Connecting the Orphans of Jhamtse Gatsal to the World

“Seeing right there in the moment we changed their lives.”

Darrel Ward of Dell works with children at Jhamtse Gatsal on Dell laptops

I can only hope that my words above capture the trip of a lifetime. My team and I set out on a journey with Mike Libecki of National Geographic.

Mike is a long-time partner of Dell. He has used Dell’s Latitude Rugged Laptops and Precision Workstations on his journeys to remote areas of the world. Mike’s passion for exploring the unknown has carried down to his daughter Lillianna.

people moving solar panels to the roof of a buildingWith this passion, Lilliana and her father have created the Joyineering Foundation to provide technology to students in remote areas. As a true partner, Mike challenged the Dell team to become part of the journey to open a technology lab for an orphanage in a very remote area of Anruchal Pradesh, Eastern India. In January we agreed to put six members of my team on the ground with Lilliana & Mike.  Learn more about Jhamtse Gatsal and its founder Buddhist monk Lobsang Phuntsok in this special documentary.

The students range from ages 4-18 and this would be the first time they would ever experience technology that would now open the world to them. The plan included providing twenty Dell Latitude Education devices that would be connected to the internet and powered by solar panels and a solar generator for the 80+ students at Jhamtse Gatsal. After days of hard work we were there, in the moment, to experience how Dell’s technology changed their lives.

After some serious travel, we learned a little bit about what Mike likes to refer to as the “full-value” experience. That means, you’re in it with no turning back, “living the dream” and there isn’t good or bad… there’s just joy or “pre-joy,” that challenging part of life you push through until you hit the next great moment.

Lilliana Libecki, Mike’s 14-year-old daughter, likes to say, “In a world where we can be and do anything, be kind and do good.”

two people installing a solar panel on a roof with a rainbow in the backgroundI don’t know that I can put it any better. On this trip, I saw a group of people work together to pull off a fantastic result. I’m more than pleased to say it was an overwhelming success, and the solar power gear we set up will not only support the school but also the surrounding homes in the village.

It’s difficult to put into words the reward you experience on just such an outing. Similarly, while our project generated excitement and gratitude from those we came to help, our team was equally affected by the love and compassion that we watched these people pour out on the children they’ve taken in, and how they were equally welcoming of us in their village. What they had, they shared joyfully.

I am so proud to work for Dell where there is such a strong focus on giving, and where we celebrate leaving behind a #LegacyofGood. Kudos and thanks to the Dell team that came to India which includes Shannon MacKay, Claudia Davila, Munira Baldiwala, Mark Rehmann, and Chris Ware… and to Jeff Morris and the extended team for assisting us from afar.

This was one of the most inspirational and emotional experiences of my life. The spirit of everyone involved was lifted up and the reception and gratitude from the community was just overwhelming. We went to make a difference … we left with an experience of a lifetime touched by the students of Jhamtse Gatsal.

Group photo of Dell employees with Jhamtse Gatsal kids and staff

All 📸 by @mikelibecki

Read the story about Dell’s Solar Powered Learning Labs, a Dell Youth Learning program that helps deliver sustainable and affordable connectivity to schools in some of the most underprivileged areas of the world.

About the Author: Darrel Ward

Darrel Ward is a Senior Vice President in Dell Technologies’ APEX business; he oversees the Program Management Office (PMO). In this position, he leads cross functional and cross organizational transformation efforts that are enabling Dell Technologies to reinvent itself – offering its industry leading portfolio as-a-Service in customers’ data centers, out at the edge or in the hands of end-users. Darrel is a proven leader in the tech industry. Over the past 30+ years, he has led teams spanning sales operations, product marketing, product planning and program management. His product expertise is just as varied and holistic – servers, storage, PCs and networking. While the bulk of his career has been spent at the place he considers home – Dell Technologies – he has also had the opportunity to lead teams at Lenovo, AMD, and Nortel Networks. Prior to his role leading the APEX PMO, Darrel was the Senior Vice President of Dell’s Client Product Group (CPG). In this role, he was responsible for the CPG business’ strategy, products, program management, operations and overall business performance. The CPG business accounts for half of Dell’s revenue annually and has over 1400 team members. Darrel is a graduate of the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He is passionate about the outdoors, recreational ranching, animal rescue efforts, conservation, and sustainability.