Emmabuntüs, the Linux for « Ailleurs Solidaires »

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Local solidarity, abroad solidarities, similar community of interests, all are looking at the same objective : get together to help those who are in need.

Vulnerable children, widows and orphans, disabled, bedridden, rape victims, are some categories of persons who, most of the time, need to benefit from mankind solidarity and compassion. But not this kind of compassion we tend to associate with mere pity, or the fact to be sensitive to other people’s misfortune, but this with the accompanying will to provide a relief. And it is widely known that the gift of performing miracles hides behind the will power.

The volunteers of the «Ailleurs Solidaires»(*) (1) association have this strong will. This humanitarian and non-profit organization was born 4 years ago in Outstretch (French Normandy area) in order to bring together humanitarian and logistical assistance to the poorest populations, notably in Asian countries, and taking into account the values, the rights and the obligations of everyone; in addition this is accomplish with the support of sister associations like CaLviX (2) and then Emmabuntüs Collective (3).

Photo : «Ailleurs Solidaires» in Aama’s home, Nepal December 2015

On December 3rd 2015 , the volunteers of «Ailleurs Solidaires» made yet another trip to Nepal, more precisely in Akashganga, which is a poor neighborhood Kathmandu, located near Bodnath (also called “little Tibet”) which is one of the most important site of Buddhism. It is in one school of this area, where more than one third of the children have difficulties to pay their tuition fees, that the volunteers delivered gifts to the children. You might think that since the gifts were for disadvantaged children, they took the form of sweetmeats, candies or other foodstuffs. But no ! The «Ailleurs Solidaires» association did understand that it is worth more to give a hook to someone and teach him how to fish, than to give him a fish.

And teach children how to fish means provide them education and look out for them; that is take good care of their future.

 Photo : Delivery of computers under Emmabuntüs in Akashganga Intl Academy by some members of «Ailleurs Solidaires» in December 2015

Most of the gifts made to the children of the Akashganga school were in fact portable computer. How many sparks in their eyes when they sow the new tools which now serve to perfect their education and let them discover new horizons. Yes, “What is more beautiful in life than to ignite in a soul the spark of joy ?” (4). This enthusiasm propagated up to the teachers, who no longer hesitate to stay at school and make the most of these devices, longtime after the children went home. Aren’t we all eternal children always running after new toys ?”

The decision to install the Emmabuntüs distribution on these computers was indeed a wise choice for the sake of children. Because, through the educational applications included in the system, the English teacher now can provide children with the fundamental language knowledge, while the science teacher can find in there a lot of teaching resources. Since the computer courses are now done in front of real devices, the teacher can better explain the concepts and illustrate its course contents. And the theme of the first course was LINUX vs WINDOWS. A the end of the course the students were unanimous in saying : “We prefer LINUX !”.

These students become even more persevering, because having only 7 computers for 260 students makes hard to manage and assign hours of computer use. They want to be the wiser in class to be first in line. The life of all the students within the school has been completely and positively chattered. Games in the school playground ? Non thanks, what they prefer above all is to pretend to be Dennis Ritchie (5), seated in front of a computer and playing educational or fun games.

Photo : Training session in Akashganga Intl Academy, January 2016

To receive portable computers instead of workstation is a real advantage since the autonomy of the batteries alleviates the untimely power cuts, which are not rare in this region, and thus allows more working time.

And after those memorable moments, the children and their teachers were not the only beneficiaries of the visit. Anne-Sophie and Elisabeth, responsible for the medical relationships within the «Ailleurs Solidaires» association, can witness that “they were moved with wet eyes by the welcome of the children, their dances, their smiles, and their joy of living”, and thus were able to measure the value of «Ailleurs Solidaires» actions. As well as Jean-Frédéric, president of the association, and the vice-presidents Olivier and Valérie, who characterized this journey as “magic and full of emotions” and kept expressing their thanks to the children and their teachers for their warm welcome, as well as to all of those who contributed either directly or indirectly to the organization of this journey.

Each year, the «Ailleurs Solidaires» association organizes two Nepal trips to go touring in the Kathmandu area and visit the centers sponsored by the association. These trips costs 1 600 euros, all included, and are scheduled in 2016 from April 02 to 16 and from November 19 to December 03 (6).

So, like Catherine who was a accompanist during the last December project, come to “experience the contagious joy of children, and feel the strength of actions undertaken by the «Ailleurs Solidaires» association”. Or even better : ship our portable computer, even if broken down. It will be repaired, reconditioned by the CaLviX volunteers and the Emmabuntüs Collective, and will contribute, without a doubt, to improve the children education. We should not wait until we have unnecessary belongings before giving them away, because we will never do it, but we do know that giving to poor people does not impoverish anyone, it is in fact the contrary, “knowing how to give, knowing how to spare, is a good way to never lack anything” as they say.

«Ailleurs Solidaires» flyer for the 2016 campaign.

(*) Note from the translator :
« Ailleurs Solidaires » is the name of this French association, which is kept unchanged in this article. The English equivalent would be something like “Together Abroad” or “Foreign Solidarities”