75 Macs, Thousands of Futures…

…Our students will soon receive one of the most influential shipments ever to to arrive in Faridabad. Over the past few weeks, I have been working closely with Jenny Treadway, Director of Information Technology at my alma mater, Phoenix Country Day School, who has generously arranged for Squalor to Scholar to acquire much of the used technology from this renowned institution.

Within the next seven months, 75 iMac and MacBook computers currently in use at PCDS will undergo a cyclical phase-out. We will rescue them, pack them, and ship them 8,000 miles to Faridabad, India, where they will breathe new life educating and inspiring thousands of students from impoverished backgrounds. They will be set up in multiple schools, orphanages, and professional training centers where their users will now have access to resources like Google, Khan Academy, and Wikipedia for the first time ever. Our students at the Carmel Convent School will be among the students receiving a computer lab, something they have never seen before. They will also learn how to communicate with us via email, share photos on Facebook, video chat with us on Skype, and perhaps someday even host their own blogs and websites.

The internet is the Gutenberg Press of the 21st century and the single greatest communications device ever created. It is a tool capable of transforming entire societies and promoting equality and freedom on a scale never before possible. We have hardly even begun to unlock its potential to revolutionize education and healthcare worldwide. With only few exceptions, the internet has changed nearly every aspect of modern first-world society. Although we may not realize it, the internet is also changing the other end of the spectrum; it is changing how the developing world develops.

More than 78% of Americans and 40% of Chinese use the Internet. Throughout Africa as a whole, 15% use the internet. Yet, by these same measurements, only 11% of Indians use the internet. This means that 1.1 billion people (more than the entire population of North America, South America, and the Middle East combined) in India are still without internet.

In order to catch up, India is currently “leapfrogging” many of the technological achievements of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Instead of LAN connections and desktop computers, they’re jumping straight into the mobile internet revolution. Of the 137,000,000 people in India who currently do have internet, 59% of them access it exclusively with their phones.

Mass internet usage is coming to the third world. There are already 900 million mobile device subscribers in India; their phones just aren’t capable of internet connections yet. As costs drop, the transition will occur. That transition is coming fast and it’s going to revolutionize public health, global economics, education, and everything in between.

Our students from the slums will soon have a leg up on their peers with the help of 75 powerful computers coming their way courtesy of Phoneix Country Day School. To Jenny Treadway and the entire faculty, staff, and administration at PCDS, thank you for your continued support.

DEAR READERS, WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH 2 ITEMS: Please email squalortoscholar@gmail.com if you can provide any assistance with the needs below. On behalf of our students and their families, thank you!

1. EXPERIENCE WITH INDIAN CUSTOMS: Indian customs has unusual policies regarding the import of computer hardware. Shipping logistics have been generously taken care of, but we do not know what sort of red tape these computers will encounter on arrival. If you have experience in this arena or can connect us with someone who does, we would greatly appreciate your help.

2. TECHNOLOGY DONATIONS: If you have access to a high-end DSLR, video camcorder, laptop, iPad, or software licence that you aren’t using and think would be helpful in growing Squalor to Scholar and improving the educations of our students, I would be honored to receive donations of such items for use in India.

Once again, thank you!

Sources of Statistics: