Below I share our chat about bird flu (now in 3 continents: Asia,
Europe, Africa) and community currencies as a possible tool to help
local activity (prevention, information, preparedness).
I welcome our thoughts and help.
Specifically we'd like to think about how we might use community
currencies, both within our current networks and also outreaching to
other networks and people, so that the best possible behaviours spread
like wildfire across the countries where there's bird flu.
Those countries is where a human pandemic (affecting us all) would most
likely start. The people in those countries would likely suffer most
from a pandemic; the impact in countries where there's already many
people living with HIV/AIDS might be hard.
There are "pandemic plans" for Europe and North America, but not much in
the rest of the world.
need for "grassroots plans" (or templates created cooperatively)?
On Feb 22nd 2006, Samwel Kongere and Henry Migingo were together in a
cybercafe in Nairobi, while Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz was at home in the
Canary Islands (Spain). Andrius Kulikauskas was on IM too (in
Lithuania) but he had to leave soon so he didn't join the group chat.
* Andrius' wishes (that we explore Samwel's Research Fellowship to work
with Lucas on bird flu, see details below; and that we explore community
currencies) were copied to the conversation.
* Lucas shared his interest in helping create action (local prevention,
telling the world about local situations, and local preparedness)
regarding the present avian flu problem and a possible/likely future
pandemic. He shared his understanding about the "easy-to-write,
difficult-to-implement" preventive activities. He brought in the
suggestion that maybe community currencies (CC) might help have
preventive and preparedness activity.
* Henry and Samwel agreed that in Kenya there's talk that they are
"safe" but they are not. Henry said he knows someone locally who knows
about CC, and there's local experience.
* The three agreed we need to ask for help at the cyfranogi yahoogroup.
Maybe working through the existing AIDS networks (who might be specially
badly hit by a flu pandemic).
* There was chat about the use of Linux and cooperation between Kenya
and the Canary Islands through Linux User Groups. The Canary Islands
LUG is in the slow process of collecting and "software-freeing" of
not-so-new computers and the problem is sending them abroad in the
cheapest and safest possible way.
Long version for those who may want it:
lucas: yes :: here we are :: how do we invite the others?
henry: Let me invite Sam then
lucas: ho do you do that?
samwel ha entrado en la sala.
henry: I've invited him
lucas: i think i've invited andrius
henry: Just by clicking the "Conference" button
samwel: good well
henry: Andrius may not join coz he is using "Kopete" :: An open source
program that does not allow conferencing
henry: I see
lucas: ok, so it's the three of us
samwel: ok :: wonderful to meet
lucas: same here! :)
samwel: what of the bird flu
lucas: can i please just copy what andrius has written to me in another
window, so that we keep it here?
lucas: here i go!
>andrius: I will need to go soon :: can you continue with them?
>lucas: ah ok :: sure!
>andrius: And please save your chat! Yes.
>andrius: One of my wishes is that Samwel, as our Research Fellow, work
for you on Bird Flu :: in exchange for time-awards that you'll get for
your help with our Online Learning Environment? :: Does that make sense?
:: Also, please think of community currencies with regard to bird flu.
Or what might be most useful? Also, please note that Samwel is
interested in the feed business. :: Perhaps he might know about bird
feed or explore that :: and that would be a channel for communicating wi
[something else got lost]
>lucas: sure, just copied it into the conference
lucas: ok then :: samwel, you lead the meeting?
henry: Sam go ahead
samwel: yes it was a very good time for me :: what do you say about the
bird feeds :: How can this help our community
lucas: i'm personally worried about bird flu - i know nothing about bird
henry: Lucas, maybe you can give Samuel some direction on what you want
to hear from him
samwel: yes :: is it about poultry?
lucas: i'm worried about bird flu, and also willing to work with minciu
sodas and with you in kenya
lucas: there's this new virus (h5n1) that's in wild birds, poultry, and
humans :: it's feared it might spark the next pandemic
samwel: formated and channelled system of work is good
samwel: we hear this very much in our media
lucas: and at present it's an immediate problem for poultry and
countries where the virus is found in poultry or in wild birds :: ok
samwel: but our authority doesn't agree to this
henry: Doesnt agree to what?
