Raspberry Jam, Lilongwe, Malawi

We’re seeing Raspberry Jams pop up all over the world these days: Eben and I spent three days at the Jam in Tokyo last month (pictures and presentations from that will be coming soon), and an afternoon at the Silicon Valley Jam the week before that. We see video from a lot of these events, but this video, sent to me by John Cass from Young Innovators in Lilongwe, Malawi, is my favourite so far. It was recorded by a Malawi TV station, and ended up on national network TV. There were nearly 100 attendees, a whole lot of Scratch games programming, some brewing, an electric motorbike being tracked by GPS, music-making, and much more.

Raspberry Jam Malawi

On 4th May 2013, Malawi’s first ever Raspberry Jam event was held in Lilongwe. Around 100 people enjoyed various tech demos based on Raspberry PI computers, played games written in Scratch by school kids and event organisers, and heard about the upcoming Young Innovators Malawi competition (http://younginnovators.net).

John and the Young Innovators team have been loaning Pis to interested people in Malawi, as well as donating them to schools and kids’ groups. A number of Pi-based projects are being developed by those people for the next Lilongwe Jam in September. He tells me that there’s a remote lock for a warehouse in the works, along with the development of an IT course for a refugee center, and an application for managing patients at a local clinic.

Young Innovators Malawi do some wonderful stuff; they are a non-profit, volunteer group running events and competitions to inspire young people all over Malawi to get involved with innovation and technology. If you’d like to support them, please visit their website, and consider making a donation. Your donations go towards funding Raspberry Pi kits, bundled with learning materials, which are given to kids and schools.