Jack’s first donation was just the beginning of LiteHaus International, a non-profit charity that provides digital learning opportunities and tools to students in Papua New Guinea and across rural, regional and remote Australia.
“Where we’re at today, we’ve supported about 40,000 students with digital learning opportunities. It started with that first laptop, then returning six months later to establish the first functional primary school computer lab in Papua New Guinea.
“We started with one single device, and it just snowballed from there. We took all of the opportunities available to us,” Jack says. “It was just a lot of hard yakka. It’s as simple as that.”
In growing LiteHaus’s capacity to provide digital technology, Jack says he built connections with many members of his own community. “I started with putting out a call on social media and then it grew to connecting with larger companies who started getting on board.”
LiteHaus also works to build digital skills within Papua New Guinean communities to make the best use of the technology. “When we install a computer lab in a school in Papua New Guinea, we’re dealing with a cohort of not just students but also teachers,” Jack says. “98 per cent of the people in parts of the Highlands have never seen, let alone used, a computer in their lives. So, we can’t just drop the technology and run; we’ve developed a program called the Digital Skills Passport.”
“It’s a highly interactive program designed for a Papua New Guinean, low-digitally-skilled audience. It’s designed to take people through the very basics of how to turn on a laptop or desktop, how to even open the laptop and where to put the charger, and how to use the keyboard. It’s very interactive and games-oriented for the students. It’s designed to teach them the basics and they build up to writing a letter to me as the CEO through the word processing skills they’ve learned,” he says.
“Students also have access to Niunet, which is a massive treasure trove of educational content,” Jack says. “Niunet is a Papua New Guinea startup which sees students have access to an offline database of information where they can learn history, geography, and so on.
“We have a strong bond with the communities in Papua New Guinea with all phases of the project, from implementation to monitoring and evaluation being delivered by local staff.” Jack says.