Steppe by Steppe's new project
Steppe by Steppe project expands to connect rural Kazakhstan schools to Australian schools for cultural exchange
After traveling through the rural areas of Kazakhstan, we have decided that we would like to expand this project to help the people of Kazakhstan.We would like to set up a new program to provide free internet-ready notebooks, an internet connection, educational software (encyclopedias etc), teaching aids, computer training, and an information technology teacher to rural schools of Kazakhstan. Having access to these resources in the remote villages will allow the brighter students to expand their educational prospects without having to leave their village, traditional lifestyle, and family for the city.
Throughout our travels, we have visited many schools in very remote rural areas, these schools are often very under resourced, lacking sporting equipment, proper toilets, libraries and many other facilities that we ourselves take for granted today. The adequate phone lines/reception is often non-existent in these areas also – let alone the internet. Most people in these remote villages have never even seen a computer, let alone used the internet.
In these rural areas (where hardly anyone has seen a computer), there are very limited prospects for further education. We hope that by providing a few laptops, internet access (along with a teacher trained in IT) and software, to a school, we can increase their chances of continued higher education. Access to global information will greatly enhance their awareness, understanding, and knowledge of the larger community that we are all apart of, resulting in greater empowerment at both a communal and personal level, thus greatly increasing their developmental prospects.
Our other goal is to partner each participating school in Kazakhstan to a sister school in Australia, it will allow students in these distant regions of the world to learn and grow together with open minds.
Learning about and appreciating the complexity and diversity of other cultures is key to reducing conflicts around the globe. Furthering our knowledge and understanding of the world we live in can only enhance our connections to this global community we are all a part of. It is only by connecting to and understanding the rest of the world that we can begin to solve the greatest problems that plague mankind today. It is only by working together as a united global community that these ills that confront the world can be eradicated and the goals that we so dearly want can be achieved. Inter-cultural connectiveness is the key to this, our children are the key to our future, let us open both these doors, for only once new doorways are opened, can new insights be gained. This new project will fittingly also be called “Steppe by Steppe – Side by Side”, as the two schools grow and learn together and from each other.
Thus, we have decided to stay put in one place for a while, to startup our very own NGO based in Australia. We hope that by the time we return to Australia, most of our research into setting up this NGO in Kazakhstan will have been done, and be ready to implement.
At the moment, we have about 5 different schools in Karaganda Oblast in mind, but we hope that this number will soon grow. We have a NGO partner over here in Kazakhstan who is willing to help us also; we just need some schools in Australia who are interested in buddying up with a sister/brother school in rural Kazakhstan, as well as anyone interested in helping us fund the laptops, internet training, support, logistics and monitoring. If anyone has any ideas/suggestions or offers of help, please give us a shout! When it comes to setting up an NGO/charity in Australia, we have no experience either, so any tips/suggestions/advice in this matter would be greatly appreciated to!
We believe that education is the greatest possible tool for development, and that every child should have the right and ability to receive the best possible education. In the 21st century, computers are playing an increasingly important role in the ability to access educational resources and as educational tools themselves. On top of this, access to the internet is vital to learning more about the world we live in, and communicating with the rest of the world. It is only by staying connected to the rest of the world, by utilizing the most up to date and technologically advanced teaching and educational resources, that this goal of providing our children with the best educational resources available possible can be achieved. Our children are our future, and our very future depends on providing them with the best education possible.
Please checkout www.steppebysteppe.com.au/schools.html for more details, as this will be the new home for this project, so you can watch it’s continual evolution there.