Educate a Girl: Narrow the IT Gap

When Peggy, Erica and I wrote the paper “Information Technology for Latin America and the Caribbean” for UNESCO we coined the term “world-wide-wedge (www).” People fall into two categories: those who have computers and access to the Internet and those who don’t. The report is a real page-turner – or an instant cure for insomnia – for anyone who wants a copy.

Now that Lina, Nita, and Pannie are going to a better school – thanks to Iris, Dennis and The Nurse – they need to get computer savvy. Never having been shy about asking for what I want I posted a notice on the Cambodian Parent’s Network (CPN) with a link to the “Educate a Girl; Change the World” blog.

A couple of hours later, Kevin Stainburn got back to me. He is the head of the HR department at QB. They had a couple of refurbished computers and wanted to find good homes for them. Would it be in a public area? No. The girls have a homework station set up under grandma’s watchful eye and there is always someone in the compound. The delivery was organized and everything is now up and running.

And here are some happy snaps of the girls who just crossed the www.


“I am very happy to have a computer at home,” commented Lina, the oldest of the three who shyly speaks English, “Now it means I can do my homework and print it out. I will be able to improve my English. I never thought anything like this would happen.”


A couple of days later Debra Merchent asked if we could use an older laptop and a few other IT bits-and-pieces. Yes, thank you. Thea – the 20 year old who wants to go to university to study English – was thrilled. She doesn’t care if she has to hit F1 occasionally if the computer won’t boot.

Thea exclaimed, “Thank you so much. This is wonderful because now I can study English at home. I look after my grandmother because she is old and I don’t have enough money to study at the university because it is very expensive.”


There are all sorts of English courses on DVDs readily available from the Russian market for about $1 a copy, so we should be able to find some good ones for them.

Stay tuned to this blog for updates on how our computer students are doing with their studies.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *