Describe Wawa Laptop
WAWA Laptop, the first laptop developed in Peru, made from recycled material and powered by a portable solar panel, is aimed at democratizing access to technology and education for children and youth in Peru, the region, and the world. We are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations Organisation, with emphasis on the SDG 4 Quality Education.
Our proposal has received national and international recognition, among these being startups Peru 7G-2019 and our CEO Alejandra Carrasco, has been recognized in the list of "50 female founders you need to know" in Peru, published by Ruta Startup on January 15, 2020. During these challenging times, we received a mini-grant of COVenture19 to keep helping children during the pandemic crisis through our donation campaign.
Wawa Laptop is an invention with a patent per utility model granted by the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI, Peru). We have the support of the Peruvian Ministry of Production (PRODUCE), the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (CIDE PUCP), and the Association of Inventors (ASONIP).
Why do we need Wawa Laptop?
More than 2.5 million children in Peru don't have access to technology and more than 800 million children around the world don't know what a computer is. In order to provide a technological tool, we decided to work on developing a product focused on creating awareness about climate change, improving educational systems, and promoting innovation through easy-tech devices.
We are dedicated to providing opportunities to students, teachers, families, and communities living in urban and rural areas of Peru through providing an eco-sustainable product. Since the case is made of recycled wood, it can be energized with solar panels, works with free software, and contributes to a circular economy. In addition, we have a comprehensive action plan that seeks to train students in the development of their soft skills and techniques.
What inspired you to start?
We encountered this problem when my family traveled for work to the interior of Peru and found a sad reality in education. They went to Iñapari, a beautiful town between the border of Peru and Brazil, a school without a teacher, without educational materials, and without technology.
From this experience, we decided to take action and in 2017 we launched Wawa Laptop. We are beneficiaries of the 7G (Seventh Generation) of Startup Peru, we have a patent as a utility model. We have been impacting in 03 public schools, benefiting 700 students in the pandemic and due to donations made, we have had about 4500 communications requesting information so we launched a donation campaign called "Donate a WAWA Laptop, educate a child", (https://www.wawalaptop.com) which seeks to benefit 1200 students in 19 departments in the country.
Has inspiration come from unexpected places?
Yes, we had life-changing experiences around the idea to take action. My mom and my dad shared their experiences traveling around Peru and that's how we made a decision to create "something" to close the digital gap in education.
What's the one piece of advice you'd give an aspiring change maker?
Believe in your dreams and make them come true, trust in your community and keep building it. Most of us have amazing ideas to create change but sometimes we don't have enough support. Try to find out the best practices to materialize your projects and stop the limitations.
How can people get involved in your project or help out?
If you want to help us close the digital gap in education, you can donate at: www.wawalaptop.com/en/ and together we can make Peruvian students' dreams come true.
What are your plans for the future?
We were able to contact MENTOR DAY, a social enterprise accelerator in Spain, and were part of the acceleration week that took place in May. We are now on a mentoring program, which will allow us to scale up our solution to different populations in Latin America (LATAM), Africa, and the Middle East.
Anything else you'd like to share?
We are very happy to be considered change-makers of TRVST. Our effort to close the digital gap in education is strengthened by you!