Imagine that the only school resource you have is one textbook that you share with 50 of your classmates. For many children in Northern Uganda, this is a reality. However, an initiative of the World Literacy Foundation called Sun Books is working hard to redefine learning for kids in poverty, distributing donated tablet computers into classrooms where this technology has never been seen.
Sun Books is an organization that turns donations into a new world of learning. It also preloads those computers with educational software, and Cultural Infusion has donated our acclaimed educational application Joko’s World to the Sun Books initiative.
Sun Books mission is to bridge the digital divide and to lessen the likelihood of being left behind by wealthier peers with better access to the technological world. It’s also a sustainable solution for classrooms without electricity, or connection to the Internet.
We spoke to Lennart Meijer, a representative at Sun Books. Lennart will be travelling to Uganda later this month to personally deliver some of the tablets to kids in classrooms across the country.
“I am extremely proud of what has been achieved over the last month. It has been a really exciting journey, to provide to kids in Northern Uganda. Many kids have to share a regular textbook between the whole classroom, and all of the sudden, the school implements Sun Books, and it’s a complete array of new educational content on a single device.”
Previously a high-level conflict area, Northern Uganda’s education system has been severely disrupted,.
“There are about one billion children who lack access to basic educational resources, Internet and electricity. Sun Books is bridging the gap by providing solar powered educational tablets, completely preloaded with local, national and international curriculum [materials] that is offline, and solar powered so there is no need for electricity.”
Lennart is particularly moved by the donations to Sun Books. He says it’s extremely motivating to see organisations sharing the same values, and working together to make a real difference.
“For me, it means a lot to see these donations. It is amazing to think 1.2 billion children completely lack access to basic educational resources, and [to know that] we can change that with every donation we receive – both in educational content but also in terms of funding.”
Sun Books’ learning devices each contain a variety of learning apps, audio books, e-books and interactive games. Teacher resources include lesson plans, student assessment tools, and a number of high quality resources to provide the teacher with the tools they need to support their classrooms.
“For the upcoming trip, we will bring 20 tablets, and those 20 tablets will reach 1200 children. So, Joko’s World will reach these kids; they’ll be using the application often. It means we can lift the program to another level. I am extremely excited every time we receive a donation, you really find out that we share the same values, and it’s really important to me.”
Can you imagine the sense of wonder a child might experience when they see a tablet for the first time? Lennart will return to Australia within a few weeks, and we can’t wait to hear all about his journey on the back of the brilliant Sun Books initiative. Stay tuned to hear about what kids in Northern Uganda think of Joko’s World!
You can donate money or software to Sun Books here.