We reached our campaign goal and we can now undertake the Mathare project!
Thanks to 713 supporters!
Guys, you started a movement!
The keepod Unite Team
5 billion people, 70% of the world’s population, are still without access to personal computing. Be a part of the team who set out to bridge the digital divide. Your contribution to this campaign will help provide personal computing that will empower existing projects in the fields of education, HIV prevention, agriculture and human rights in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
The Keepod Unite Mathare project is the first implementation of Keepod Unite. The direct impact of our project is going to increase the effectiveness of existing humanitarian activities and create new opportunities for the people living in Mathare.
With Keepod, a simple USB stick can turn any computer into a personal device. Keepod is a secure and lightweight operating system that runs from any USB drive. Being able to keep your OS on a thumb drive means that you can have your personal computer on every shared one without sacrificing security (since you carry all your personal data and software with you when you leave).
1. Social Responsibility
Keepod is committed to bridging the digital divide. Our tools will prevent developing countries and communities from continuing to fall behind and remaining disadvantaged in health and education as well as missing critical economic opportunities
We use computers that would otherwise clog our landfills. Instead they are refurbished, distributed and ready to be shared.
3. Grassroots Empowerment
Keepod is not only for communities thousands of miles away, it could be used right here, in your city! Hundreds of Keepods are being sponsored to support the needs of inner city youth, schools and low income families.
The Mathare Project
The Mathare Project (in partnership with NGO LiveInSlums) is the first step to making Keepod Unite real. Successful launch of this pilot program in the slum of Mathare, Nairobi Kenya, will allow us to partner with other NGOs and empower the efforts of grassroots initiatives around the world.
Wait, Don’t They Need Food and Water First?
Of course they do! Keepod has a fantastic opportunity to empower the efforts of existing NGO initiatives already on the ground, who are the best equipped to assess the true needs of the community. We also believe that Keepod will create new economic opportunities that will in turn allow the people to solve other problems. We partnered with the LiveInSlums project in Mathare, a local grassroots organization, to address their need of personal computing as a tool to amplify their efforts. All the money raised in this campaign will support their projects in health and education. The people know their needs better than any external NGO.
The WhyNot Academy, is a slum school operated by LiveInSlums, facilitating the education of children who are unable to attend a public school. Providing this school with refurbished computers and Keepod devices for each child, will gain them access to tools that will help kids learn reading, writing, math, and technology, in turn providing them with a chance for a better future.
Women’s Rights & Human Rights
LiveInSlums is running two task groups, who facilitate community programming to raise awareness and help to transform social values to incorporate women’s rights and human rights. Having access to personal computing, these groups can create better informational printed materials, do research, plan activities and support operation.
LiveInSlums is combating the spread of HIV in the slums, currently at a daunting 60% infection rate. Keepods will help the activists in this group by keeping track of examinations, creating educational materials and organizing activities to promote their programs for health education.
We will establish local community centers equipped with Keepods and recycled computers. Facilitated by specially trained locals. These centers are our version of of a microcredit project. Giving computing resources to the community will allow local Mathare entrepreneurs to create their own initiatives, mentored by the center staff, and to gain access of crowdfunding platforms, such as Indiegogo.
The participation in a movement?
Mathare is our first project, but our desire is to create a global movement. We need people supporting us in implementing large scale projects, such as this, and we need people taking the initiative and creating local projects in their neighborhoods.
Mathare is designed to only be the beginning. Together we can provide the people of Mathare with over 280,000 personal computing hours, providing people with tools they did not have before. We can offer support for existing projects in the field of education, HIV prevention, agriculture and human rights.
Basically, think how much personal computing is helping those who have access to it and you will see that the possibilities of change are endless.
"It’s the anti-shiny gadget. Don’t let appearances fool you. It’s crafted to communicate with any computer seamlessly. But the best part of all? It’s way too cool to care"
"Designed to break our dependency on specific personal computers... be it a Mac, a PC, even a wreck with burned-out hardware"
We are seeking to raise $38,000 at the beginning of this campaign, which will help provide personal computing that will empower existing projects in the fields of education, HIV prevention, agriculture and human rights in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya.
Additionally, we plan to build local hubs that will operate inside the slums and will provide Keepod devices, public computers and connectivity services to the community. We are going to hire and train a local staff that will manage the hubs and actively support new projects and initiatives on the field. Our hubs are going to be a space for people to learn about new technologies as well as an incubator for local startup initiatives.
And also, we dream of people, like you, picking up the glove and providing underprivileged people in their communities with personal computing. With the "Grassroots" Perk, you too can help those who are close to you get the same tools as the people of Mathare.
