Ganz aktuell: TFTs für Flüchtlingsunterkünfte
Momentan sind wir mit Desktop PCs extrem gut ausgestattet, so dass hier kein Bedarf besteht. Was wir jedoch gut brauchen können...
Der Computerkurs für Flüchtlinge geht weiter
Da die Vorkenntnisse der Teilnehmer sehr unterschiedlich sind, bin ich sehr froh, dass Christina mir ihre Unterstützung in dem Kurs angeboten hat und heute erstmals mit dabei war. So haben wir eine bessere Möglichkeit, auf einzelne Probleme einzugehen und Hilfestellung zu geben.
Die Neugier und Freude, mit der die Teilnehmer an dem Kurs teilnehmen und Neues lernen möchten, motiviert uns, weiterzumachen.
Besuch der Linux4Afrika Projekte in Mosambik
Erfahrungsbericht von Hans-Peter Merkel
Mein Besuch in Mosambik verfolgte im Rahmen des Linux4Afrika Projektes zwei Ziele:
- Motivationsschub für die Studenten der Eduardo Mondlane Universität in Maputo
- Besuch der Escola Secundaria Eduardo Mondlane Schule in einem Vorort der Hauptstadt.
Während ersteres eine rege Resonanz erzeugte, war das zweite Vorhaben leider weniger erfolgreich...
Nach seiner Rückkehr von unserer Projektschule in Nairobi berichtet unser Mitglied,
Michael Scholtz, in einem Bericht von seiner dortigen Arbeit.
Lieber Michael und liebe Birgit, das Linux4Afrika-Team bedankt sich ganz herzlich bei Euch für Eure Arbeit.
Linux4Afrika and VHS March start computer course for refugees
“Many small people at many small places who do many small things can change the face of the world“
According to this African proverb we (Gilla and Hans-Peter) offered a first computer course for a small group of young refugees who come from Gambia and Eritrea and are placed in March.
In the tranquility of Karen …
Sister Emily and Sister Rosa accompanied Birgit and Michael on their way to Karen; not without stopping at the Java Café in order to enjoy our last common double mocha milkshake. After arriving in Karen everybody was welcomed by the Sisters Jacinta and Paula. Seeing Sister Rosa and Sister Paula together you might think they were twins, at least siblings. In the evening Prioress Sister Michael-Marie, short MM, joined in and we had a cold beer (thanks to Sr. Emily!)
Necessity is the mother of invention …
Birgit's and Michael's time in Ruaraka is coming to an end, because on Saturday (24/01.) they go on to Karen and possibly further to Chesongoch. Even if most of the tasks have been done, not everything has been finished yet. In the computer classroom the PCs were put to an “acid test” and it appeared that two TUX games with extensive graphics froze the screen. They were removed from all 48 workstations as well as from the server HDs and a new local backup was made.
Power without interruption, how nice would that be …
Once again convent, school and infirmary were caught unawares by a power cut. This time the PCs for patients' registration were affected particularly hard. Some smart guy had removed the backup battery from the desktop computer without further ado because it was peeping. And so came what was to come, the computer couldn't be started any more and required the installation CD which, of course, could not be found. You may guess which operation system it was …
A visitor from the Kwasa Primary School in South Africa
Over the weekend January 9 to 12, 2015 we could welcome Thozama Gcilitshana, the principal of Kwasa Primary School in Dimbaza, South Africa. When Christina was in South Africa last September, Rommel Roberts, the manager of Hilltop, showed her some centres, that are equipped with computers from Linux4Afrika and are run by Hilltop (see entry of 21/09/2014). It was then that Christina got to know Thozama. At the same time a German teacher from Ulm was staying at the school and possibilities of a partnership were being discussed. Now Thozama was invited to the primary school in Ulm during her Christmas holidays – her long summer holidays. Of course we wished that Thozama would visit us here in Freiburg...
Weekend and Sunshine …
After classroom 1 with 45 computers has been “up and running“ and
Sister Rosa on her way “up“
Last year Hans-Peter and Michael took part in the celebration of Sister Rosa's promotion. This seems to be a recurring occasion – her promotion was celebrated this year, too, with a delicious cake. The Prioress Sr. Michael-Marie had come over from Karen and the evening was amazingly relaxed and fun.
