[Linux-aus] LA grant request

David Lyon (Hackerpads) david.lyon at hackerpads.com
Fri Mar 1 09:59:42 EST 2013

Hi all,

Hopefully this grant request was inspired by some of my earlier 
to this list. I have some comments on this particular request that are
for discussion. Generally speaking I'm for this but would like to add
some boundary considerations. Any negativity I talk about following
shouldn't taint the fact that I support the principle in general.

As somebody who's lived in Asia (but not Vietnam specifically) I know 
of these countries fairly well.

One thing to be mindful is that care needs to be exercised in Asia
when giving aid.

People there have high ambitions and good skills.

To demonstrate what I mean, we could use South Korea or Japan as an

Many years ago Australia sent people to both those countries to help
them rebuild after the war. We did that but unlike the USA and Europe
Australians never got involved in the businesses there as commercial
representation was never permitted.

Now the USA and Europe own about 25-33% of all the high-tech businesses
in those two countries and Australia's share is much (much) less than
our percentage of representation.

Sadly, we helped out but never got paid.

So the question of 'training who's young people' comes up. Why would
we be 'training' our trade-competitors with no clear idea of how it
would benefit 'us'. Forgive my harsh questioning.

What needs to be improved is that we need to add some 'Australian
young people' to the program. Take some 'Australian young people'
to help train so that they learn something.

The benefit to Vietnam is made clear as is the benefit to the
program participants. But I'd suggest this needs to be fleshed out
a little bit more to describe a few more ongoing benefits to our


On 28.02.2013 00:46, Shaun Nykvist wrote:
> Grant request as follows for non-profit activity
> Date:TBA (planned for the second half of the year)
> Project Name: Using open source software to support effective
> teaching and learning practices in Vietnamese schools
> Aim of Project:
> The aim of the project is to empower teacher educators to effectively
> use open source software to build effective teaching and learning
> experiences for students through capacity building workshops.
> Person Responsible for Request: Shaun Nykvist
> Request:
> Promoting opportunities for all through access to better quality
> education is a priority in todays society, particularly in developing
> countries.  Vietnam is a developing country with varied access (some
> remote areas have no access) to information and communication
> technologies.  One of the prohibiting factors is access to suitable
> software, hardware and expertise.  The affordability of using
> commercial software, which is often seen as the only solution, is
> often not a viable solution.  Open source software provides numerous
> possibilities from the use of learning management systems (e.g.
> Moodle) through to the use of collaborative writing tools.  A
> collaboration of educators in teacher education (universities and
> schools) have asked for support, through the provision of capacity
> building workshops in using open source software to build effective
> teaching and learning experiences for their education students and
> educators.
> The request to Linux Australia is for financial support to cover
> travel  and some accommodation costs to Vietnam for 2 staff who will
> provide the capacity building workshops for these educators staff.
> This project will also be supported by the university with relation 
> to
> the cost of insurances and the cost of normal salary to release staff
> from the university for this period. The cost of flights is
> approximately $1200 per flight (round trip economy saver) and the
> accommodation is for 4-5 nights at approximately $40 per night.
> While Linux Australia has in the past supported delegates from abroad
> to attend linux.conf.au, support for this project would be an
> effective means to empower a greater number of delegates who are
> directly concerned with the use of open source software in education
> and are looking for solutions to take back to their communities.
> Cheers
> Shaun
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