Most of the vehicles we talk about here at Gas2 are largely irrelevant to the needs of society in general. For instance, how many people will ever buy a Porsche Mission E or a Lotus Exige 350 Sport? Don’t get me wrong. They’re great cars and all, but neither will promote the advancement of mankind, will they? Here’s a story about a vehicle that is helping to save the world, one child at a time. Is the task overwhelming? Of course it is, but we have to start somewhere.
75% of people who live in Africa have no access to electricity. No power means no internet. No internet means no ability to share in the vast storehouse of knowledge available online. Thanks to a collaboration between Close The Gap!, Arrow Electronics, and Hoops For Hope, the DigiTruck is now serving as a portal to digital literacy for African children who are otherwise cut off from opportunities for learning.
The DigiTruck is a shipping container mounted on a trailer. Inside is a digital learning classroom powered by solar panels on the roof. According to PSFK.com, the DigiTruck is equipped with 20 laptops, an LED screen, two routers and a printer. Together, they teach young students how to access the internet and learn online. Using the equipment available, eighteen students at a time can get hands on experience with digital literacy. When there are no classes in session, the DigiTruck can be used as a health center or a cyber café for the local community.
Oliver Vanden Eynde, Founder of Close the Gap says, “More than 75% of the population in Africa live in rural communities where infrastructure presents a huge barrier. Modern information and communication technologies, coupled with solar powered solutions like the DigiTruck, are able to help bridge this digital divide and to bring quality training and education to remote communities.”
The DigiTruck project began in 2014. Right now, it is serving the needs of 80 children at the Tuleeni orphanage in the Kilimanjaro region. In 2016, it will move to a new location, but all the digital equipment will be donated to the orphanage and the DigiTruck will be resupplied with new equipment by its sponsors.
Why is any of this important? Today there are 8 billion people on earth. The majority live in poverty and have no access to learning of any kind. The world is beset with many critical issues, from climate change to warfare and poverty. To solve those problems, the human race needs to harness the collective brain power of all those billions of people. Yet the majority of them cannot contribute their creative energies because they lack education and access to the global community.
That makes the DigiTruck — which started as a lowly shippipng container — one of the most important vehicles on earth. Think of the millions of shipping containers sitting unused around the world. Now imagine all of them converted into centers of knowledge and learning. Would that make the future of our species a little bit brighter?
Photo credit: FSPK.com