2006.12.30: December 30, 2006: Headlines: COS - Namibia: Idaho Press Tribune: Peace Corps Volunteer Jason Sears has lived in Namibia for a year helping to spread technology

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Namibia: Peace Corps Namibia : Peace Corps Namibia: Latest Stories: 2006.12.30: December 30, 2006: Headlines: COS - Namibia: Idaho Press Tribune: Peace Corps Volunteer Jason Sears has lived in Namibia for a year helping to spread technology

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-249-83-39.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.249.83.39) on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 7:06 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Jason Sears has lived in Namibia for a year helping to spread technology

Peace Corps Volunteer Jason Sears has lived in Namibia for a year helping to spread technology

“It’s in not like (in America) where you see someone and say ‘hi,’ there you have to stop and have a conversation with people, and sometimes they invite you in and serve you food.” The same enthusiasm that thrilled Sears throughout the villages was also present in his classroom, with students eager to learn computer training. A challenge facing Sears as a teacher was that his students had no access to computers at home — all of the skill building had to happen during his limited classroom time. “Traditional teaching won’t work, because we would have such a mix of experience levels,” Sears said. “We ended up doing project-based stuff like making movies, and had the less-experienced students learn from the others. Unless they apply what they learn there’s no chance they will remember the skills.”

Peace Corps Volunteer Jason Sears has lived in Namibia for a year helping to spread technology

Idahoan helps to connect Africa

Goodwill: Jason Sears has lived in Namibia for a year helping to spread technology, and he’s ready for more

By Adam Ross - Idaho Press-Tribune
Jason Sears has fielded plenty questions during his holiday time back in Idaho, there’s just a couple he can do without.

“The worst is when people ask ‘what’s Africa like?’” Sears said. “There’s just so many things you can say.”
But Sears didn’t return from a vacation in Africa, he spent a year in the southwest nation of Namibia as a Peace Corps volunteer, and will soon head back to the land for another year of service. In Namibia, Sears is lending his lifetime of computer knowledge to a nation devoted to fixing its broken educational system.

“They spend a lot on education,” said Sears, a graduate of Boise State University. “Only 30 percent (of Namibians) graduate from 10th or 12th grade.”

Those who do get through the school system quickly find that there are few career options in a nation whose main natural resources — diamonds, uranium and fishing — are mainly exploited by foreign countries. As part of the Peace Corps’ Information Communication Technology (ICT) project, Sears gives computer training to young Namibians, teachings that are usually not available in a nation with widespread areas still without electricity.

Traveling across the globe to live in a country that is only 16 years old (after gaining its independence from South Africa) was a huge decision, but one that was not entirely unexpected.

“It’s definitely in-line with his character,” said Jason’s mother, Esther Sears. “It took a little getting used to, but we’re extremely proud of him. He’s accomplished a great deal and has made a huge difference.”

Sears’ life in Namibia began with spending a month with a local family, learning the skills that he would need on his own — such as washing laundry in a basin and taking a bath in a bucket.

Sears spent his introductory weeks in a city neighborhood, but would be doing his teachings in the poverty-stricken “locations,” areas outside the cities conceived during the apartheid era where the black population was once forced to live. The locations still remain, with neighborhoods frequently constructed out of crude metals and wood.

“It’s amazing to walk through,” said Sears, who attended Boise’s Capital High. “It’s in not like (in America) where you see someone and say ‘hi,’ there you have to stop and have a conversation with people, and sometimes they invite you in and serve you food.”

The same enthusiasm that thrilled Sears throughout the villages was also present in his classroom, with students eager to learn computer training. A challenge facing Sears as a teacher was that his students had no access to computers at home — all of the skill building had to happen during his limited classroom time.

“Traditional teaching won’t work, because we would have such a mix of experience levels,” Sears said. “We ended up doing project-based stuff like making movies, and had the less-experienced students learn from the others. Unless they apply what they learn there’s no chance they will remember the skills.”

