Visiting Sister Christiane in Tutzing
Sister Christiane Spannheimer OSB is being on home leave in the Benedictine Sisters Convent in Tutzing, Germany. Otherwise her “home“ is in Nairobi in Kenya where she has been doing her duty with the Mission Benedictine Sisters for many years. Linux4Afrika has equipped computer labs in the school at that Convent and Hans-Peter Merkel and Franz Epple have been on site personally to provide support.
Visit from Hilltop, South Africa
From summer time in South Africa Rommel Roberts and his wife Robin travelled to (not too fierce) winter in Europe – especially to meet old friends and supporters. Relations go partly back to the 1970s and 80s when Rommel was supported in his struggle against Apartheid by many South Africa Committees and church groups.
Netbooks for Kenya
In the context of a project for customers the company TQ-Systems from Seefeld had purchased two netbooks which, however, couldn't afterwards be used reasonably within the company. Linux4Afrika member Michel Pecchia, head of the software development department Delling with TQ-Systems, spoke in favour of donating the netbooks to Linux4Afrika. This will now be a great pleasure for the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing who are working in Kenya. Michel Pecchia gave the two netbooks to Sister Martha Baumeister in Tutzing. From Tutzing they will be sent to Kenya and will certainly help the Sisters there enormously with their administrative work.
Many thanks to all persons concerned.
Great Days for Collecting
Thanks to generous donations Franz and Christina could again collect TFTs, PCs and additional hardware and take it to the storeroom.
For the second time Patrick had arranged that the municipal offices of Freiburg gave Linux4Afrika 30 TFTs. As there were several helpers the car was loaded quickly and the freight taken to our storeroom on Tuesday.
Notebooks for the Kipepeo Project in Kenya
Sonja Engelhard from Freiburg, chairwoman of Friends of Kipepeo, spent her summer holidays – as she has done frequently before – to work with the Kipepo Project in Nairobi. This time Linux4Afrika could give her two notebooks to take with her. Obviously the notebooks were received with great pleasure. We've got the following letter of thanks.
TFT Displays from Switzerland
The bare facts: The company MIGROS in Switzerland donates 60 TFT displays to Linux4Afrika. They are collected in Bern und stored in our storeroom in Freiburg.
But is this the whole story yet? As usual the interesting things are the details, the many steps that individual persons have taken so that the project can succeed.
Newsletter from Hilltop
The Hilltop team from South Africa sent us the latest newsletter. We are happy that the new volunteers can now teach at schools and computer centres and hope that their commitment will enable many youths and adult persons to obtain a good education and better jobs due to their newly acquired computer skills. This wouldn't be possible without the computers from Linux4Afrika.
New volunteers at Hilltop
Tamara, one of the new volunteers at Hilltop, has sent us an e-mail with a first report on their job in South Africa. The following information is from this mail.
The five „newcomers“ have nearly finished their introductory training course. Che, who had been trained by HP in June, and Buzwe gave them the training at the Hilltop farm. There they were dealing with the computers for the schools checking hardware and installing the necessary software.
Kabul/Skateistan – mourning for victims
We are full of grief having learned that a bomb by a suicide attack exploded in the centre of Kabul on Sunday, September 8th, killing six children and young people. Four of them were involved in Skateistan as students, coaches and volunteers. In October 2010 HP and Gilla worked with Skateistan installing laptops with our Linux4Afrika school solution.
We of Linux4Afrika can hardly believe what happened and our deepest sympathies are with the families and the Skateistan team...
Protests at the Eastern Cape
In the area of East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa, where some of the schools with Linux4Africa equipment are situated a protest movement is starting especially against lack of services and corruption.
Computers from Westerburg
Temperatures being high (nearly African heat!) Sebastian set off on his trip to Freiburg pretty early on Monday morning. He had his car loaded with computers for Linux4Afrika. Shortly after nine a.m. Franz and Christina were waiting for him in front of the storeroom and soon 58 PCs, 2 switches, 1 TFT und boxes with mice, keyboards and power cables were stowed away in the storeroom.These items were generously donated by the Konrad-Adenauer-Gymnasium of Westerburg.
Rommel Roberts' „Seeds of Peace“ auf Deutsch
Südafrika zur Zeit der Apartheid – das bedeutete strikte Rassentrennung und politische Unterdrückung, Armut und Entbehrungen für die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung – für alle, die nicht weiß waren!
Unser Partner Rommel Roberts vom Hilltop Empowerment Centre (
Über seine Erfahrungen im Kampf gegen die Apartheid hat Rommel ein Buch geschrieben. Dieses Buch ist nun – nach Absprache mit ihm - ins Deutsche übersetzt worden und liegt als gebundene Broschüre vor (160 Seiten DIN A 4, mit Bildern, schwarz-weiß). Zum genaueren Inhalt siehe hier.
Wir würden dieses interessante Buch gerne unseren Freunden und Unterstützern zugänglich machen. Für 25 Euro ist das Buch erhältlich (10 Euro Druckkosten, 15 Euro Spende an Hilltop). Anfragen bitte an christina(at)chris-stiefel.de.
A donation from the city of Freiburg
Today HP, Franz and Christina collected more TFTs that were sorted out by municipal offices of Freiburg.
Many thanks to Patrick Weisser who arranged for this donation and lots of thanks, too, to the helpers from the municipal offices who helped loading the TFTs and to Christina who again chauffeured the trailer full of TFTs safely to the storeroom.
Linux4Afrika computers arrived in Kenya
Recently Sister Emily received the palletts with the PCs and TFTs we had sent. Everybody was happy and the computers have already been installed in the computer lab. (The only drawback: the high customs duties the sisters had to pay)
My last week's activities in South Africa
After having previously installed the master solution successfully this week our focus has completely been on certification and roll-out to the first computer centre. Nozuko and Nisha were the first candidates to complete the certification. Che had been training with them dd, rsync, fdisk and many more programs as well as installing a new MBR. Finally each participant had to set up a terminal server on her own and make a thin client running on it. In a small video clip our candidates are introducing themselves...
A day at the Harbor - Palett arrived in Maputo
from Celso Timana
Last Friday, 1st of June 2012, started very well. The clearing agent hast just informed us that we have to collect our palett at the harbor, although he didn't mentioned that we should have some boots and helmets to get inside. No problem...
Today we did some wireless testing for our digital village concept which we plan to role out in the easten cape. The concept is quite simple, it is to connect small rural villages with no access to affordable communication, access to educational progammes, an offline Wikipedia database which can be accessed by all and free local communication between villiages.
HP arrived at
South Africa gets a new Terminal Server Version
For two days Benedict, Che and HP were busy setting up a new terminal server. Some training centres are using MS office in order to get additional fees through evening classes for adults. So far this has been done with a dual boot solution and additional Windows XP.
Taking leave of Maputo
after two busy weeks in Maputo/Mozambique where HP could again enjoy Celso's wonderful hospitality, HP has now finished the second stage of his African journey. On the last night there was a farewell party with the family Timana, the parents of Celso, who is our partner for Linux4Afrika in Mozambique together with his company
Linux4Afrika at the Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo
Judithe is working at the Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique' s biggest university. Judithe was certificated in x2go by Celso, our partner in Mozambique, and is teaching open source in the L4A training room at the University. Today, when Celso and HP are visiting, network technology is on the timetable.
Container arrived in South Africa
Fine, I needn't write a report about this great news myself. Benedict has done this on his blog. Benedict is doing a year's service as a volunteer with our partner Rommel Roberts at the Hilltop Centre.
So lots of thanks to Benedict and all the hard-working helpers who were unloading our container.
The Kindergarden gets Computers
Yesterday I was in the Kindergarden with Sr. Emily testing our e-learning software installed there together with the children. The kids were getting along with it quite well and Sr. Emily decided that each group should get a computer.
Watch the video of the kindergarteners as a thanks to Linux4Afrika.
Gillas Photography Classes
The students are eager and having fun when in the afternoons I show them how to use a digital camera and how to process pictures on the computer. Different perspectives, different poses – they don't have any problems with that...
St. Scholastica Academy
Well, what can be said about that? Obviously our pallet with the PCs landed at a wrong harbour and will arrive at Mombasa only next week. Of course this is bad news and is putting considerable pressure on HP. Since Monday he has hardly left the computer labs as he wants to train Donmas (IT teacher from Chesongoch), Francis (freelancer) and Charles (IT teacher) so that they can manage the installation of the new IT lab on their own.
Visit to Karen
Today we had a happy reunion with Sister Christiane who had visited us in Germany two years ago. We were invited to Karen. Here, surrounded by a wonderful scenery, the Kenyan „Headquarters“ of the mission of the Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing is located (it is partially situated on the former farm grounds of Karen Blixen whose vita got renowned worldwide by the movie „Out of Africa“).
Our project here exists thanks to the initiative of Sister Christiane.
Tomorrow HP is going to begin his work in the IT-labs and I will teach my first students in digital picture processing.
Chesongoch and Endo
Our adventurous trip from Nairobi ended in Chesongoch early in the evening. From Nairobi we had started early in the morning in a small long-distance coach (we were the only „Musungus“ on board) and arrived in Eldoret around noon, where we got a very warm welcome by the local sisters and were invited to a delicious lunch.
Karibu – welcome in Kenya
Welcome – that's how we have been feeling since Sr Emily and Sr Rosa picked us up at the airport at Nairobi this morning. Today is a holiday in Kenya, too, and so the traffic is not that heavy and we arrive at the convent after a short drive.
During the common breakfast where we are offered delicious things like mangoes we get to know the other sisters and their jobs. With great joy we meet Sr Maria again whom we had met during her stay in Germany last August.
The container on its way
Our Container to South Africa was collected by the shipping company today and is now embarking on its long voyage to East London. Supported by our hard-working helper from Messe Freiburg with his forklift Franz and HP loaded the pallets, which had been packed before, onto the container in record time (37 minutes).
Dringend Gesucht: Gebrauchte Digitalkameras
Liebe Linux4Afrika-Freunde, Gilla sucht für ein Projekt an der St. Scholatica's Academy in Nairobi noch weitere gebrauchte Digitalkameras.
Container packed – storeroom empty
The helpers could hardly believe it today: Except ca. 100 keyboards and old packing material everything could be packed.. The remaining PCs were packed on pallets for South Africa as well as 65 TFT displays and about 35 monitors. 27 switches, 4 servers and two notebooks were part of the last treasures as well as 400 network cards, 80 VGA cards, 400 memory bars and lots of cables for power, network or displays. Now the storeroom is nearly empty.
On Monday we are going to order the container, inform customs, and on April, 2nd, 2012 everything will be collected.
The two charity workshops were very helpful for financing the transport costs. Warm thanks to Volkshochschule March. Its head, Agnes Wörne, let us have the training room for free and dealt with all necessary administration without charging anything.
Ready for the voyage – and off they go!
Yesterday the pallets for Mozambique and Kenya were collected by the company Schenker, that kindly allowed a reduction on the transport costs. Their arrival in Kenya is expected on May, 4th. The shipment for Maputo is due on May, 18th. We're keeping our fingers crossed that these dates can be realized as HP and Gilla have planned to stay in Kenya only until May 12 and hope to be able to fix the new classroom for St. Scholastica Academy with this delivery.
Responses to our latest call for donations
At the beginning of April our storeroom will be empty. Meanwhile about 400 PCs have been collected. Unfortunately there was an extreme misproportion between computers and displays. Our call that we urgently needed displays was more successful than we had expected. We have received more than 60 additional displays since then – most of them 17“and 19“. Hans-Peter took over 37 TFTs in Basel, which had been collected in Thun by Jürg and Nico.
March, 4th, 2012
Many helpers were working hard
when we prepared and packed pallets for Burundi, Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa in our storeroom on Saturday. Everywhere people were busy - testing computers, monitors and other hardware, removing and installing hard discs, arranging, packing, wrapping and piling everything on pallets. Our special thanks go to a group of young helpers (students of St. Ursula High School and Marius), who were especially committed.
Charity Workshop February 28 – 29, 2012
„Digital forensics: tracking after a break-in"
This workshop is offered to be able to finance the shipment of pallets/containers to Mozambique, Burundi and South Afrika which are planned this spring. The proceeds will go 100% to the project.
