Challenge Africa 2012 Raspberry Pi raffle

I’m just heading off to the airport to go to Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo, CA – if you’re coming, we’ll be giving talks, doing Q&A sessions and generally making ourselves available to chat to you. Please come and say hello.

I had mail from Matt at Challenge Africa, a UK charity (Reg: 1130522) which is raising money for two schools in Africa, one in Kenya and one in Tanzania. They’re raffling off a Raspberry Pi as part of their fundraising effort, so if you haven’t been lucky enough to get your hands on one yet, it’s worth entering for the chance to win and the opportunity to help a very good cause. Either Eben or I will be drawing the winning ticket (we’re having a bit of a fight about who gets to do it) – I’ll see what I can do about getting the winner’s Raspberry Pi signed, too, and adding some other Raspberry Pi goodies to the winner’s bundle.

The money raised from the raffle will go towards:

St Lazarus School, Kibera Slums, Kenya:
This tiny school accepts 130 children who would not be accepted at any other facility due to their families’ inability to fund even the most basic requirements for standard school entry: uniform and text books.

The kids and teachers from St Lazarus with friends from Challenge Africa and a big cheque

Challenge Africa aims to:
1. Fund and refurbish (particularly the roof) of several mud classrooms.

2. Launch another year’s lunch programme for 130 primary school children. Huge leaps have been made in the basic health of the children as a direct result of previous Challenge group funding.

3. Subject to funds: Fund an entire year’s running costs (teacher salaries, maintenance, food programme, books and materials) to give the school time to find additional and more reliable funding partners. The school is in danger of financial and physical collapse in every respect having had all other sources of funding fade away under the current economic climate. Teachers are currently not being paid and food is intermittent. For most of the children, this was their only meal of the day.

Makat Village Community (Maasai), Lake Natron, Longido District, Tanzania
A community surviving in one of the most remote areas of the Great Rift Valley, it is surrounded by water which is unsafe to drink (fluoride levels 14% higher than the maximum levels recommended for safety by the WHO).

Makat is at least a day’s off-road drive from anywhere, the entire community has access to only one dilapidated Land Rover (when it works) which belongs to the Headmaster.
The local population suffer appalling and preventable bone deformities and teeth erosion due to the natural fluoride levels, as well as a range of other preventable diseases and ailments due to malnutrition and the lack of education, medical care and supplies and emergency transportation. The area and community find it almost impossible to retain teachers and medical staff due to the isolation and lack of food and clean water.

Challenge Africa aims to:
1. Assist with immediate basic health and nutritional improvements via:
• The funding and construction of a rainwater conservation system (guttering and 2-4 large cement tanks) attached to the current Makat community school building to provide safe drinking and cooking water for the children and pregnant women of the community.
• The funding and construction of an additional three-room Government Standard classroom building (2 classes + 1 Food Storage Room).

2. The additional classroom structure will also provide more roof surface area for additional guttering and additional water tanks

3. The Food Storage will ensure World Food Programme continues to provide basic maize on a quarterly basis. This is currently irregular and in imminent danger of withdrawal due to lack of appropriate food storage facilities.

4. Fund and take part in Brucellosis testing on the Makat Community’s cattle to provide essential medical data. Brucellosis is often misdiagnosed as malaria.

5. Fund and take part in STD drama workshops with the community under supervision of Dr Penny Aberhardt and the District Medical Officer.

6. Subject to funds: aim to install 1 x solar panel at the Merogoi Outreach Clinic (1 day’s walk) to incentivise Doctors to stay at the Outpost (reducing isolation) so that there is some basic medical facility ‘locally’. For similar reasons, we would like to install one panel at the Teacher’s Accommodation Unit at the Makat School.

Please note that all personal costs of Challenge Africa’s volunteers are paid for by themselves, not from your donations.


psergiu avatar

When you click the “Donate Now” link, you’re forwarded to a page where you have to enter the charity’s name or select-it from a long list.
Can someone please confirm if the correct one from the list is “Challenge Africa 2012” ?

Burngate avatar

I went for the other link – .”They’re raffling off a Raspberry Pi” – and it took me to the correct place.

psergiu avatar

I was talking about the “Donate Now” link on that page.
It looks like it’s fixed now !
Happy donating, everybody.

Ben Archibald avatar

A wonderful cause and a great way to bring it to the attention of the geek world!

Matthew Terry avatar

my thoughts exactly :)

Pauldow avatar

That’s the exact type of situation why Rock, Paper, Scissors was invented.
Either that, or you could have a 2 entry drawing to see who makes the pick in the main drawing. Hmmm. But then who…?

It’s great that the Foundation’s goodwill can be leveraged so well for causes like this.

ukscone avatar

we’re geeks it should be rock, paper, scissors, lizard, spock :)

pauldow avatar

The WordPress editor removed my reference in that last message about who will do the drawing, so it’s not nearly as funny.
At least it kept me occupied for 5 minutes.

Jon avatar

Divide the task: one draw the other announce? Or maybe extend the suspense and spell out the name (number) by taking turns with the letters?

