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April 2016 Newsletter

April 2016 Newsletter


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It has been an exciting quarter here at The WiderNet Project, with collaborations from Raleigh to Ethiopia.  Read below to find out more!


 A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine

The A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, the only medical school in Liberia, ran an eGranary from 2007 until earlier this year.  Their computer servers were updated and the dated eGranary was no longer compatible with their systems. Without reliable access to the internet, the students have a severe information deficit at the moment.  We are fundraising to get a new server to A.M. Dogliotti and need your help! 


Please visit our Generosity page, donate, and share with friends!


Amazon Smile Partnership


The WiderNet Project is excited to announce our partnership with Amazon Smile.  Once you have linked us as your charity, you can shop at Amazon Smile and a donation will be made to the WiderNet Project at no cost to you!  To participate,


Select WiderNet as your charity


Start shopping! Every time you use 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases with go to the WiderNet Project!

NC State Electrical Engineering Collaboration

UNC and NC State are coming together in collaboration to improve WiderNet’s software.

Four students at North Carolina State University’s electrical engineering school will be working with The WiderNet Project to improve the eGranary’s battery life. After listening to a panel of speakers, the students select what organization to partner up with for a senior project centered on community service.

The four students will be spending the entire school year designing software to lengthen the life of the batteries used in the eGranary by lowering the voltage consumption and decreasing the size. The smaller voltage of the computers will help ensure that the batteries do not get overdrawn and have an extended lifetime. Along with the batteries, the students will also work to create a server with Wi-Fi with a more efficient circuit to save on energy consumption. These changes will have positive implications for areas that have limited access to energy.

Girls Can Code


Our Field Associate Mulugeta Assefa is working with the US Embassy in Ethiopia on a training initiative called Girls Can Code. Girls Can Code is a year-long project training 40 Ethiopian high school age girls in computer, IT and life skills in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The WiderNet Project is creating a specialized portal with specific content to assist with this training.

Hiwot Adane is one of the trainers from Girls Can Code, and Mulugeta Assefa had a chance to talk with her about her experience.

Hiwot Adane is studying Electrical and Computer Engineering at  Addis Ababa institute of technology, she is set to graduate in July 2016.  she enjoys spending her free time working on several NGO's that mainly focus on empowering female university students.  She has represented her university in several international conferences that emphasize these issues.  She is also a big fan of movies and loves socializing. 




 Knight News Challenge


The WiderNet Project is participating in the  Knight News Challenge and we need your help!  Please follow this link and click on the heart to help us advance!  We hope to recieve funding to create new portals focusing on life skills, high school and GED completion, as well as multilingual patient education.



Staff Spotlight: William Kamkwamba

William first heard about WiderNet when installing a computer lab at his former high school in Malawi.  The school did not have reliable access to the internet and William wanted to make sure that the computer lab could provide constant access to information, which led to him installing an eGranary for the school.  William later met WiderNet Director Cliff Missen at a conference in San Francisco and became interested in working with WiderNet.  William's interest sprung from the ability to give feedback as a user and connect with the librarians, programmers and technicians to create the most effective eGranary possible.


William is working on creating a portal within the eGranary that would help users go further than just learning the information by using it to solve problems in their community.  William embodied this idea when he used a set of encyclopedias to learn how to build a windmill and  brought electricity to his community in Malawi.  William expands on this experience in his book, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.  William hopes to see his work with the WiderNet Project used in Malawi and around the world, not just to provide information, but to get people taking the next step with that information to take on challenges in their lives.



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