Arbeitstreffen für Burundi und Mosambik-Lieferung
Samstag, 3. März 2012 - 10:00 bis 16:00
Es ist mal wieder soweit: FreiOSS verschickt in Kürze eine Palette nach Mosambik, einen Container nach Burundi und einen Container nach Südafrika. Die ersten beiden Lieferungen werden gemeinsam aufbereitet. Dazu treffen wir uns am 03.03.2012 ab 10:00 Uhr in der Lagerhalle (alte Lufthansa-Halle am Messe-Gelände). Anmeldung über:
presently our storeroom in Freiburg is full containing more than 300 PCs. They will be gone by April. One pallet with devices will go to Mozambique and one container to Burundi and South Afrika respectively. After these activities we are cutting down collecting for this year. We will then collect only notebooks, TFT displays and switches (24 port). Only at the end of 2012 we will probably begin collecting again at a bigger scale. With the shipments of this spring our funds are used up for the moment. We will only be able to collect hardware at a bigger scale when payment of transport costs is guaranteed.
“It is only at the end of the year that you know how its beginning was like.“
Dear friends of Linux4Afrika,
we wish you all a peaceful and merry Christmas and health, good luck and a lot of wonderful moments for the new year 2012.
Very special thanks to all dear people who have supported our project in any way during this year.
Die nächsten Lieferungen: Burundi und Mosambik
Derzeit laufen unsere Vorbereitungen für Transporte nach Burundi und Mosambik. Nach Burundi schicken wir erstmalig "Stand alone PCs" mit lokalen Ubuntu Installationen. Für die Auslieferung dieser Systeme benötigen wir noch Festplatten, auf die wir unsere französische Version aufspielen können. Festplatten ab 20 GB (IDE/SATA sind geeignet).
Nach Mosambik schicken wir eine Palette mit 30 leistungsstarken PCs, die an der Eduardo Mondlane Universität zusätzlich zur x2go Terminalserverlösung eingesetzt werden. Mit diesen PCs sollen zukünftig Debian/Ubuntu Server Administrationen für interessierte Studenten durchgeführt werden. Die PCs erhalten 2 GB RAM sowie mind. 80 GB Festplatten. Auch hierfür suchen wir noch RAMs und Festplatten.
Zusammengefasst: Was wir derzeit dringend benötigen:
- Festplatten ab 20 GB (IDE oder SATA)
- DDR und DDR2 RAM Module
- TFT Displays
- In Leipzig lagern derzeit noch 100 Monitore, die nach Freiburg sollen. Wir suchen eine Mitfahrgelegenheit für die fertig gepackten Paletten.
Wer kann helfen? Bitte über
New training center in Kenya
I am Donmas Felix from Chesongoch Kenya.
We are grateful we received Computers from your organization and by the help of Franz We were able to set Up a training college.
August, 15th, 2011
IT training by Hilltop
Hilltop Centre in South Africa has started another Linux4Afika centre near the Lesotho border. Five young people from this area are now staying at Hilltop for a four month training, two others join them from Dimbaza, where a centre had already been equipped with L4A computers last year. The eighth person is from Hanover village, near Hilltop. The Hilltop team is going to teach them computer skills and introduces them to the Linux system and the special Linux4Afrika solutions.
South Africa – Vigil and fast
Rommel Roberts, our partner from
Background: A community centre in
We from Linux4Africa support Rommel's activities and hope that his commitment will be successful. Detailed information about the situation and a personal declaration by Rommel can be found in the PDFs.
First L4A classroom at a Univerisity
from Celso Timana
On 2nd of July 2011, Linux4Afrika founder, Hans-Peter Merkel, had the opportunity to visit the classrom for Open Source Software activities with x2go.
The classroom holds about 20 computers from Linux4Afrika Project. The objective of this computer classroom at University and not at primary schools, as it is usual with Linux4Afrika project, is to have an overview of the usage within the academic community at higher learning institutions...
INTERNET CAFÉ SHACK
My name is Nozuko Mgwebi, born on the 28 July 1984 from a small village Hanover in Eastern Cape, South Africa. I’m a single mother to Lilitha whose five years- old girl. I live in a three room’s house with my grandmother, my aunt, six cousins, my two sisters and a brother. My mother is working in Cape Town as a domestic worker and she is the one supporting the whole family with the help of my grandmother’s pension grand.
