Things are starting to move forward which is great!
We have already been donated 10 laptops, through word of mouth and a quick appeal in St Margaret’s of Scotland RC church in Scotland. A big thank you to everybody who has donated! Unfortunately, not all of the laptops have been recoverable and there are currently two that are sitting on the sidelines because there are various hardware problems with them (cracked screen, missing keys, etc). We will be holding on to them though, and they may become organ donors for similar laptops in the future.
Importantly, this is enough for our first batch and we have selected St Paul the Apostle Secondary School in Mangochi to be the first recipients. We have links with this school because the old headmaster has visited Scotland a number of times and I visited the school in June 2009. These links will help us to keep updated with the first batch so that we can see how things progress over the trial period.
Another good bit of news is that we have managed to find a group of open-source computing enthusiasts in Blantyre. Knowing that
there is a good number of people in Malawi who are used to Linux and keen to show support for the project is a relief because it means that we will be more likely to resolve technical issues that arise once the laptops have been distributed. We have also been in contact with SchoolNet Africa who have offered support once we get off the ground.
The two things we are currently working on are trying to find the most cost effective courier service and configuring the laptops in the best way for teaching. We will keep you posted with any progress!