Posted on Aug 01, 2017
Hi All
 
Since the last update almost two months ago now I have been stuck in Antananarivo, the capital city, mainly waiting for information from the government.  It's been a little frustrating but has also given me a chance to work on many of the smaller things that I have not got around to doing. 
 
Key Progress: 
  • Hiang, one of our former web teachers in NZ has improved our website onja.org so that we can now accept donations.  This was much more work than I anticipated and Hiang did a great job.  She is a computer science graduate currently looking for a job in IT in case anyone knows of any openings!
 
  • I had a main speaker slot at the recent Elevate conference, a conference run annually by Engineers without Boarders.  Since I could not come to New Zealand I asked my friend to interview me for 20 minutes and put together a little video.  I have uploaded it to youtube here: I am told it was well received, and that the whole conference was very impressive.
  • A company in Wellington donated 40 computers.  Although they are used, they are still pretty good computers and will be great!  We have the computers but will still need to source the monitors (screens) to go with them.
  • I spent a couple of weeks writing a program in excel to compare exam results between different years and different options and this will allow us to find and group the best students.  We will test only the students that have dropped out of school. 
  • We are processing a partnership agreement with ministry of Education, I believe this will increase the security of our project in Madagascar. 
Key Challenges: 
  • We received what we requested from the government but it was incomplete so we are waiting for the complete results however they are incredibly slow. 
  • My visa expires in 10 days.  I was told it would be very easy to renew which was a blatant lie so we are trying to rush through the process which often takes 3 months, in just a couple of weeks.  I think we will make it on time :)
Warm Regards - Sam 

Picture 1:  Matt and Claire, Onja volunteers (and my brother and sister) at the Elevate Summit for social change
Picture 2:  Claire drove the donated computers up to Auckland from Wellington!
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