The technology training is seen by the locals as a way out of the villages, which have no economy to speak of and a heavy concentration of AIDS infections and alcoholism. The latter is in part a result of Namibia’s beer culture, with residents frequently brewing their own beer and often setting up their small house as a makeshift

Back home in Boise, Sears was met with an unwelcome greeting — cold temperatures. Sears eventually grew accustomed to the constant triple digit temperatures of Namibia, heat so assaulting that pants and long-sleeved shirts become the preferred defense against the sun’s rays. Before leaving for Africa again on Jan. 2, Sears is busy raising funds for the ICT efforts in Namibia. Sears and his partners (a group of Namibian students who applied to teach alongside him) need financial help with their bus travel from village to village they make throughout the year.

Beyond a couple unanswerable questions, Sears has found it easy adjusting to American life again during his brief stopover at home.

“Some people were worried that I would be a totally different person,” Sears said. “But we’ve picked right up from where we left before.”

How to help

Jason Sears is raising funds to help with transportation costs related to his cause in Namibia. Any small donation will be greatly appreciated. To donate, visit Sears’ Web site at www.mindofjason.com

Copyright 2005 Idaho Press-Tribune. All rights reserved.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: December, 2006; Peace Corps Namibia; Directory of Namibia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Namibia RPCVs





When this story was posted in March 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Subscribe to Peace Corps News Date: January 14 2007 No: 1059 Subscribe to Peace Corps News
Don't miss our new web site, Peace Corps News, for the latest news about the Returned Volunteer community and what is going on with the Peace Corps around the world. Subscribe to our news feed to get Peace Corps news delivered to your desk as it happens. Then visit the Peace Corps Library, History of the Peace Corps, the worldwide RPCV Directory or leave a message for the RPCV community on the RPCV Bulletin Board.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: February 24 2007 No: 1070 February 23, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Hill announces Draft Accord in North Korea Nuclear Talks 12 Feb
Dodd builds connections in New Hampshire 19 Feb
PCVs accused of counterinsurgency activities 19 Feb
Harris Wofford declares support for Obama 18 Feb
Tschetter becomes the first Director to visit Malawi 16 Feb
New Fellows Program at Yale University 15 Feb
Sidney Slover helps start donut production in Honduras 16 Feb
Kevin O'Donnell's Daughter and Granddaughter are PCVs 14 Feb
Joe Krueger helps restore Liberia's timber industry 14 Feb
Peace Corps Hippies 13 Feb
Maryland RPCVs to screen "American Idealist" on March 3 9 Feb
Aaron Kase writes: Moon over Africa 8 Feb
Margaret Krome writes: 'Rogue nations' aren't only threat 8 Feb
Shays says he would Support McCain 8 Feb
A Mistrial for Lieut. Watada 8 Feb
Chris Matthews drops the F-bomb 8 Feb
RPCVs - Believe it or not 07 Feb
White House requests $334 Million for Peace Corps 5 Feb
Carol Bellamy writes: We need an Earth Corps 3 Feb
First Group of PCVs arrive in Cambodia 2 Feb
Mae Jemison wears red for charity 2 Feb
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts 30 Jan

February 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: February 2 2007 No: 1063 February 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Peace Corps Volunteers in Guinea Are Safe in Mali 28 Jan
Lee Wilbur writes: Muslim media images are shocking 31 Jan
Gregory Acker plays African drums for 3rd Goal 31 Jan
"Jimi Sir" now available for free internet viewing 30 Jan
Is Civilian Reserve just another Bush throwaway line? 30 Jan
Tony Hall writes: What North Korea really wants 30 Jan
Paul Tsongas remembered on 10th anniversary 28 Jan
Ben Bell attends Washington march against Iraq war 27 Jan
First Peace Corps Volunteers to Serve in Cambodia 26 Jan
Phil Hardberger sees 'golden years' ahead for San Antonio 26 Jan
Doyle wants smoking ban in Wisconsin 24 Jan
Mark Udall to run for Colorado Senate Seat 17 Jan
Meredith Walsh works with Burmese refugees 16 Jan
Tschetter spends MLK Day with Habitat for Humanity 15 Jan
Robert Buckley founds Himalayan Healers 14 Jan
James Rupert writes: An aging king in Thailand 14 Jan
Michael O'Hanlon writes: A Skeptic's Case For the Surge 14 Jan
Senator Dodd opposes Iraq surge 11 Jan
Pat Waak celebrates 2008 Democratic Convention 11 Jan
Al Kamen writes: The six rules for Congressional Junkets 10 Jan
Bill Moyers slams Bush on global warming 10 Jan
Psychological biases favor conflict rather than concession 1 Jan

