The Owen Project is named after Owen Keddal who died at the age of 21. As a teenager, he went on a mission to Honduras and returned with nothing but the shirt on his back. Moved by the tremendous needs of a beautiful people, Owen gave away his watch, his St. Christopher’s medal, his clothes, everything. He came back with only the shirt on his back, but rich and transformed by his time in Honduras. Owen’s parents, Mark and Sally Keddal, want to continue this generosity in his honor and to God’s glory.
The Owen Project works with local communities to bring the XO learning system to children of the Third World. What is an XO? It’s a computer about the size of a small textbook. It has built-in wireless access and a unique screen that is readable under direct sunlight for children who go to school outdoors. It’s extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, and fun. In July of 2011, The Owen Project took the first 100 XO computers to Honduras. Mark and Sally led a team that worked in the hamlet of Santa Rosita. The children were delighted and took to the XOs “like ducks to water”, writing independent sentences for the first time in their lives.
Hondurans, convinced of the vital importance of this project, work as partners to ensure its success. The national government of Honduras provides free internet access to schools.
Each summer since that beginning, Mark and Sally Keddal have led a group to the remote mountains of Honduras with more XO computers to leave with the schools. They also spend time with students and teachers, providing encouragement and demonstrating again and again the power of the internet. It has become apparent that not only do the schools need the XO computers, they need follow-up support and replacement XOs as time marches on.
As of 2017, over 700 XO Laptops have been provided to remote Honduran schools by the Owen project.