French authorities plan on passing out open-source software to incoming high school freshman next year. The software expected to include Firefox and Thunderbird as well as an office suite; instant messaging software and an audio video player will be put on a USB flash drive and passed out to students at the beginning of the school year. The USB drive will give students the ability to check email and surf the web with personal preferences without purchasing each child their own personal laptop.
We distributed a very similar solution at Pamoja! Glad to see others thinking similar thoughts. Our goal is not just to distribute software, but to increase communication and collaboration. We added headphones and a nice bag. Plus training and technical support.
Our finance leader in southern Africa wrote this week to tell me it is working. He needed some banking information from one of the countries in his area. He saw one of our Pamoja trainees online using his new Skype skills. So he used text chat to ask for the banking information he needed to help flow funds to the country. We’re building operational capacity, one step at a time, enabling better communication.