Intel and World Vision have worked together since 2011 to deploy technology in African schools. This collaboration through the Intel Education Service Corps (IESC) has been nominated for “Best Partnership” at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center’s 2012 Citizens Awards. Between now and November 2nd you’ll be able to vote for your favorite initiative.
Four teams of Intel employees have traveled to Senegal and Zambia to set up Intel classmate PCs in schools, as well as to provide training to teachers and students so they are able to effectively use technology to improve the quality of learning.
The importance of this program was best summarized by one of the teachers in Senegal, who told the team of Intel volunteers: “It’s a high tech world, and if we can’t use computers, then we are illiterate.”
Currently, two IESC teams are assisting World Vision with new projects in Rwanda and Tanzania. I asked Russ Earl, a software engineer at Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon, to describe his team’s preparations to travel to Rwanda this October to work in a World Vision Community Knowledge Center.
“What kinds of computer skills should we teach?” “What software should we bring?” “How should we dress?” These are some of the questions that my Intel colleagues (Harini, Cong, Daman, and Mani) and I have had over the past month.
This journey started in July when I submitted my application for IESC. Shortly after getting the exciting news that I had been selected for this competitive program, I met my teammates and we shared our motivations for participating. I talked about serving as a missionary in French Polynesia, where I often had to go without luxuries such as hot showers and microwave. My teammates talked about volunteering in Costa Rica, working at a women’s shelter, starting a tutoring business, and having a life objective to “leave it better than I found it.” I felt renewed in my efforts to volunteer as I considered the examples of my colleagues.
In addition to our training plan, gathering software, and planning our wardrobe, we also needed to start getting vaccinations. And I mean a LOT of them! I received seven shots in two visits to the Intel clinic in Oregon, a dizzying list including rabies, yellow fever, typhoid fever, DTaP, hepatitis, and meningococcal. On the final visit for my third rabies shots, the nurse asked me if either of the first two caused me any soreness. I certainly felt soreness but didn’t know how to determine which of the shots was responsible!
I have always found that volunteering greatly enriches my life. I’m looking forward to my experience in Rwanda and am proud to work for a company like Intel that gives such opportunities to its employees.
Russ is one of the 30 IESC volunteers who have put aside their busy day jobs for two weeks to assist World Vision in their mission to help children around the world. Again, please vote for Intel and World Vision today in the 2012 Corporate Citizenship Awards sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center!