This old man and his grandson live in the village of Jaz-Kechuu, Kyrgyzstan. The place only got electricity last year.

They’re watching a very traditional game of Kok-Boruu or, as everyone knows, “horseback polo with a goat”.

The Kyrgyz government decided at the start of the pandemic that all schools should be connected to the internet. Problem is, places like Jaz-Kechuu are so remote that it’s not a viable option.

That’s when our friends at the Internet Society Kyrgyzstan Chapter decided to step in and provide internet content without internet access. They loaded up Kiwix offline onto their very own, and very cool Ilimbox, packed it with local educational content, and distributed it around rural, mountainous Kyrgyzstan. An Ilimbox uses 5V to power, so electricity is not an issue, and it can create a local network for a whole classroom. Problem solved.

This could not have happened if Kiwix’ code had remained proprietary and closed.

The strength of open-source software is that it is easier to fix, easier to adapt, easier to scale. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.