This is the picture of the shack I’m talking about but it is not finished yet, building is still on progress. I’m going to put burglar door and windows
CENFOSS will be first certification partner in Mozambique
Our latest x2go model solution which is based on Ubuntu 10.10 has been modified several times and so is no longer identical to the previous Debian solution. Therefore Linux4Afrika decided to promote only projects with which a certified IT partner can give support. This is a measure to guarantee the sustainability of our projects.
The picture shows Celso and Ercilio receiving the first server for training, which again was donated by Michael. This server will remain in Maputo to be able to run further training courses at the CENFOSS site. A brand-new Samsung Netbook could be given to them as well thanks to the kind donation of a Linux4Afrika supporter.
CENFOSS has been trained as a first training partner for our project. Celso and his team will teach IT service providers in future to make them capable of installing new servers on their own and delivering them to schools. The training programme is attached to this report as a PDF file.
x2go Certification Training started
This Monday, 20th of June of 2011, CENFOSS staff, Celso Timana and Ercilio plus Paulo Cossa, received the first official training about the x2go certification in Africa. This certification will be needed for all future rollouts for all our partners in Africa.
No, Mozambique is not an island in the Caribbean
„Where are you off to?“ was the question of the customs officer at Frankfurt airport. After my answer „to Maputo“ he looked as if this was still a strange thing for him. So I added „Mosambik“, but this, too, only resulted in an indefinite „aha“.
THE LINUX4AFRIKA CENTRE
by Rommel Roberts
The new Linux Centre in East London in South Africa is now virtually complete and is about to be launched. It will be called THE LINUX4AFRIKA CENTRE and will be the very first public Linux centre in South Africa. There are now many linux enthusiasts in South Africa but so far none have set up an official linux operation centre in a business district displaying a clear linux face.
Mail from the Hilltop farm
On April, 11th we received the following mail from Robin:
Warm greetings from the Eastern Cape…. Things went very well on the day that the computers arrived, it was cold and rainy and the shipment was unloaded in record breaking time 1 hour 30 minutes with our 13 willing and able assistants! The computers and the contents of the shipment, look amazing!
Container arrived at Hilltop Farm in South Africa
Good news: The Linux4Afrika container safely arrived at Hilltop Farm on April 11. As the weather was rainy and cool on that day the container was unloaded in the record time of less than two hours thanks to thirteen hard-working helpers.
News from Franz in Kenya
After his stay in Mozambique and Malawi Franz has now been in Kenya since the beginning of March. At the St. Scholastica School in Nairobi he is taking care of the computers that were given to the school by Linux4Africa. After renewing the expired x2go certificate – as before in Mozambique – he could then start to make the network working again. Communication via Internet was a little difficult first, but finally we heard from him again.
Isaac aus Tanzania
Vor 2 Jahren waren Franz, Michael und HP an der Dr. Didas Schule in Tanzania. Nun hat ein Schüler (Isaac) wieder Kontakt mit uns aufgenommen. Ein Bestpreis in IT ermöglicht ihm einen Aufenthalt in Kenia. Hier Auszüge aus seinen Mails:
Second container to Hilltop, South Africa, loaded and sent on its way
In no time the job was done this morning. Really, in the meantime we have had a lot of experience in loading our containers. Due to the excellent preparatory work of Michael, who had put the bulk of the freight on pallets in his firm we loaded the containers in record time.
A lot of thanks to all those who helped and so made this shipment possible.
Linux4afrika in Mozambique
The first classrom has been handed over to Malhazine Secondary School
Escola Secundária de Malhazine is now a milestone to Linux4Afrika implementation in Mozambique.
It happens to be the first School running this project in Maputo, Mozambique. The ceremony couldn't be better. The school principal, Dra Lucrécia Macamo agreed to host the ceremony on the school day, 16th of February. The ceremony was absolutely fantastic. Coca cola and other companies sponsored the ceremony and they made it a big event. The school has a very interesting and yet beautiful cultural group that delighted us with a variety of dances...
