Learning Planet only invests in sustainable projects which have the support and involvement of the local community. We do not operate by giving handouts.
Our method is to help remote communites connect with sustainable technology, markets, skills, labour and donors from outside, creating opportunities, products and profits to fund and sustain their own projects.
Working with communities to power their own future
Almost all remote communities struggle with access to affordable, reliable energy. This cuts them off from the world by preventing reliable communications; it causes environmental poisoning from battery disposal; adversely affects health from kerosene lighting; and massively reduces productivity.
By installling and harnessing a clean, free energy source in each school, and giving access to that resource to the wider population, schools can achieve economic sustainability and help power the emergence from poverty of the entire district.
In 2010, we won an Environ Foundation Award to put this theory into practice, using renewable energy to power sustainability in Dhawa over the next 2-5 years. Read about the Light4Life Renewable Energy Pilot.
Once power is installed communities need access to communications. So in Jan 2012 we began a partnership with Aleutia ltd - a visionary low power computing company determined to increase rural access to IT in developing nations.
All our projects will now gradually be equipped with rugged and powerful desktop computers that consume less than 10 Watts of power.
In Feb 2012 we partnered with Nepal's most famous teacher, wireless internet evangelist Mahabir Pun and leading Asian ISP Vianet. The challenge is to bounce a high speed wireless internet connection 80km over the mountains to Shree Prabhat Higher Secondary School - and from there by line of sight to each of the 14 schools in the wider district. We aim to have the first phase of this complete before the end of 2012.
With Internet access, and a renewable energy source, schools in Dhawa and the surrounding district can sustain themselves economically; and they can offer a huge variety of opportunities and services - from affordable VOIP telephony and telemedecine, to e-learning and information access, to the wider population.
In many inner city schools in the developed world so much is lacking. When we can, we'll take up that torch also. For now, we want to help the kids who don't even have a school to go to, who don't have books to read, or games to play. Kids who already get excited when they hear the word Internet, but even now, have still never seen a real computer.
We can't change the whole world by ourselves, but we can help some of these children get the same kind of opportunities many of the rest of us take for granted. We're happy with that. For now.
Perhaps JFK put it best when he said, "Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone".
Right on, Jack. We're with you.
Thanks for reading:)
The LP team