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps Date: September 23 2006 No: 996 Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps
Senator Chris Dodd (RPCV Dominican Republic) spoke at the ceremony for this year's Shriver Award and elaborated on issues he raised at Ron Tschetter's hearings. Dodd plans to introduce legislation that may include: setting aside a portion of Peace Corps' budget as seed money for demonstration projects and third goal activities (after adjusting the annual budget upward to accommodate the added expense), more volunteer input into Peace Corps operations, removing medical, healthcare and tax impediments that discourage older volunteers, providing more transparency in the medical screening and appeals process, a more comprehensive health safety net for recently-returned volunteers, and authorizing volunteers to accept, under certain circumstances, private donations to support their development projects. He plans to circulate draft legislation for review to members of the Peace Corps community and welcomes RPCV comments.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director Date: September 6 2006 No: 978 Meet Ron Tschetter - Our Next Director
Read our story about Ron Tschetter's confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was carried on C-Span. It was very different from the Vasquez hearings in 2001, very cut and dried with low attendance by the public. Among the highlights, Tschetter intends to make recruitment of baby boomers a priority, there are 20 countries under consideration for future programs, Senator Dodd intends to re-introduce his third goal Peace Corps legislation this session, Tschetter is a great admirer of Senator Coleman's quest for accountability, Dodd thinks management at PC may not put volunteers first, Dodd wants Tschetter to look into problems in medical selection, and Tschetter is not a blogger and knows little about the internet or guidelines for volunteer blogs. Read our recap of the hearings as well as Senator Coleman's statement and Tschetter's statement.

Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance Date: August 19 2006 No: 964 Peace Corps' Screening and Medical Clearance
The purpose of Peace Corps' screening and medical clearance process is to ensure safe accommodation for applicants and minimize undue risk exposure for volunteers to allow PCVS to complete their service without compromising their entry health status. To further these goals, PCOL has obtained a copy of the Peace Corps Screening Guidelines Manual through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and has posted it in the "Peace Corps Library." Applicants and Medical Professionals (especially those who have already served as volunteers) are urged to review the guidelines and leave their comments and suggestions. Then read the story of one RPCV's journey through medical screening and his suggestions for changes to the process.

The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again Date: July 31 2006 No: 947 The Peace Corps is "fashionable" again
The LA Times says that "the Peace Corps is booming again and "It's hard to know exactly what's behind the resurgence." PCOL Comment: Since the founding of the Peace Corps 45 years ago, Americans have answered Kennedy's call: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." Over 182,000 have served. Another 200,000 have applied and been unable to serve because of lack of Congressional funding. The Peace Corps has never gone out of fashion. It's Congress that hasn't been keeping pace.

PCOL readership increases 100% Date: April 3 2006 No: 853 PCOL readership increases 100%
Monthly readership on "Peace Corps Online" has increased in the past twelve months to 350,000 visitors - over eleven thousand every day - a 100% increase since this time last year. Thanks again, RPCVs and Friends of the Peace Corps, for making PCOL your source of information for the Peace Corps community. And thanks for supporting the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

History of the Peace Corps Date: March 18 2006 No: 834 History of the Peace Corps
PCOL is proud to announce that Phase One of the "History of the Peace Corps" is now available online. This installment includes over 5,000 pages of primary source documents from the archives of the Peace Corps including every issue of "Peace Corps News," "Peace Corps Times," "Peace Corps Volunteer," "Action Update," and every annual report of the Peace Corps to Congress since 1961. "Ask Not" is an ongoing project. Read how you can help.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Idaho Press Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Namibia

PCOL35726
60


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: