Today's posting is from a guest author, DongJin (Dj) Cai I met Dj at Wikimania last Summer. We were dorm mates, and now consider ourselves friends! Please take a moment and learn how DJ, once a Microsoft software engineer, is now trying to give back to the children in his home region in China. Dj is presently CIO for the China Tomorrow Education Foundation (formal background).
Rich (aka Northstar Nerd)
Five Thousand Year Old History, Five Thousand Year Old Technology
- a mobile library on bike-back story in mountainous rural western China
In Yunnan province, we had a mobile library project. For every village school, we prepared 500~1000 books as local library. Then we efficiently utilized the management routine of the local education system, which arranges teachers from village to meet every month at the central school in the township. The village teacher will ride a bicycle (which is mostly the technology of wheels) and carried a box of about 100 books. The economy and mountain terrain prevent other kinds of transportation. During the meeting, teachers will rotate the books between schools, which is somewhat similar to the inter library loan in US library system.
Starting by our introducing the US idea to the local teachers, they designed the system and operated it all by themselves. Amazingly, this simple system runs quite well and robust for the coming three years. Rural students are eager to read the books with great care. Very little maintenance cost is needed. Therefore, we copied the successful model to more school districts. It is ten times cost efficiency than preparing every school with books. In addition to fewer trees are cut, there is no pollution in transportation. Sometimes, the technology fits best is not the new technology.
Happy Spring Festival! CTEF
has - as of Dec 2006 -
helped over 80 schools;
distributed over 30,406 books;
that amounts to over 2,810,835RMB donated
= putting smiling faces on over 32,205 children !
China Tomorrow Education Foundation
CTEF is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity organization, all donations will qualify for tax deduction."