Reneal International Education Outreach was founded in 2012, but it really all began in March of 2006 when United States Peace Corps Volunteers Neal and Rene Bierbaum were assigned to Compostela National High School in Compostela, Cebu, Philippines. There at CNHS, they found students and teachers hungry for technology but with limited resources. It was a perfect match for Neal and Rene because of their lengthy careers as engineers both using and developing IT solutions. Thus the main focus during their Peace Corps service was development of a campus-wide Information Technology (IT) infrastructure.
Neal developed a thin client system based on Open Source software that combined low cost and easy maintainability for the school. Successful fund-raising was followed by the purchase of 90 used computers from the World Computer Exchange, US non-profit. Rene focused on teacher training and compilation of educational materials. The dream of more computers on campus for students and teachers was finally fulfilled at Compostela National High School.
Through their experiences in the Philippines, they became aware of the extreme need for educational resources and support in developing countries as well as the huge potential that education has to change lives in those same countries, especially through IT. When they completed their Peace Corps service in 2008, they returned to the United States. Neal became a full-time volunteer to continue the work he began in Compostela. Rene resumed her professional career as an engineer but continued to support the overseas IT work part-time. They returned to the Philippines each year to refine and improve the low-cost computer system at Compostela National High School. In partnership with their church, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, they initiated a high school scholarship program for high performing students who need financial assistance to continue their studies.
In 2010, Neal met a representative of the non-profit African Malaika through the World Computer Exchange. This began implementation of low-cost computer systems in Tanzania as well as the Philippines. Most of the work to date has focused in the Arusha area in Tanzania, in partnership with the Arusha District Council office.
Reneal International Education Outreach incorporated as a United States 501(c)(3) non-profit in April of 2012. As of the end of 2016, 25 schools in the Philippines and 11 schools in Tanzania have received the Reneal low-cost computer system. We are proud to bring Khan Academy, RACHEL, and other exceptional Open Source resources to students and teachers in developing countries. Each year, more educational resources and capabilities are added to the Reneal low-cost computer system. And currently fourteen scholars are receiving support for their high school education through the Reneal/UCCP partnership.
Reneal’s mission of bringing the power of technology to students and teachers continues. Contact us regarding donations of either used computer equipment or financial support.