It is hard to sum up in on a page the wonderful experiences that I had as a volunteer for the International Development of Computer Education (IDCE).
Some experiences in life are fun, interesting or educational; and others actually transform the core of your being and define the purpose of your life. That's what happened to me as a result of participating in IDCE: I discovered my passion for teaching and having a role in empowering others through technology.
11 years ago I volunteered for IDCE in Zimbabwe, and returned so excited about the experience that I and others worked hard to share the IDCE impact and result.
It is now 2008, and it is exactly how I feel now about using technology to empower people and businesses. I have continued to teach academically at KCG through the JICA program, and professionally as a Microsoft Certified Trainer and Instructor, and as a professional mentor to newcomers in my field. This experience truly inspired me to pursue a Masters degree in Instructional Technology and Media from the Columbia University Teacher's College, and to complete the coursework for the doctoral program in organizational leadership, with a focus on learning from information technology project management experiences.
Overall, my success to date in the Columbia University program is due to the Hasegawa's encouragement and commitment to volunteers to pursue learning with hard work.
In closing, maybe volunteering may not be as transformative for you as it was for me, but it will give you a chance to make difference to others by using your knowledge and prior experience, and it will be a chance to be part of a great cultural exchange program.
To those funding organizations similar to IDCE, it is true that you may have many options and candidates for your funding decisions. There are, however, a few organizations with KCG and IDCE's pioneering spirit and commitment to world computer literacy and solid implementation strength. KCG has a long history in education, generating thousands of IT professionals in Japan and around the world through the JICA program. Additionally, and most importantly, asides from the passion and discipline for the work, IDCE selects the best people for their organizations and programs. IDCE also has strong project management structures and procedures to ensure that the objectives and goals of each IDCE program are achieved according to schedule and budget. With its strong caliber of people, streamlined organizational practices and a passion for computer literacy, your funds will be used to expand the impact and reach of this organization to those who need it most.
Khaitsa Wasiyo -1/22/08
The IDCE program was featured in several leading websites
on development and computer literacy, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology African Technology Forum magazine. The following is an excerpt from this article, written in 1996.
"I participated in this program as one of the three US-based IDCE programming instructors. The instructors met with the students every day for two weeks from 9 am to 5 pm, sometimes longer, and introduced them to the core concepts of BASIC, a programming language, and computer operating systems. There were students there who could program in COBOL, and FORTRAN, and others who had never seen a computer let alone touch one. And yet, it was the eagerness with which the teachers embraced the course that impressed me. I was amazed at how quickly the teachers progressed through the curriculum. Towards the end of the program, it was a pleasure to see them programming database sorting programs! During the ceremony, as I heard the teachers talking and laughing at the simplicity of their earlier struggles with programming assignments, there was a sense of empowerment and an appreciation for computer education."
For more details on the MIT Computer literacy article: