Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Computer Learning Resources Center

Dear Friends and Family,

I am nearing the close of my service as a Peace Corps volunteer and looking forward to returning to the States after being away for over two years.  For the past twenty-one months, I have been working as a literacy and Information & Communications Technology (ICT) adviser to teachers, students, and community members who visit the Learning Resource Center (LRC).  It has been fulfilling to say the least as we have installed wireless Internet, two printers, a scanner, and many other tools and utilities to help Barticians connect with the digital and information age.  In the last year, the LRC has seen a ten percent overall increase in attendance from teachers, students, and community members who come to use the center for a variety of different reasons, including computers. Evenings are sometimes met with queues of people waiting to use the computer for Internet access, word processing, photo editing, or simply to learn how to use Internet technology.

The increase in users at the LRC has been positively reflected upon the community, as can be seen through better computer skills and more computer-generated work in classrooms throughout the region. Unfortunately, the greater number of people who are using the center has put a strain on the two already old desktop computers that we have in our library. 

To solve these problems, the members of the LRC created a Peace Corps Partnership Grant to help pay for six new computers to add to our library so that those who consistantly use the center for computer work will have more access to better computers. The community I live in – including the local government – has already contributed to 40% of this grant (i.e. providing a building and paying for electricity and Internet) and the rest has been posted online via the Peace Corps website as a donation open to anyone.

I feel that the LRC Computer Project will be a very helpful final contribution to the community I have served in for two years.  My remaining three months will be spent working on the other part of this project - training a new employee at the LRC to take my place.  The duties will include: literacy development and promotion at the LRC, offering computer classes to the public, and providing general trouble shooting to Guyanese who are new to ICT.  Our goal with this project is to provide a service that is sustainable both in the capacity that a new computer lab will make available and in the knowledge that the employees at the LRC can share with their patrons.

If you are interested in learning more about the LRC Computer Project or would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to this project, please visit the donor page for this project:

Furthermore, if you have any questions, please contact me at:

 believe education is the key to self empowerment, and in a world where information is moving at a speed much faster than time, it is prudent to provide even the least fortunate an opportunity to change their lives.

Thank you for your time and your kind consideration.

Christopher Olin,
Peace Corps, Guyana 2009-2011
Literacy & ICT Education Adviser
Region 7

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