The next day Sr. Michael-Marie returned to Karen and Birgit and Michael took the opportunity to visit Sr. Christiane, who will fly to Germany on January, 17, together with her nephew, his wife and child.
Has there ever been any doubt … the installation is working …
Michael's worries that he would be faced with insolvable problems during the installation have proved unfounded so far. The server is running smoothly and provides its clients with the model solution software. Although the installation including rescue backup for 5 computers lasted for nearly 2 hours, this is acceptable and compared with the last time this is a downright breathtaking speed. All 35 computers were ready within one and a half days – the remaining ones in teacher Charles' little room will be done overnight.
Michael's Report from Ruaraka/Kenya
What was the telephone number again?
After a 7 ½ hour's flight from Zürich Birgit and Michael landed safely in Nairobi. One thing became clear: Swiss Air isn't what they used to be as the space between the seats was quite a nuisance for a person of average height. Well then, should we fly again with the cheaper Turkish Airlines as we did last year – even if it lasts considerably longer and the luggage might be missing?
Last preparations for Ruaraka
In a few days Michael and his wife Birgit will set out for Nairobi. Michael will be looking after the IT equipment in our project school, the St. Scholastica School of the Benedictine Sisters in Ruaraka. As he'll be on his own there some members of L4A were meeting up with him last weekend to share know-how and to make last preparations.
We wish Michael and Birgit a good and safe journey and are looking forward to their reports from Kenya.
Arbeitstreffen "Doku erstellen"
Am vergangenen Samstag trafen sich einige fleißige Mitglieder, um die Dokumentationen für die angepasste Musterlösung zu erstellen. Michael wird diese im Januar zu seinem Besuch in Ruaraka an der St. Scholastica School mitnehmen.
Bilder vom Arbeitstreffen
Workshop with Project Partner
Last Saturday Linux4Africa organized a full- day workshop in Freiburg together with members of our project partner “ STABA“ (Saar-Togo Combat Illiteracy). Our jointly developed model solution, based on Ubuntu 14.04, was presented there . With new server services, complete mail and smartphone/tablet support the range of applications has been significantly extended. Another focus was the application of Thorsten's scripts which perform automated installation. Thus workplaces in schools can be optimized as well as identical reinstalling of notebooks are performed quickly via network with PXE.
Donation to Pater Florian
After a Tough-Book had been handed over to Pater Florian he could receive four TFT screens and a notebook as another donation by Linux4Africa just before he returns to Kenya . They were given to him by L4A member Michel Pecchia. Pater Florian's home leave in Germany will end in a few days and he will go back to Illeret/Kenya where he – amongst others – is working on his INES project “School In A Box“. Linux4Africa will go on supporting him with this great project.
Great thrill over 2000 € donation
Sincere thanks are given to Anna Rees (Reset International) for presenting our project at the 2014 SAM European Award as well as the whole Reset team for their support. You are sensational!
With the funds we can further support Fr. Florian INES-Project (Ileret Normad Education System) in Kenya. More to come soon.
Link to the event
Linux4Afrika meets Bishop Tutu
“Willkommen“, German for “welcome“ - that is how Archbishop Emeritus Tutu greeted me when I was introduced to him. Rommel Roberts who had taken me to Cape Town explained the reason of my visit. I had translated Rommel's book about his experiences in the struggle against Apartheid that was released in January this year (see former entries on the L4A website). Archbishop Tutu had written a forward to the book as Rommel had cooperated with him during those times.
Linux4Afrika Running at School Eduardo Mondlane, Laulane (Mozambique)
After some couple of days without the server, Dario Paulo, is back at “business” , with more than 16 thin clients running at his classroom, gently conceded by the school administration, he manage to train more than 75 participants.
On 10th September 2014, was the hand over the certificates, together with the school Director. Dario teaches to the local students, also from the nearby zone, how to browse, how to use OpenOffice/LibreOffice.
That's is all from the journey today. Ready to report there as more interesting events pops up.
To Dario Paulo … Hip Hip Hurra!
PS: Special thanks to Dominik!
Visit from Sr. Rosa from Nairobi
Staying with friends
On April, 30th, Sr Rosa of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters from Ruaraka (Nairobi/Kenia) arrived in Rome to attend a seminar. In Ruaraka Hans-Peter and Michael had equipped two classrooms of the St. Scholastica School with computers and installed the network in January this year.
