Henny's Kids In the News
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Men's Fitness Magazine
In Zambia’s Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls, plummets 355-feet into a mile-wide gorge. Raft or kayak the rapids just below the thunderous water or fly above the mist for a panoramic view. On park safaris see zebra, giraffe, warthog, and rhino. At the nearby Twabuka Community School, teach computer skills to elementary school children as part of Henny’s Kids.org, a program to bring solar-powered laptops to rural schools in Africa started by this article’s author and named after her mother, Henrietta, a teacher. Henny’s Kids works with Children in the Wilderness, the non-profit educational and environmental division of Wilderness Safaris.
Stay: Upmarket Toka Leya Camp with en suite bathrooms.
Toka Leya Camp rates, including meals and safaris, from $620 per person. Contact Wilderness Safaris specialist Travel Sommelier, www.travelsommelier.com.
by Candyce H. Stapen, 10/6/2015
Victoria Falls © Candyce Stapen
One Laptop Per child—Sinde Village, Zambia
By Marian Myers
July 2014. Through the open windows of the school classrooms the sounds of exchange between learner and teacher echo and dance on the breath of the chilly winter wind that cuts through the bare branches of the trees in the school ground. Young voices in unison chant freshly learned knowledge and reinforce what they know already. Such enthusiasm is electric and contagious. Through the open windows of the school classrooms the sounds of exchange between learner and teacher echo and dance on the breath of the chilly winter wind that cuts through the bare branches of the trees in the school ground. Young voices in unison chant freshly learned knowledge and reinforce what they know already. Such enthusiasm is electric and contagious.
We met Candyce and Allysa as they leapt off the Wilderness Safaris vehicle cradling a precious load that they lovingly lugged all the way from Washington DC. They were here at Twabuka Community School to hand over laptops to the school as part of an education project called Henny’s Kids. The school head, heads of department, teachers and village headmen were gathered in one of the classrooms for this special occasion.
Candyce’s mother, Henny (Henrietta), was an elementary (primary) school teacher in the United States. She was completely dedicated to the value of education and its importance for young minds. In honour of her memory, Henny’s Kids has been formed which is intended to bring education through collaborative learning to rural schools in Africa. Candyce is a travel journalist in the US and as such she has had the opportunity to visit Africa on many occasions. Now she and her daughter were visiting Zambia to hand over 11 laptops and seven solar panels to Twabuka Primary and to show the teachers how collaborative education works via the medium of computers.
Quite simply and very cleverly, a small virtual network through open source software called ‘sugar’ has been developed by an NGO called ‘One Laptop per Child’. Their mission is to ‘provide every child in the world access to new channels of learning, sharing and self-expression.’ (www.one.laptop.org). Henny’s Kids worked together with One Laptop per Child and Children in the Wilderness to launch this very well tried and tested medium of learning at Twabuka Community School. The programme is ongoing and more laptops will be required to achieve its full potential in the school. For anyone interested in donating funds for this project, contact Children in the Wilderness via the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After intensive demonstration and application, the teachers were delighted with the new medium of teaching/learning. Then the computers were handed over to the learners to have a try – the eagerness on their faces and the enthusiasm with which they took to the learning filled everyone’s hearts with gratitude.
Henny’s Kids launches with first delivery
July 2014 – Award-winning US travel writer Candyce H. Stapen (gfvac.com) recently visited Wilderness Safaris’ Toka Leya Camp from 15-17 June, not only to enjoy Zambia’s renowned hospitality, but also to donate 11 new computers from One Laptop per Child (OLPC) to Twabuka Community School in Sinde Village. The laptops are powered by their own individual solar panels, which eliminates the immediate need of providing electricity for the school. The computers’ programmes are also able to operate without Internet access when necessary, although Internet access is a plus.
“I am delighted to be working with Children in the Wilderness (CITW) to bring One Laptop per Child (OLPC) computers to rural schools in Africa. The project, Henny’s Kids, is named for my mother, Henrietta, who was an elementary school teacher”, says Candyce H. Stapen. “She would have been extremely proud to see how quickly the children learned how to use their new laptops and she would have been delighted to provide access to reading material and to a whole new world of educational opportunities.”
According to Dr. Sue Snyman, Programme Director for CITW, one of the main priority needs previously identified by the School PTA and village headmen was access to computers. Toka Leya’s GM, Petros Guwa, and Dr. Snyman work closely with the school in terms of community development projects and meet with the PTA on a regular basis. “The teachers are extremely enthusiastic and proactive and we will be working with them an ongoing basis to ensure the correct assistance and training is received. Ideally we are hoping to grow this project so that the school has the required number of laptops to ensure maximum benefits to both the children and teachers”, Snyman added.
OLPC is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 with the goal of transforming education by providing every child with access to a connected laptop computer, the XO laptop. Connected laptops provide a cost-effective way to create learning environments that facilitate the greatest possible development of all children. OLPC is driven by a firm belief that laptops have a unique ability to leverage children’s innate curiosity and desire to learn, to develop critical thinking skills, and to foster a lifelong love of learning.
About Children in the Wilderness (CITW)- CITW is an environmental and life skills educational programme that focuses on the next generation of rural decision makers, developing environmental leaders who are inspired to care for their natural heritage so that they become the custodians of these areas in the future. By exposing the children to their wildlife heritage, CITW aims to create a network of learning sanctuaries that uplifts, conserves and cares for our children and our planet.
Background Photo © Candyce Stapen