By GRACE PAUL
Published May 27, 2020
After months of planning and fundraising, Carmel High junior Broden Murray started the implementation process for the KrikKrak Computer Project, aiming to give children in Haiti the opportunity to learn about and use computers via a mobile classroom that travels from community to community a month at a time.
Murray and James Declerus, a computer lab coordinator and TaroWorks system administrator for Hope for Haiti, a nonprofit organization which aims to help improve quality of life in Haiti, met when Murray visited the country. They later came up with the idea for the project last summer when Declerus stayed with Murray as he attended a coding bootcamp in San Jose. The first time Declerus saw a computer was when he was 14, and he says many Haitian children are interested in tech, but do not have the means to access it.
“It’s not often that you get someone from Haiti that you already knew who has a bunch of experience with computers and you get to talk with each other for a couple weeks,” Murray says. “James has a degree in computer science, and I want to get a degree in computer engineering, and we both like working with computers, and so it was like, we could do something about that. James really wants to help the kids he knows at his school, and I think that’s a great idea.”
They started planning in August and started a GoFundMe in January which has raised a little over $2,000. So far, Murray has purchased several laptops with the funds from the GoFundMe, though their plans to deliver them and start up their project in Haiti have been delayed by COVID-19. Murray says they hope to deliver some by July if possible.
“I made a survey when we started to meet the school principals,” Declerus says. “Out of about 300 kids I have interviewed, only three of them know about computers. One is my younger brother, and the two others are my cousins.”
Murray and Declerus have reached out to multiple schools in rural areas near Hinche, a Haitian city with a population of 50,000, and are focusing on children in rural areas who have little to no access to computers.
“Our kids in Haiti, they need this,” Declerus says of the need for technology. “We have thousands of computers, thousands of people connected together. If we give them a chance to connect themselves to the world, it will be a very good opportunity. They will meet other people and they will open themselves to the world and they will have a better life.”
If you want to support the KrikKrak Computer Project, you can donate to their GoFundMe or even donate tech through their website, www.krikkrakcomputerproject.org.