Why I am in Kabul …

… is more or less coincidence. 4 weeks ago I chatted with Emer Beamer, whom I know from Makers Faire Africa, in Amsterdam. We were enjoying a sunny afternoon with a glass of wine. Emer told me she was planning a trip to Afghanistan with her butterfly works project “GREAT IDEA”. It didn’t take us long to realise that a video documentation of this endeavour might also be a great idea;-)

No sooner said than done. So there … Here we are. In the middle of Kabul thinking about how to embed mobile technologies thoughtfully in Afghan schools and their curriculum.

The 2 interviews with Merel and Emer will give you a short introduction into the “Great Idea” project:

Merel van der Woude, project manager and education designer at butterfly works

Emer Beamer, founder of butterfly works and education designer

Project details:
Oxfam Novib, Oxfam Hong Kong, Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (CHA), Saba media organization (SMO), Ministry of Education Afghanistan, Butterfly Works, 21 secondary schools in the Parwan province of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan province:
Parwan, in specific the 4 districts of Sayed Khel, ChariKar, Bagram and Jabal Saraj.

National curriculum for Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Geometry at the Secondary school level.

Media to be used:
Satellite Telecasts of core subjects, Radio programs for teachers, Radio community awareness campaign. Mobile apps for students on core subjects, Mobile Quiz (Multiple choice) for teachers and students, Mobile push messages for parents and community leaders, voice support for teachers. A competition element, will further motivate schools and students to engage and learn.


update (June 1, 2011) – kind of disclaimer:
Since many people have been asking me, I decided to update this post.
I was in Afghanistan on my own expenses. I am not paid by ButterflyWorks nor by Oxfam nor by anyone else. I was invited though to stay in the Oxfam guesthouse.
So what I write here is my personal opinion, and only mine.