American India Foundation
American India Foundation Connects Continents,
Offers IT Training
Of the nearly 1 million public schools in India, less than 0.2% have any form of IT infrastructure or computer-based education. The Digital Equalizer program of the American India Foundation (AIF) seeks to bring digital literacy to the country's vast population.
The three-year program has touched 27,000 teachers and 800,000 children in 2,077 schools across the poorest regions of India. AIF, an organization created in part by President Bill Clinton, executes programs of education and economic development in India from offices in New Delhi, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
According to digital engagement officer Phi Pham, one of their biggest problems is coordinating between offices and sharing information. It can also be difficult to set up a conference between the time zones and to find a way for co-workers in India to tell their stories to our donors in the U.S. All of these intercontinental technological opportunities and problems are addressed in part by Windows Server 2008 donated through TechSoup.
Pham reports that the organization is now able to run its own server because of the software updates it receives. This software is very reliable and they've already started making progress toward connecting offices and keeping databases on their own system. It is a much better way to communicate to their supporters, and the rewards have been tangible.
Additionally, 50 desktop machines spread over three regions were difficult to maintain both for staff and for Digital Equalizer. But with TechSoup's easy-access Microsoft Office and Windows XP software, these machines run more smoothly and are kept up-to-date. "I think TechSoup is a great resource to have," says Pham, "and I would definitely recommend it to another organization trying to get off the ground."