Ready for shipment
Yesterday, Saturday, ten L4A members came to the storeroom to load the hardware for South Africa on pallets. The remaining four pallets were set up with several kinds of hardware. Now 370 PCs, 20 monitors, 75 TFT displays, 22 switches, 710 RAM modules, 500 network cards, 400 harddrives, additional mainboards, VGA cards, some notebooks and a lot of cables will go to South Africa. In the middle of February we´ll order a container which will arrive at Hilltop in April after a long voyage.
Charity workshop for Linux nerds in Freiburg
Linux4Afrika will send 400 computers to South Africa in February. Equipped with open source software they will be set up in local schools. In the summer another container will be shipped to Burundi; it will go from Leipzig together with a donated ambulance vehicle. In order to finance the transport costs for the containers our association is again offering outstanding workshops. A fee will be charged.
The next workshop will take place on February 12, 2011, on ZFS in Linux. The article „Hindernislauf“ (steeplechase), published in Linux Magazin in February, will provide a basis for it. Meanwhile there are new drivers by KQInfotech, that support Ubuntu 10.04 as well as Ubuntu 10.10. Participants will bring their own PCs and are shown how to install a RAID 5 system in ZFS. Additionally the hostapt project will be installed to make access via WLAN possible for gamers and multimedia freaks. Here, too, an article in the Linux Magazin is the basis. „Macht Schule“ (Set a precedent) in the 06/10 issue describes the details. If a PCI WLAN card or a suitable WLAN USB stick is brought along the server is given a WPA2 protected access point.
The workshop takes place in March near Freiburg. Application forms with additional information about hardware to bring as well as information how to get there will be sent by mail when required (info(at)freioss.net).
The fee for L4A members is 35 EUR, non-members pay 50 EUR. Revenues will 100% go to the container costs.
Linux4Afrika changes to LibreOffice
In the latest Linux4Afrika model solution openOffice was substituted by LibreOffice. The installation is rather simple. After downloading the .deb packets they were opened and installed with "dpkg -i *.deb". In the directory ./DEBS/desktop-integration there are more .deb packets, which perform the desktop integration in Gnome. These are installed with "dpkg -i *.deb" as well.
Visit to Malhazine Secondary School , Mozambique
On Wednesday, 19th of January 2011, Franz Epple from Linux4Afrika and Celso Timana from CENFOSS visited Escola Secundária de Malhazine. The main reason of the visit was to give the Linux4Afrika representative an overview on the roll out of the project and Provide further training for the Technical Assistants and Monitor of the School, regarding some specific applications and scripts specially developed for the project.
We were warmly received by the school Principal, Mrs. Lucrécia Macamo. After the necessary formal introductions we had a school tour to appreciate the project.
Franz arrived in Mozambique
After having stayed in South Africa for nearly 6 months Franz has now arrived in Mozambique. With Celso and his team he is going to equip several schools with the computers from the recent container delivery.
The biggest one
In February our next container will be shipped. Its destination is again Hilltop Farm in South Africa. With about 400 PCs more computers than ever before will go on their journey. 300 of them were collected by Michael Schmelzer in Stuttgart and Köln. Together with Alexander Jung they were piled up on six pallets in a way that there is hardly any space left to the top of the container. The additional four pallets will be loaded with another 100 PCs, 70 TFT displays, 20 monitors, about 30*24 port switches, cables and mice. The performance of the PCs, too, is significantly higher than before. 80% of all the PCs work with a frequency rate of more than 1500 Mhz.
Mozambique: Train the Trainers
Yesterday, 12th of January 2011, a training session took place in CENFOSS with the trainers for Escola Secundária de Malhazine. They receive the basic explanation about the philosophy of the project, how the computers work and dig in with some applications within Edubuntu.
The training was conducted by Celso Timana with the auxiliary by Paulo Cossa, our pupil to support the schools, and Hercilio Timana, CENFOSS trainer for GNU/Linux lessons.
Some applications caught the participants attention such as Kgeography and of course OpenOffice. In our point of view it was a good start now let's see how this goes.
News from South Africa
In South Africa, Eastern Cape, nine centres/schools have now been equipped with computers and the x2go solution. Hilltop Empowerment Centre with Rommel Roberts and his team take care of them also with the help of the volunteers who are still staying at the different places. Over Christmas season – summer break there – everybody was on holiday, of course. Work will be resumed at the end of January.