(from newsletter)

The villages above the dry river on the north windward side of St. Vincent are distinct from the rest of the island. Populated by the indigenous Carib peoples, they have been largely cut off from the rest of the island ethnically, socially and environmentally. Change is in the air as a new bridge spans the river and a new road is under construction to link these rural enclaves to the rest of the island. Still the children here are sorely lacking resources that many of their Vincy peers take for granted.

The children of Fancy village, the northern-most community, do not have a library. Many families do not have electricity or indoor plumbing. While there is an elementary school in the village, older children endure long daily commutes on the only rickety bus that the village has available for public transportation. Jobs are hard to find and money is scarce. Still the village holds a kind of magic.

This village is an ideal location for the Waveplace pilot. The people speak a dialect unique to the Caribs and hold traditions and lore that only exist in this particular place among this inimitable people. The opportunity for these children to create a treasure trove of their distinctive perceptions and knowledge using the XO’s is exceptional.

Lack of access to reference sources across disciplines severely limits their competitiveness in academics across fields. The XO computer would provide a leveling ground with their peers. It’s a truly relevant resource for youngsters to explore, communicate, interact, engage and influence others both locally and globally.

Having spent many months and days in the bush, at school, running camps, swimming and farming side by side with these loving, amusing, delightful young people, I know first hand the gratitude and joy that they will bring to the pilot. It will certainly change their lives in a creative way that they truly deserve. The new road is sure to impact the village in ways yet unforeseen – both positive and negative. The Waveplace pilot will help them walk down their individual roads to the future armed with a new sense of voice and confidence in their own capabilities. Everybody benefits.

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