From Rome Sr Rosa's tour led her to the “Mother House of the Benedictine Mission” in Tutzing near the Lake of Starnberg. So we had the opportunity to meet up with her and show her a little part of Europe. We, meaning Wiltrud and Tilman Walk, Birgit and Michael Scholtz as well as Gilla und Hans-Peter Merkel.
Family Walk came from Aschaffenburg, family Scholtz from Mammern and they met Sr Rosa in the guest house “Maria Hilf” of the convent in Tutzing.
Here you will find two reports about Sr. Rosas stay
„Wie wir für die Freiheit kämpften“ - Rommel Roberts' book tour
Our project partner Rommel Roberts toured through Germany and Switzerland in promoting his book „Wie wir für die Freiheit kämpften. Von stillen Heldinnen und Helden in Südafrika“ (“Fighting for Freedom; Silent Heroines and Heroes in South Africa“) and there was remarkable respose in the media. The book had been translated into German by Linux4Afrika member Christina Stiefel...
Common Workshop Linux4Afrika and STBA/STALCA
After Franz and Christina had been guests at the founding assembly of the association STBA / STALCA (Saar-Togo struggle against illiteracy) two weeks ago Linux4Afrika now had invited STABA members for a common workshop in Freiburg.
This workshop should focus on presenting the model solution and working with it. As STBA/STALCA among other things is planning to implement the Linux4Afrika concept this workshop was an important milestone for the guests from Saarbrücken.
Linux4Afrika at the founding assembly of STBA/STALCA
On Saturday, February 15th, Franz and Christina represented Linux4Afrika at a meeting where the association Saar-Togo Bekämpfung des Analphabetismus / Saar-Togo Association de Lutte contre L'Analphabetisme (Saar-Togo Struggle against illiteracy) was to be founded.
Through Hans-Peter Merkel Afizou Kpebane, who was born in Togo, had learned of FreiOSS and Linux4Afrika. The electrical engineer and IT manager has wanted to fight illiteracy in Togo for a long time and on this Saturday an association should be founded that similar to L4A collects used computers and sends them to schools in Togo – refurbished and equipped with a Linux operation system and learning software. This association wants to cooperate with L4A.
Container arrived in South Africa
Some days ago we got the message that the Linux4Afrika container arrived at Hilltop with our partner Rommel Roberts. Many helpful hands unloaded it on the Hilltop farm. Here are some pictures that Rommel's wife Robin sent to us.
"Wie wir für die Freiheit kämpften – Von stillen Heldinnen und Helden in Südafrika“
Rommel Roberts Buch ist im
Linux4Afrika Partner Rommel Roberts beschreibt in seinem Buch auf sehr beeindruckende Art den Widerstand der stillen Heldinnen und Helden gegen die Apartheid. Die deutsche Übersetzung des Buches aus dem südafrikanischen Englisch übernahm unser Mitglied Christina Stiefel.
The light at the end of the tunnel
On Tuesday we got down to business with joined forces. Michael who had come back from Chesongoch (glad to be back from the journey safe and sound) exchanged the hard disks of many of the 34 computers in IT room 2 with the current Edubuntu software which had been cloned by Hans-Peter and then checked on the BIOS so he could report the classrooms as being ready for tomorrow's linkup to the network.
Hans-Peter had roped in Debbie, a volunteer from the USA who is working with the Sisters. She really is an asset; with her math studies as a background she didn't need a lot of explanation to be able to install the networks and to make the IT room 1 ready for use together with Charles, the IT teacher.
This is the last short report from St. Scholstica Catholic School in Nairobi. We have spent 14 days of hard work and in spite of some drawbacks and mishaps we can look back on a successful mission. The schools connected to Karen (head office) are already looking with some envy at the two computer rooms and their equipment.
You only live twice... or
How to survive the journey from Chesongoch to Nairobi
On Monday at 9 o'clock a.m. we began our journey from Chesongoch (0º 44' 54'' N, 35º 38' 13'' E) to Nairobi. The Sisters had been busy picking Mangoes, Papayas and Custard-Apples and wrapping them carefully before we set off over rough ground up the mountains to the plains through a wonderful tropical forest passing cacti and numerous animals that crowded the road, no, the “dirt road”. Some time earlier Sister Benedictine had set off for Eldoret with several trainee nurses to take them to a special training course. However, a short distance from Eldoret we found the jeep with the Sister and the young Ladies standing at the roadside – a breakdown. The petrol pump was broken. After all the attempts to repair it had failed the Landrover was towed to Eldoret by a jeep the Sisters had required from there.
