Teaching computers in Cameroon - West Ottawa students head to West African country to help set up a new computer lab

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Cameroon: Peace Corps Cameroon: Peace Corps in Cameroon: Teaching computers in Cameroon - West Ottawa students head to West African country to help set up a new computer lab

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 9:41 pm: Edit Post

Teaching computers in Cameroon

Teaching computers in Cameroon - West Ottawa students head to West African country to help set up a new computer lab

Sunday, March 15, 1998

Teaching computers in Cameroon West Ottawa students head to West African country to help set up a new computer lab

Last modified at 5:39 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, 1998


Some local high school students plan to spend part of their summer vacation in a West African country, helping set up a computer lab for a secondary school and teaching farmers to prevent erosion.

Eleven students from West Ottawa High School plan to leave June 19 for Cameroon and return July 5.

"This experience provides something unparalleled in developing a respect for American society and the Holland community through immersion into a foreign culture," said West Ottawa High School biology teacher Michael Jaeger, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon from 1989 to 1992.

Jaeger and other former Peace Corps volunteers will escort the students, who will split into two groups. One will work with Peace Corps volunteers planting trees and educating Cameroon farmers about terrace farming, which can limit the loss of fertile soil to erosion.

"We will try to instill more environmentally sound agriculture practices," said senior Diane O'Neill.

Another group of students will start a computer laboratory at Longla Comprehensive College in the Cameroon town of Bamenda. The students will train the staff and teach courses on computer-aided design programs, word processing data entries and the Internet.

"It's going to be the same software that's used by industries throughout the United States," said senior Ly Yam.

The students hope to take 20 personal computers with them. They have 17 IBM models now, with 12 being donated by Herman Miller Inc., three by Paragon Bank & Trust and two by individuals.

"We're excited about it, it should be a cool experience," senior Eric Lohela said. "I really like computers. This is something I will take with me into college and into the business world."

Other students planning to make the trip are: Kara Main, Dan Swihart, Adam Zavadil, Diana Castanon, Chris Coller, Nicholas Campins, Jen Berg and Nicole Redick. They hope this is the start of a series of visits to Cameroon by Holland residents.

"This isn't a one-shot deal," Campins said. "We want this to be a continuous experience. We want this to be a successful pilot program."

This trip was conceived when Jaeger and another West Ottawa teacher, Amy Klinesteker, visited Cameroon last year and discussed an exchange program with Peace Corps and school officials. Jaeger is a former Peace Corps volunteer also.

"They were thrilled to death," Jaeger said.

The cost to each student for the trip is about $2,000 apiece. The students have been conducting various fund-raisers and are appealing to local businesses for support so all 11 students can attend.

Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Jaeger at the high school, 786-1000.

Copyright 1998. The Holland Sentinel.

By Kiran (adsl-68-123-167-97.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net - on Monday, April 05, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit Post

Could you send me more information on how exactly the computer donations were received and how this computer lab was setup? I am working on a project hoping to design a computer lab for an elementary school in N'djili, Democratic Republic of Congo. Thanks!

By yam ( on Wednesday, May 12, 2004 - 3:49 pm: Edit Post

Best person to talk to is the teacher listed in the article above. The area code is missing, it should be 616. I know for sure that Jaegar has made at least two return trips there.


By Anonymous (196-220-4-78.netcomng.com - on Tuesday, January 08, 2008 - 10:35 am: Edit Post

please how can we help this school with computers and internet.write to me and lets see what we can do. we already have over 32 schools under the program MTN SCP in Cameroon.
here is my email
237 77 06 26 84

By Atte Daniel's ( on Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 7:20 am: Edit Post

Well i'll like to have more information on this before making my comment. Thanks

By Erick ( on Saturday, December 06, 2008 - 6:08 pm: Edit Post

The organization is still in full swing and has since sent over 1000 computers to Cameroon setting up several labs all across the country. We are constantly looking to upgrade the lab at Longla Comprehensive College with all P-4 based machines in June. If anyone has any ideas for support or anything in general please feel free to contact me at erick@ctee.org or contact the director of the organization at:

Mike Jaeger

Erick Swihart

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