Paul Johnson avatar

Hope to get to see my first Raspberry Pi then. I think I’ve managed to trick my wife into thinking that going to Maker Faire is a good idea.

It’s beautiful weather in the Bay at the moment – you’re coming at a good time.

Bungate avatar

Having bought some tickets I had this horrible thought – will the winner have to pay almost double in P&P and taxes, and will they deliver to only countries in Africa, and will they keep the winner in suspense for months waiting?

Matthew Terry avatar

Hi Bungate :),
Thanks for highlighting this, the raffle is open to everybody worldwide and any costs involved in getting the prize safely to the winner will be paid for by us, thanks :)

aditsu avatar

Why does it request my home address, and exactly which details are referred to as “personal details” and “contact details”?

Matthew Terry avatar

Hi Aditsu,
Good question, if you tick the box that ‘you do not wish for the fundraiser to see your personal details’ then all we will see is the participants display name and comments, this is why it is important for participants to leave a contact email address in the comments box if they wish to remain anonymous. The same is similar for the ‘Please tick this box if you do not wish for the charity to contact you’ tick box, if you tick this the charity will not be able to use your contact details to issue you with things such as news on future events.
You address details are required by Charity Giving that handles the donations I believe they need this for tax reasons.

Rek avatar

Sorry Eben,
Everybody knows you pick a pretty girl to draw these types of tickets. So unless you are willing to post up a picture showing just how fabulous you look in drag, Liz gets the honors.

Napior avatar

”Amount raised so far
It was £280 in the mornig when I donated £2 O.o

Morgaine avatar

You know, there’s a significant chance that Raspberry Pi will succeed in bringing computing and computer-aided social benefits to the less fortunate parts of the underdeveloped world, where far better funded ventures like OLPC have in large part failed. And there is only one reason for that, and for Pi’s phenomenal success worldwide: cost.

Creating the $25-$35 computing niche was beyond magic. It was probably the best thing that has ever happened in the age of personal computing EVER, with no exceptions. Whoever came up with that dollar slot (probably Eben) deserves a medal for insight about what drives the world.

And this is why I worry when I hear some (other) Foundation members speaking about MORE COSTLY versions of Pi that would provide extra bullet points. Here is my answer to that idea: YOU FAIL. You fail to understand what makes Pi a success.

Whoever is pushing the costlier options in the Foundation needs a serious tete a tete with Eben, to drum in the bare and rather harsh facts of life about what makes the world tick.


JamesH avatar

Give it a rest. I asked what price people might want to pay for a more advanced version, in a thread were other devices were being touted and people were talked about, hey, more advanced versions.. That’s all. I never said one was being made, it was purely out of personal interest.

And the rest of your comment is your personal opinion and may or may not be correct.

Morgaine avatar

OK, I accept that it was just speculation or your personal interest, rather than an actual Foundation plan. That’s good to know, thanks.

But you must agree that the reason for the Pi’s worldwide success is completely and exclusively down to cost. Although hype played a large part in it, the hype needed the low price point to work or it would not have found fertile ground. What’s more, nobody in the Foundation nor anywhere else has ever contradicted the massive importance of the price point to Pi’s success, and you have not denied it yourself either.

So, instead of being annoyed at me for pointing this out, I think you should be happy instead that someone is interested enough in your success to be taking the trouble to help you avoid a business mistake. You have a fantastic formula after all, which you KNOW guarantees the kind of interest that others would die for. Why abandon it for a different price niche that is already full of competition, and where you wouldn’t gain the same benefits of scale? Doesn’t seem to make sense.

(This is merely a reply to yourself, not to the Foundation, since you’ve pointed out that it’s only a personal interest.)

PS. Being an engineer, I’d like nothing more than a more powerful Pi v2, so this has nothing to do with lack of personal interest. It just has to do with understanding the basis of Pi’s success, and not wanting to see a failure.

PS2. You asked for feedback. You can’t expect all feedback to reinforce the concept you had in mind.


FelixCited (Samuel) avatar

This is a pretty good idea. I’m from Australia and its great we can donate and be in the draw to win too.
Really hope these kids can benefit and the money is used wisely

Good work :)

Matthew Terry avatar

Thanks for your comms Samuel,
Looking forward to sharing some pics of the schools and villages we’re helping with the Raspi community once we’ve met our fund raising target, they’ll be thrilled by the support you guys have kindly donated :).
On another note the ticket numbers will be sent out first thing tomorrow, I apologise for the delay but I’m just finishing the script to automate the emails, looks as though the Raspi is improving my computing skills too :).



Matthew Terry avatar

Hi Guys,
Just a quick update (11:30am GMT 21/05/2012)…
Ticket numbers have been allocated to each entry and emailed , however we have 22 participants who unfortunately don’t have any contact details.
Please ensure you’ve received your number/s, if you haven’t then please send me a request via: [email protected] with your contact email and the display name you used, I can then send you your allocated ticket number/s.
If you haven’t received your email and you entered before 11:30am GMT 21/05/2012 then it is likely we haven’t got your contact details on file so it will be very difficult to track you down if you ticket number is chosen.

Thanks for your support.

Kind Regards,


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