Hell and Heaven in Chesongoch
Originally Sunday was intended to have a rest but there were eight computers to look at and to upgrade if necessary. Yet, Michael had not taken into account how old the machines were.
Some skills were required to remove the covers and quite a lot more to put them back again! Each BIOS had to be installed anew which then shortened the time for booting considerably. Unfortunately three computers weren't willing to start properly and announced this with messages such as “use fsck” etc. That didn't help either and following Hans-Peter's advice on the phone they were just put aside. It was hell! “You've only got to take stock and not make repairs”, HP said.
Here is a report by HP as Michael is making his own experiences at Chesongoch and writes his own report.
The two and a half days of the Security/Forensics training at the Strathmore University ended on Saturday. The participants were mostly IT experts from Kenya's big mobile network operators. The emphasis of the training was on Android, SDK, Genymotion, Sleuthkit and Volatility. A big challenge was the high number of participants of 30 persons with a range of LOW to expert. Lesson learnt: In this field absolutely nothing will work without Linux.
But let's look at quite different missionary tasks now.
Where, actually, is Chesongoch?
Before this question can be settled we'll have to explain why only Michael and not Hans-Peter as well set out for this long trip. Contrary to the original agreement Hans-Peter was to hold a two-day hands-on- workshop (instead of the one-day workshop) at the Strathmore University (see last report). In Kenya one obviously lives from one surprise to the next.
Both of us went to Karen in a taxi after the first day of the workshop, where Michael stayed overnight whereas Hans-Peter , together with Sister Rosa, went back to the St. Scholastica Catholic School. Thus the poor chap “enjoyed“ the traffic through Nairobi for a second time. But Michael had to go straight to bed, for the trip to Chesongoch via Eldoret was to start as early as 6 o'clock a.m. in order not to arrive after dark. The plan for Chesongoch was to deliver two computers and ink cartridges, to find out the hospital's needs concerning IT and to upgrade the working memory of the computers which HP had brought two years ago.
The stress is over
As far as possible we have set up the computers for the school, installed most of the software (we'll still have to look at some machines but we'll do that later when everything else is finished) and connected it to the network. Today (Thursday) we went to the Strathmore University where Hans-Peter wants to give his talk on forensics. As there is usually sheer chaos on the roads in the morning (congestion, heavy pollution as well as pedestrians, cyclists and handcarts on the highway) we set up early to arrive in time.
TiA – This is Africa
Although we've had a long and busy day and feel some tiredness (and a can of beer) inside us we still want to share our joy with you today: the pallets are here. The truck was announced for 10 o'clock a.m. (apparently it left Mombasa yesterday!) - but it only arrived at 4 p.m (TiA). Until then we had spent the time loading the software on the hard disks in the second computer room. HP had “loaded” the server for this and the data were transferred over the network. Those who are working with terminal commands may understand Michael's desperation when he happened to ignore a blank or forgot a command line. This didn't occur often but kept HP moving (no sympathy as he wants to lose weight anyway).
Mission Kenya part 2 – or
“Hope dies last ...“
On Saturday Hans-Peter's personal luggage has finally arrived. One definitely feels better with clean clothes, and it lightens one's mood, too. It is Sunday and we are concerned whether we are going to receive the pallets in time. As we don't want to rely on neither Sister Emily's gut feeling (“I'm sure things will be there on Tuesday ...“) nor on divine assistance Michael contacted his acquaintance at the German Embassy in Nairobi whom he had addressed via the Department of Foreign Affairs in Berlin before his departure. Perhaps these guys can help - it's their job after all.
Visit to the project:
Linux4Afrika has started a new mission to provide the St. Scholastica School in Nairobi/Kenya with new computers and screens. Two years ago an IT classroom had already been equipped, now the aim was to connect a second room to the server, to check on the existing hardware and to enhance its performance. Three pallets with donated hardware had been shipped to Africa in December. The plan was that the freight should have arrived at the Sisters' place when Hans-Peter Merkel and Michael Scholtz would come at the beginning of January, so that they could immediately begin with the installation. Here is the report of the two “missionaries”.