The Story of the Open World Cause

We were recently given the opportunity to write for The Global Classroom Project. Here’s our full post. You may visit their website, as well!

Benjamin Honeycutt and Connor Janzen are founders of the cause.

The following links will allow you to connect with the Open World Cause:

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Open World began as a senior legacy project for Buhler high school and became a global initiative.

Govinda is the director of the SAV school in Bageshwori, Nepal.

Benjamin Honeycutt, the original founder of the cause, became acquainted with Govinda Prasad Panthy in 2010. After speaking with Govinda, Ben learned that his school (known as the SAV School in a rural region of Bageshwori, Nepal) lacked items that many would consider to be absolute necessities in education. It soon became clear that his school’s lack of connectivity was going to make helping them a challenge.

With this problem in mind, the project was started and began seeking ways to help. It was discovered that it would cost around $2,000 USD to bring two laptops and a year’s worth of internet to his school. Also keeping the students’ dream of building a library in mind, the Open World Project set out to raise a total of $5,000 for the school. This was “Phase One” for the cause.

After successes with spreading the story of the mission, an article done by a local paper was picked up by Associated Press. This allowed an individual named Nicolas Lal to discover the project through Google Alerts. He contacted Open World, and revealed that he had plans to travel to the school. Wanting to help in any way he could, Nicolas was able to coordinate with the cause and provide a first-hand account of the situation there. Nicolas witnessed the difficulties the school was facing and captured thousands of pictures, along with video, that he which he shared with those involved with the project. Observing the poor conditions of the school through Nicolas’ travels galvanized Open World’s determination to deliver aid to the SAV students.

Soon after the project caught the attention of “Powerful Learning Practice,” an educational company based in Virginia. Hoping to help the students of the SAV School, the company sent a $1,000 check to the cause. This donation sent the project above its initial $2,000 goal, and made it possible to wire the money to Govinda and the school. With the first transaction sent, the project anxiously awaited its first opportunity to contact the school.

SAV Students enjoy using the laptops on a daily basis!

On April 3rd, 2011, one week after the first transaction to Govinda, Open World had the first successful Skype conversation with the SAV School. With the initial goal of the project realized, support began to flood in from around the world. The Enabling Support Foundation quickly offered some assistance and introduced the teachers of the SAV school to teachers in Pakistan and Cameroon through the school’s new connectivity. Govinda also began to develop ideas for group projects with classrooms in the United States and the rest of the world.

With an eventual amount of $5,000 USD raised, Open World successfully delivered a second transaction for furnishings and books that would allow the library’s construction.

This marks the introduction of “Phase Two” of our cause, the current phase, and the point at which we became the Open World Cause.

In the midst of celebration in these successes, we learned that due to difficulties in renewing one of their leases, the SAV School would be losing half of their school buildings and be forced to say goodbye to a portion of their students. Determined to find a solution to these adverse complications, Open World has developed a new mission to bring a new school to the students and faculty there. While this goal may be lofty, finding solutions to the incredible amount of problems faced in the project’s beginning, it is clear that the cause’s support group of dedicated people and businesses can help overcome these problems, too.

What Open World hopes to accomplish goes beyond laptops, internet access and a library. The ultimate vision is for Open World to become a fully fledged organization that aims to help get schools connected from all around the world. To help in similar situations, collaborate on school projects, and give a new meaning to the understanding of different cultures and classrooms worldwide, the cause will continue to spread its mission in an attempt to change the world.

Thanks to all for their support and for reading,

The Open World Team