"Imara," the word means power in Swahili.
It is also the name of an outreach effort that
has begun at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
CSAIL is an interdepartmental laboratory
that includes faculty from electrical engineering
and computer science, mechanical engineering, mathematics, brain
and cognitive science, aeronautics and astronautics,
the Biological Engineering division, and the Harvard MIT
division of Health Sciences and Technology.
CSAIL is also the home of the Worldwide Web Consortium.
Our goal is to find innovative ways
to enable domestic and international communities
through a combination of education and technology,
resources to which these communities might not otherwise
Technology by itself is only a tool, a means to an end.
But as history has shown, access to the proper tools
can vastly improve the quality of life.
Imara looks for opportunities to provide communities
with the tools of computation and communication
and to enrich these with education.
MIT and CSAIL provide the technical expertise, logistics,
and educational resources behind Imara.
Our corporate and philanthropic partners
provide funding and equipment to help
meet each community's needs.
Together with our partners, we find innovative ways
to overcome the myriad challenges
of remote and underserved populations.
We believe in solving problems that the community prioritizes,
not pushing Western ideals and values.
To this end, we work closely with local experts
in each community to understand their needs and values.
The underlying philosophy of Imara
is to enable, not to just hand out computers to the poor,
but to teach them how to use technology
to improve their lives and then in turn give
the gift of knowledge to other neighboring communities.
We help keep this self-sufficient cycle in motion
through longitudinal outcome studies
and learn from our successes and our failures
so we can continuously improve our efforts.
Since Imara is a volunteer organization,
we are in constant need of computing and network equipment
as well as funding for administration and travel.
Your organization can play a role in Imara
by contacting our outreach coordinator
at the email address or phone number shown on your screen.