CMU Project Rwanda

Jim’s Profile by cmuprojectrwanda
April 30, 2010, 7:17 am
Filed under: Personal Profiles

Name: Jim Musili

Major: Business Administration with a minor in information systems

Life Passion:Solving existing/emerging challanges in the global community and changing people’s lives. The other side of me is full of traveling, meeting people, music, playing sports and trying new things.

Why Project Rwanda: Developing a sense of Rwanda community and I would like to participate in improving their lives’ through this project and sincerely I enjoy a feeling of accomplishment when I am affecting others positively. I believe technology is the main front in preparing young Rwandese to major developments and future leaders.

What do I plan to get out of it: Am expecting a lifetime experience that will make me learn and witness situations in our global communities. I believe technology is a major impact in assisting developing countries. I hope to observe and understand how technology can be a major boost in educating the Rwandese young generation.


Abhay’s Profile by cmuprojectrwanda
April 30, 2010, 7:05 am
Filed under: Personal Profiles

Name:  Abhay Valiyaveettil

Major: Information Systems

Life Passion: Table-tennis, cricket (sport basically) , sand duning, CMU !!

Why Project Rwanda: The mission of the project itself stands out as the most important reason for me joining Project Rwanda. Empowering the youth of Rwanda- is such an interesting project to be a part of. I know that Rwanda is a developing country with not much technological infrastructure. At CMU-Q, we gained a lot of knowledge about technology and we also have access to abundant computers and other tech stuff. I would like to share all that I’ve learnt at CMU-Q with the Rwandan youth so that they can get inspired and work towards becoming successful leaders in future. I hope to introduce the Rwandan youth to several interesting yet basic computer applications. I also enjoy working in groups a lot and this project will be a great opportunity for me to interact with the Pittsburgh students and work together to achieve a common goal.

What do I plan to get out of it: I expect to get some great experience with community service. I would like to talk to the     youth of Rwanda, understand their problems and share my experiences with them. There is a   lot that I can learn from this trip. Adapting to the lifestyle in Rwanda is in itself a great learning experience for me. In Doha, life is pretty relaxing and luxurious; I want to experience the simple yet exciting life in Rwanda. Moreover, I expect to learn a lot from the students from the Pittsburgh campus. We could involve in a mutual discussion about life at  Carnegie Mellon-both in Doha and Pittsburgh, and identify the similar/different aspects of life at CMU.

Melvin’s Profile by cmuprojectrwanda
April 29, 2010, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Personal Profiles

Name:  Melvin Rayappa

Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering
Engineering and Public Policy

Minor: Robotics

Life Passion: Living up to the motto of my Jesuit highschool and being “A man for others”.  In my free time I enjoy watching movies and playing sports.

Why Project Rwanda: Personally, the main reason I have been able to attain such a quality higher education was through the scholarships so generously provided by benefactors who believed  that I could make the most of my education. So now I owe it up to return the favor and pass on the wonderful gift of education to children that truly deserve it.  If I can just teach one child something new during the trip, it will all be worth it (seriously). Who knows? Within the minds of these children could be locked the cure to cancer or AIDS  but education is the only missing key that information.

What do I plan to get out of it: I know that my visit to Rwanda will be a fruitful one because I will learn first hand about a new culture, people, and way of life. I hope that this trip will broaden my perspective and overall make me a more well rounded individual. I also hope that being a in a new environment will allow my team memebrs and myself to step outside our normal comfort zone and I will get to see another side of them I would not have in an academic environment.

Vishal’s Profile by cmuprojectrwanda
April 26, 2010, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Personal Profiles

Name: Vishal Agrawal

Major: Electrical & Computer Engineering

Life Passion: Use technology as a medium to change the world for the better

Why Project Rwanda: I have always wanted to give back to society. Having lived in Dubai most of my life there was very little I could do. Project Rwanda, offers me that very opportunity where I can work with children and equip them with the priceless tool of education with the OLPC program. The reason I chose Project Rwanda over similar projects here at Carnegie Mellon is because I strongly believe that it is in “God’s Continent” that such humanitarian efforts are most needed.

What do I plan to get out of it?: The satisfaction of being able to make a difference in the life of a child in a country ravaged by war and genocides is what I want to take away from Project Rwanda. I also, hope to learn and grow individually from the experience.

First Video Conference with Qatar members and LAPTOPS! by cmuprojectrwanda
April 24, 2010, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Planning

This past week has been a very exciting week for us!

Monday started off early with a video Conference with our new members @ CMU Qatar. The conference started at 8am US Eastern time and 3pm Qatar time. Despite the fact that most of us were going on less than 5 hours of sleep from the busy days of carnival, we were enthusiatic to meet our fellow members through the Samsung widescreen TV and have them jump on board with all our plans. Josh, Amy and Sruthi briefed Waleed, Abhay and Jimmy on our summit plans, however the meeting was not all business and we got to learn some interesting things about Qatar such as the current temperature in Doha reaches 100 degrees!

We also had another reason to be excited- our XOs arrived! The laptop is like nothing I have ever seen before! To describe it by one word- Cool. Although designed for children, the Laptop itself has many sophisticated activities where we can incorporate a lot of creativity and collaboration. Currently we are all trying to get accustomed to the Sugar Interface by downloading it on our personal computers and playing around with it.  You can do everything on it and more and it certainly made me rethink my $1200 macbook.

Wednesday and Thursday we secured further financial support and departmental support. We are very grateful to all the help we are receiving and the genuine interest around CMU campus about our project!

Waleed’s Profile by cmuprojectrwanda
April 23, 2010, 9:48 am
Filed under: Personal Profiles

Name: Waleed Ali Khan

Major: Business Administration with minors in Computer Science and Professional Writing

Life Passion: To become an involved global citizen and to find happiness through intellectual exploration and self discovery.

Why Project Rwanda: I am so proud of Rwanda and how it has recovered so quickly from the economic and political turmoil in its past. It gives me hope that my country, Pakistan, can do the same. Project Rwanda is also special because it shows us that we can help not only through material support, but also through ideas. I am excited to see how one laptop can change the life of not only one person, but everyone around him/her.

What do I plan to get out of it?: Firstly, I have never visited the African continent before, so I hope to have a better perspective of the world. I hope to be inspired by the stories of the children I will be teaching, and to have a better sense of purpose for my own life.

Introducing… KAGUGU Primary School! by cmuprojectrwanda
April 20, 2010, 11:17 am
Filed under: Planning

We recently got confirmation for our school in Kigali and we couldn’t be more excited! The school has more than 4000 students attending!

We can now go ahead and plan our curriculum. A couple of things we are deciding on: how many kids and who to teach. Some of these kids can already use the laptops so we can teach them more complex activities such as programming but others have very minimum experience so we will have to teach them the basics.

The school day is divided into two parts: Younger kids go in the morning and the older kids arrive in the afternoon. We plan to teach two groups during the part of the day they will not be in school.

We are very interested to find out how we can teach the children because our methods of teaching are not even close to their methods of learning. We want to teach the students how to brainstorm ideas and collaborate. Our goals are to focus on the three T’s- Teach, Techy & Twitter

On a side note: We have three new members from Qatar Campus!!