During this campaign we also issued for our first international backers the very first Keepod devices, special edition versions, Keepod gear and invite a few of them to share the experience with us and become part of the team going to Mathare.
Mathare is a collection of slums in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. According to various sources and the data collected by NGOs in the area, these slums are home to a population of about 500,000 inhabitants and cover about 1.5 square kilometres. Mathare is located about ten kilometres north of downtown along the Juia Road, near to the district of Eastleigh and to the military air base.
The situation in Mathare is common to all the other slums that surround Nairobi: the residents live in a highly polluted and degraded environment, lacking of basic services such as drinkable water, adequate toilet services, drainage structure and a system for collecting and disposing of waste. Private owners sell water at high prices: around 5 shillings per 20 litres; for this reason many people seek to connect directly to the water pipelines. Mathare is so full of open-pit dumps that waste is spread everywhere, accumulating on the sides of the streets, or thrown into the river which, during the rainy season, floods.
The illiteracy level is high, especially in the adult population, particularly among women. The schools are few and overcrowded - we’re talking about "street schools" that are not recognized by the Ministry of Education. In order to be accepted to the state high school, the children have to pass a very difficult exam, and only 10% of the students are able to access the upper level.
It is a common belief that one personal computer for every person is needed in order to inspire economic growth, alleviate inequalities and bridge the Digital Divide. Thus, many organizations are focused on spreading PCs to the developing world, but they barely make a dent in the incredible demand.
We believe that, in order to succeed in overcoming this problem we must abandon the paradigm of one computer per person. With Keepod there is no more need for a personal computer to have personal computing, and so there is no need for every child, or adult, to have their own computer. It is thanks to this new approach that we believe the Keepod Unite project to be a truly sustainable and scalable program that actually can bridge the digital divide.
The Keepod device is a very low cost solution, easy to replace, and ideal for situations where electronics can be easily damaged. Because the technology leaves no footprint on the host computer, user data is protected and personal information are never left behind.
Now imagine giving each person a transportable operating system, which is secure, easy and fun. Imagine refurbished computers, that would have otherwise ended up in landfills, being distributed in our cities and are ready to be shared.
Imagine the resulting benefits for the community and the environment, they would be immense! With Keepod Unite we can make this a reality.
What are the benefits of using Keepod compered to other solutions?
- Many people can securely share one computer.
- NGOs can tailor the OS according to their communities needs and deploy it to many devices simultaneously.
- Users do not have to carry valuable devices in unsafe regions.
- No hard drive is needed; computers with broken drives can still be used.
- No digital trace is left on the computer; user identity and data are protected.
- Computer maintenance cost is reduced as well as related activities.
- Main computer malfunctions are eliminated.
- The computer uses less energy.
- USB technology is low cost and easy to replace.
Keepod is a secure operating system (OS) that runs from any USB drive, eliminating our dependency on one computer. Separating the brain from the body :)
If you think about it, there was always something neat about the idea of an OS in your pocket. Keepod is a standardised version of a bootable OS for those of us without a computer science degree.
By having the OS on a USB, the software is effectively separated from the hardware, reducing the computer to nothing more than a vehicle for personal computing.
No need for hard-drives, no high licensing and maintenance costs and we can reuse old computers to run the latest technologies.
With Keepod, any shared computer becomes a personal computer:
Keepod was designed to run only from USB devices in order to "jump" between computers. No need to be dependent on a specific computer anymore, you can run Keepod from a USB drive on different computer.
Keepod is our full desktop for offline or online work.
Unlike common LiveUSB systems (like LinuxLive or WinToGo) that are not reliable enough to replace the traditionally installed OS (they are essentially designed to provide a system “preview” so users can test the system and then install it or as backup solutions) we use Keepod as our primary system. This require an important development effort on many different levels – security, drivers & compatibility, performance, file system reliability, system foot-print, and so on…
The Mathare Keepod Device**:
Why go Bootable?
Read all about it in our web site
* The device in the Unicredit video is our card form-factor device including additional technologies such as NFC and Smartcard
** Final device design may change while optimising it for production
What is the Mathare Project?
The first step to realize our goal. Together with LiveInSlums we provide 1,500 Keepod Devices and 50 computers at the initial step of the project. The computers serve the 1,500 Keepod users as vehicles to personalized computing.
When can the Mathare Project be implemented?
The project has begun. The technology is ready. The receiving groups are ready. Only the funding necessary to acquire the devices, recycled Computers, and cover the project implementation costs, still need to be generated. Our plan is to be on the ground in March 2014
Why Crowdfund on Indiegogo?
Because this is a project that solves a social problem through a disruptive new technology. Who is better to understand the value of it than the Indiegogo community?