Foum Jamaa – Morocco

This is a guest post from Jake Tonkel, a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Foum Jamaa, Morocco.

Let’s start with a big thank you to Kids on Computers, especially Avni, Fareeda, Randy and Chase, from me, my directors, and all my kids. What you guys do is so cool and gives these kids so many more opportunities for learning.

Jake teaching Scratch - scratch.mit.edu
Jake teaching Scratch – scratch.mit.edu

A quick recap of the trip from my perspective.

I ran into the group on the leg of the trip in Ouled Mussa hoping to just meet the group, help a little and give Jake (Jake1, Yakoub, Stern) some extra assistance hoping that my computer background was enough to be somewhat helpful. I arrived to quick work where everyone had set up all 8 computers before lunch with just a little bit of networking and troubleshooting left.

After a lovely tagine lunch we made our way back to the Dar Chabab. The setup was done really well and as I learned more about the software on the computers, the more impressed I became. With some chit chat, it came up that my Dar Chabab already had computers and that with this free operating system and software full of educational games and activities it was no problem if I wanted to run the same setup at my site in Foum Jemaa. This was something I hadn’t even imagined when Jake asked me to help with the Kids on Computers program and was blown away by the generosity and flexibility. So after a bit more time learning the system setup, a well done first class by Mr. Stern and a late night arguing over the price of a cab ride for everyone back to Ouaouizeght, I was sent on my way back to town with a USB drive of the Ubuntu operating system and 100GB of educational data in both French and Arabic.

From there things could not have gone much better, I was able to easily install the operating system on a few computers to make the following day go smoothly. It was so much more then I could have hoped for to actually have Randy and Chase make their way out to Foum Jemaa (shout out to Matt Mcfarland for being a lovely guide) to help me do some final setup and run a class. With my Dar Chabab agreeing to buy the Ethernet cables and switches, we got the data transfer for the 100GB and relax with a lovely tagine lunch at my host families. Lunch went so well that Chase now has a Moroccan name (Hassan) and will forever be know as such for as long as my host family asks about how my American friends are ( I had a friend Joe visit 7 months ago and I still get asked where he is, how is work is going and if he is coming back soon). After lunch we continued with a bit of setup and moved into a basic class on shutting down, starting up, playing a few games and watching a few of the great educational videos available on Khan. Chocolates were given out, kids laughed and clawed at each other to answer the questions and Inshallah, lots of opportunities were opened for the youth of Foum Jemaa. We ended the day with a photo-shoot and a big group Shokran (thank you) from the kids, myself and our director.

Attached are a few great pictures from the day.

 


Hope all is well and again thanks so much,

Jake Tonkel (Jack, Jaque, Jake 2, Salah, Tonkel)
Peace Corps Morocco Youth Development Volunteer ’14

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