoi, with the XOs on hand!

"Give rod, not fish." Teach the children to teach themselves, to solve problems, and to rise above life's difficult circumstances.

Best and thanks!

On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 1:50 AM, Serge Stinckwich <[email protected]> wrote:
2012/1/4 Nancie Severs <[email protected]>:
>    Hello my friends,
>> Happy & Prosperous New Year to you all!
>> I am settling back in to life at home in the USA. Tonight it will be 6
>> degrees below 0, Fahrenheit! It is cold!
>> 1. I was so glad to participate in FOSSAsia this year. After I left
>> HCMC/SGN, I went to Cambodia to visit an XO laptop project there. I have 3
>> blog entries for that trip. In case you did not see them, they can be found
>> here:
>> One on Siem Reap here:
>> http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/nsevers/4/1321389428/tpod.html
>> and 2 for my visit to the XO project in Reaksmy:
>> http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/nsevers/4/1322029765/tpod.html
>> and
>> http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/nsevers/4/1323139581/tpod.html

Thank Nancy for this report of your trip. I was mostly interested by
your description of how children use
the XO laptop in Cambodia. It looks like there is almost no support
from IT people in Cambodia (except Channa) in order to update the
machines from time to time. I think this is quite important in order
to change the activities. This is really important to have a dedicated
teacher like the one they found apparently. This is something
definitively missing in VVV.

The main activity seems to be the learning of english. This is nice
that they use Scratch, this is one of my favorite activity also ;-) Do
they build visual programs with the Scratch tiles ?
One of my friend is developing DrGeo 2 activity for XO: http://www.drgeo.eu/
This is an activity to learn geometry. Maybe need more preparation and
knowledge from the teacher, but this could be very nice to visualize
some basic geometry theorems.

>> Here are some tips to help you navigate my blogs.
>> A. Click on a photo anywhere in the entry and you will get a larger photo
>> with arrows to click and scroll through all photos. In that format, you'll
>> see the title and any comments I wrote on the right side too.
>> B. You really only needed one link above. If you scroll down to the bottom
>> of the page, below the photos on any entry, and the Table of Entries
>> (Contents) appears below each entry. You can scroll and click on any Entry
>> from any other Entry.
>> 2. Perhaps Mr. Quynh and/or Mr. Hong will soon be contacted by someone
>> from the VVV. Last week, a friend of mine had a trip planned to Halong Bay
>> on Indochina Junk, over the New Year's holiday. She had hoped to visit Vung
>> Vieng and I sent a letter with her. Her boat went to a different village but
>> she assures me that the letter will be hand delivered this week. I suggested
>> that someone from Vong Vieng get in touch with the volunteers in Hanoi. Ms.
>> Nguyet, of this group translated my letter into Vietnamese. Thanks Nguyet. I
>> wrote to my friends that run the souvenir shop in the VVV. Here is a copy of
>> what I wrote:
>> Letter from Nancie to Vung Vieng Village
>> 28 Tháng 12 2011

Thân chào Hương, Hồng, Nam & Hải
>> Trước tiên tôi xin gửi lời Chúc mừng năm mới tới các bạn J
>> Thật khó tin là đã 2 năm rồi kể từ ngày tôi tới thăm làng Chài Vung Viêng
>> của các bạn và mang tới 12 laptop từ dự án Mỗi trẻ em một Laptop cùng hệ
>> thống pin năng lượng mặt trời. Tôi luôn mong các bạn và gia đình của các bạn
>> cũng như tất cả người dân & trẻ em ở làng Chài đều khỏe!
>> Elaine là một người bạn của tôi, sẽ tới thăm Vịnh  Hạ Long theo tour của
>> Indochina Junk, vì vậy, tôi nhờ cô ấy gửi lá thư này tới cho các bạn.
>> Tôi đã mất liên lạc về những chiếc máy tính Xos ở làng Chài Vung Viêng
>> trong một thời gian dài. Tôi muốn thông báo cho các bạn rằng hiện tại có
>> những tình nguyện viên tại Hà Nội & TP Hồ Chí Minh của dự án OLPC là người
>> Việt Nam, họ có thể trợ giúp để nâng cấp phần mềm cho những chiếc laptops và
>> hướng dẫn cách sử dụng các trò chơi/hoạt động trên XO bằng tiếng Việt. Các
>> tình nguyện viên đã Việt hóa các trò chơi/hoạt động trên máy XO, và với
>> những cập nhật mới có sẵn, XO cũng có thể chạy một phần mềm mở được gọi là
>> GNOME trong ngôn ngữ Việt Nam.GNOME có thể xuất hiện cửa sổ trên máy tính.
>> Để những tình nguyện viên có thể giúp đỡ trẻ em và người lớn tại Làng Chài
>> sử dụng XO, chúng tôi cần có contact liên lạc bằng điện thoại và/hoặc email.
>> Ở làng Chài có ai đang sử dụng những chiếc máy XO mà có thể liên lạc được
>> với những tình nguyện viên không? Người đó có thể là giáo viên tại lớp, hoặc
>> một người lớn nào đó hay thậm chí là một thanh thiếu niên thích sử dụng máy
>> tính.
>> Để bắt đầu, người đó có thể liên hệ với Ông Vũ Quỳnh email
>> [email protected] và ông Trần Hồng theo email [email protected] tại Hà
>> Nội

Có lẽ Hồng hoặc ai đó có thể gửi mail và hỏi số điện thoại của chú
>> Quỳnh, anh Hồng.
>> Về tôi, gia đình tôi và tôi đang sống tốt ở Mỹ. Tôi đã có một cháu trai
>> đáng yêu 5 tháng tuổi ởi Bangkok. Năm nay tôi vừa mới tới thăm cháu. Tôi
>> cũng đã qua Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh và gặp gỡ nhiều người quan tâm tới việc
>> mang XO tới cho trẻ em Việt Nam. Tôi cũng đã đi cùng Elaine đến một trường
>> học ở Campuchia có nhiều XO cho trẻ em. Những đứa trẻ đã học được rất nhiều
>> thứ với máy tính. Những đứa trẻ lớn hơn giờ đã có thể sử dụng được các loại
>> máy tính và có thể học được nhiều điều từ Internet, bởi vì họ đã có XO.
>> Tôi hy vọng rằng trẻ em ở làng chài Vung Viêng thích những chiếc máy XO mà
>> tôi đã mang tới. Và tôi rất mong muốn được nghe tin tức về việc những đứa
>> trẻ ở Vung Viêng sử dụng  XO như thế nào.
>> Tôi xin chúc những điều tốt đẹp nhất luôn đến với các bạn J
Chúc mừng năm
>> mới!
>> Nancie
>> [email protected]
>> December 28, 2011
>> Dear Huong, Hong (Rose:)), Nam and Mai,
>> Happy New Year! I can hardly believe that it has been two years since I
>> visited the Vung Vieng Fishing Village and brought you 12 XO laptops from
>> the One Laptop Per Child project. I hope that you and your families and all
>> of the residents and children in Vung Vieng are well!
>> I have asked my friend Elaine to bring you this letter when she visits
>> Halong Bay with Indochina Junk.
>> I have not heard anything about the XOs in the VVV for a long time. I want
>> to tell you that there are volunteers now in Hanoi and HCMC with OLPC
>> Vietnam that can offer help to update the software on the laptops and to
>> show you a Help Activity instruction manual in Vietnamese language. The
>> volunteers have been working to translate the Sugar software for the XO into
>> Vietnamese. And with the new update that is available, the XO can also run
>> an open software called GNOME in the Vietnamese language. GNOME works a
>> little like windows on a PC.
>> For Vietnamese people to help the children and adults in the VVV with the
>> laptops, we need to have a person for them to contact by phone and/or email.
>> Is there someone who has used the XOs that can be in touch with people who
>> can help? It could be a teacher, or another adult or even a teenager who
>> likes computers.
>> To start, that person can contact in Hanoi,
>> Mr. Vu Do Quynh at [email protected]
>> and Mr. Hong D. Tran, [email protected]
>> Perhaps Hong (Rose) or someone else can email them and get their phone
>> numbers.
>> About me, my family and I are well in the USA. I have a new grandson, 5
>> months old in Bangkok. This year I visited him. I came to HCMC Vietnam and
>> met many people interested in getting XOs for Vietnamese children. I also
>> went with Elaine to a school in Cambodia that has XOs for many children. The
>> children there learn so much with them. The older children are now good on
>> all types of computers and can learn many things on the Internet too,
>> because they have XOs.
>> I hope that the children in Vung Vieng like the XOs. And that I can hear
>> something about how the children use the laptops.
>> Happy New Year!
>> My very best to all of you,
>> Nancie
>> [email protected]
>> And, Happy New Year and my very best to all of the members of our OLPC
>> Vietnam Group!
>> Warm regards and personal thanks,
>> Nancie:)

I visit the VVV village some months ago : the XO was working correctly
and still used by children, the solar panel was not working correctly.
I told the people here that someone will come back to the people just
to assess their needs and maybe update their laptops with a more
recent version. Unfortunately, i had no time until now to come back
because i was in Japan for two months.

We are 73 people in this OLPC-Vietnam group, this is a pity that we
could not find a small group of people that want to do something
(prepare some new activities, plan a visit to VVV, ...). I know that
some great work had been done for the translation in vietnamese of
some of the activities. This is really important but we need also some
people to deploy and take care of the laptops on the field. Anyone
interested ?
This is also important to find someone like Channa close the village.

@Quynh what is the status of the translation of the XO manual in VN ?

Arky a guy from Mozilla (living in Ha Noi) is in CC of this email. Is
is really knowledgeable in order to organize local community for
translations. Maybe he can help us in order to organize the work a bit

Serge Stinckwich
UMI UMMISCO 209 (IRD/UPMC), Hanoi, Vietnam
Matsuno Laboratory, Kyoto University, Japan (until 12/2011)
Every DSL ends up being Smalltalk

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