AVANTI and the Koombook Program by Cristina da Gama

by tuftsigl
Sep 07

During our trip to Ecuador, Nitya and I met with 10 different NGOs. We spoke with them about the Koombook Program, a project that implements digital portable libraries in vulnerable communities. I am very excited about the meeting we had with AVANTI. AVANTI is a leading NGO that creates sustainable development projects in poor Ecuadorian communities. Its founder, Carolina Pozo, is a very proactive and dedicated woman that has shown great interest and disposition towards our project.

On April 16th, 2016 Ecuador suffered a devastating 7.8­magnitude earthquake. Coaque, an Ecuadorian community, lost multiple homes and their only school. AVANTI, which was already working in the community, offered food, water, temporary homes and a humanitarian center. AVANTI is helping these people rebuild and resume their lives; however, there is still much to be done. AVANTI wants to partner with us in order to implement a Koombook Program in Coaque’s humanitarian center and in 4 other near-by locations. With this program, we plan to help students resume their studies. These digital libraries will also serve as recreational, cultural and educational tools to all members of the community.

Carolina applied to receive funding from two sources in order to implement the Koombook Program in Coaque and other locations. She has already received 10 used laptops, which are necessary tools in the implementation of the technology. Nitya and I are very excited about AVANTI’s efforts, since they promote a fast and successful implementation of the program. We were also very enthusiastic to listen to Carolina’s ideas and future plans regarding the Koombook Program. In fact, she suggested transforming it into a nation-wide project. She also proposed pre-loading the digital libraries with useful and creative subjects that could promote education, health, entrepreneurship and many other focuses in the community. For example, she suggested conducting workshops related to the Zika virus, prenatal education, English learning, earthquake prevention, and reproductive education.

I am sure that our work with AVANTI will be meaningful and successful. It will be an amazing partnership to carry out this semester. I am excited to work with Carolina’s enthusiastic team and, above all, to help the people of Coaque have better access to education and technology.