Org-Domain for Education Project
Project Fedena is based on Ruby on Rails - the same framework upon which other intuitive and complex sites (such as Twitter.com, Groupon.com and Basecamp.com) rely. The goal was to create a simple program that inspired trust and confidence in its users. The interface had to be comprehensible across international borders if it was to be successful. Furthermore, because the promulgation of the Fedena software is firmly rooted in the global virtual world, the website had to project the same sense of credibility. A org-domain was clearly the only option for an organization grounded in philanthropy and giving back to the community. Unlike the com-domains and info-domains, the founders felt the org-domain was the perfect method by which to convey the fact that they were not in it to simply make money, but to make an impact and invest in the future of schoolchildren around the world.
Today Fedena is extremely successful with more than 150 copies of the software downloaded daily and over 50,000 total downloads. The organization founders are seeing use especially in developing countries such as Latin America, South Africa and Asia. Because the Fedena Project was vetted through an international open source community, the software is not only affordable for these countries, but also reliable.
Project Fedena saves schools systems money and resources. Sampoorna (a school system in the state of Kerala, India) is a vibrant example of Project Fedena's vital impact. The school system encompasses 15 thousand schools, 300 thousand teachers and 7 million students. Project Fedena saves Sampoorna an estimated $10 million every year by easing cumbersome processes such as creating and processing admissions/transfer paperwork, creating lists for scholarships, preparing progress reports and generating a multitude of reports related to students, parents, teachers and non-teaching staff.
"Starting a new venture like the Fedena Project requires three things," says co-founder Vishwajith Kasargod. "First, especially in the beginning phases when the project requires much upfront capital, you can't care about money. Cash inflow will be very slow at first, so persistence is the key. Second, pick something you're passionate about. You'll be investing many late hours. It helps if it's for something you really love. Finally, eventually after all that work, you do have to figure out a way for the project to make money as it matures."
Today, with over 500 daily visitors, not only is ProjectFedena.org used for sales of their product but it also provides support for current users and forums for further open source development. The latest development pieces focus especially in language translation, allowing Project Fedena to reach additional countries and aid additional schoolchildren.