MP grad works on tech project in Africa - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

MP grad works on tech project in Africa

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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 6:09 pm

Jennifer Ismeurt talks to her daughter Kate usually once a week. While Jennifer lives in Ahwatukee Foothills, Kate is thousands of miles away, and living in a village with thatched huts, no electricity and no running water.

But Jennifer knows that her daughter was meant for the Peace Corps. Kate, a Mountain Pointe High School graduate, has been in Mozambique since December 2010 working on a project that brings and intergrates computer technology to the people in the village. Her time over there is spent teaching English or how to use a computer and the Internet.

Her daughter’s trip has been something of a confirmation that has been years in the making.

“She was always fascinated by Africa as a young girl and when she graduated college, she decided the best way to get there was to do the Peace Corps,” Jennifer said. “It was just a dream of hers.”

Kate is currently raising money for a project that will improve the quality of the computer lab that the residents use. Her project is called Open Minds through Technology and she needs to come up with about $1,200. Overall, the project will cost the community about $20,000.

Jennifer got the chance to visit her daughter last year and noticed just how different life can be.

“Physically, it’s extremely challenging,” she said. “They walk about a mile each way for fresh water. It’s humid, there are bugs everywhere.”

Peace Corps contracts are 27-month commitments so if it all goes according to plan, Kate will be returning in December 2012. Until then, there is a lot of work left to be done and a lot left to learn.

“They are able to share their cultures and they talk about ways to improve life,” Jennifer said.

If you would like to donate to Kate’s project, visit www.peacecorps.gov/donate and search by the project number, 640-029.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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