Featured Story from Bosnia
WiRED provides Information Access Centers for orphans in Bosnia

Computers and the Internet became a daily part of life for students in three orphanages in Bosnia.

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Wired transported computers to this region for installation in three Information Access Centers in each orphanage. The orphans will use the centers to communicate with the rest of the world and to complete their daily school lessons.

Each orphanage in and around Sarajevo houses some 500 youth between the ages of four and 15 years. Many, if not most, lost parents during the war.

Children are almost always among the hardest hit in regions of conflict, and their education is one of the first items to suffer. Society, overburdened by other priorities, shifts resources away from schools, and this sadly results in the systematic ravaging of the children's future and the future of the society. Along with the lost opportunity for a decent education, students lose the will to study and the irretrievable learning opportunities that exist only in childhood. Teachers lose the tools, the society loses what it needs most to rebuild and reconstitute its communities: an informed, educated corps of workers and leaders. As damaging as these conditions have been in previous times, they are particularly destructive now because countries everywhere else are actively forming into globalized networks.

As many communities in the Balkans and elsewhere have witnessed, advanced communication technology can fill the information and communication gap. Teachers can connect with colleagues in other areas, obtain information that they could otherwise never access, and build a resource into their classroom that has become commonplace in classrooms around the world. These children will quickly achieve parity with children elsewhere. They will be able to communicate with others beyond their community and "visit" information sources that widen their perspectives beyond the next town. Internet access, for education alone, can be an extraordinary benefit to these communities.

The program will incorporate the model and training programs established by WiRED for use in Croatia and adapted for the Centers in Kosovo for the U.S. Department of State's Kosovo Internet Access Initiative.
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