Joachim Breitner's Homepage
Some of you might have followed my volounteer work at the SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College in Tema, Ghana, where I was invited to introduce Linux at the school. Being a free software advocate, I thought this a great opportunity to spread Free Software where it can make the most difference and helps bridging the Digital Divide: In a developing country.
Judging from the offer (which was very nice, it included housing, flights, freight, money), I expected the school to be very eager to learn about Linux. I was expecting that I only had to guide existing momentum. What I found instead was that there was zero interest from the people who matter in this case. I got all freedoms to implement what I want (as long as I didn’t break anything), and I created some things I think are quite nice: Automatic installations that keep the installed windows intact, neat integration in the Active Directory setup, network monitoring with nagios, a transparent firewall that let’s the teachers turn the internet for the class room off and on. But it felt like working for nothing, and I can’t push people to use Free Software who are unwilling.
So today I drew the concequences and quit with effect to the end of December. The principal, who’s project it was in the first place, was sorry, but understanding of my issues, and accepted my resignation. I will be on a trip to the Volta lake and other parts of Ghana with friends from Accra for the next 10 days anywasy, so she will take the time to think and discuss how the school can make the best out of the remaining two months.
I have not giving up on spreading Free Software here completely. If I find another project where I can be of more use afterwards, I will consider that. But this time I’m going to be very picky where I go, and only take a shorter, better defined project. If I can’t find something, then that’s it and I’ll go back to Germany to continue my studies.