lucas: so i've been wondering - how can we help each other as humans to
stop or at least delay a pandemic?
lucas: that it's a problem?
lucas: sure - authorities are having a hard time accepting it's a problem
henry: They try to give us the illusion that Kenya is safe - whcih I
think is very wrong
lucas: so i'm exploring the possibility that our networks will find
better ways to deal with this - and do other things too
lucas: henry: same in many places!
samwel: usually during the months ending the year our poultry back home
die and it is something new to our rural people
henry: What are your suggestions, Lucas?
samwel: we can do something to stop pademic :: what are your suggestions
lucas: i think the basic theoretical recomendation is clear: don't touch
dead birds, bury them safely, and tell the world if you have a problem
so the world may help :: not so easy to do in practice, because people
depend on poultry as food for themselves and for markets :: and
countries too! :: so one idea would be to reward those who do well -
here's where andrius thinks some community currency might "do the trick"
samwel: how will we know they die from the new virus?
lucas: if a number of birds are taken to the apropriate labs, they will
know :: also, if a group of poultry die in huge numbers (more than 80%)
and show fever etc - then it's likely the new virus
samwel: so we open the labs locally for bird treatment?
lucas: we might find out the details
henry: Lets discuss the idea of Community Cureency
lucas: no - local labs won't be able to see the new virus - not likely -
not easy technology!
lucas: ok, i'd also like to know what the two of you have talked about -
now or later, as you wish
samwel: what of the community curency
lucas: excuse me 2 minutes while i do something at home - please go on
samwel: we will but henry will give the reporting of our talk
henry: What the two of us have talked about will be sent to you via
email tomorrow :: First thing in the morning, Sir
samwel: get an email from him tomm
lucas: i'm back :: ok then - community currency
lucas: i'm not an expert at all in CC :: but i think i know what needs
to get done - what i said above
samwel: in copying what
lucas: CC = community currencies
henry: I found a very good mzee who understand CC but I lost touch with
him :: He is a teacher at Strathmore School and he made great sense in
lucas: we can have all the help we want in minciu sodas and allies -
cyfranogi :: ok, good to have a local knowledgeable person!
samwel: community currency and how people use their wealth
henry: I can get his email address and restart communication
lucas: what i'd like to see is pandemic preparedness and pandemic
prevention - in Africa
samwel: this will be good
henry: Strathmore School uses CC in paying school fees and workers
lucas: (i know things are moving slowly in Europe and USA)
henry: It is even slower in Africa
samwel: so that is what we classefy as helping others through community
lucas: yes, and there's the aids issue too - people living with aids may
do worse regarding pandemic flu (whenever it starts) :: yes :: so i
think we need to think about who would be involved, doing what, how each
"player" benefits, etc - i think those are the elements of CC
samwel: it is wonderful idea and can help poor community members
lucas: and i think there are already networks around aids, am i right?
samwel: we can do tha and postion our strategy well
lucas: so there are "communities" already - which aparently is essential
when thinking of CC
lucas: i hope so!
samwel: there are communities
lucas: i think what i can do is ask for help on the yahoogroups
lucas: please go on
samwel: help on
henry: I will try and discuss the issue of CC with Sam. I think I have
some little idea.
henry: I think we need to leave before these cyber cafe guys take our shoes
samwel: yes it is dark
lucas: ok, so i await your email and i also write a few questions
(exploring the subject) for cyfranogi (CC experts)
henry: I'll keep in touch with updates and even give you feedback on the
issue of LInux
samwel: we will see where to base our thought and communicate
lucas: ok! are you both in the same cyberplace?
henry: Ken Odhiambo was also here and we had a good discussion
henry: We are both at the same place
lucas: oh, yes, linux - i'm still working with my people here to see how
we might send some computers!
lucas: but it's slow!
henry: Sam has a cam if you are interested in seing his "ugly" face - haha
lucas: and i need to find a way to send it so that it will not be too
lucas: i've seen his photo on the icon here
samwel: good to use linux as the people doesn't understand the difference
lucas: he's not uglier than myself - i tried taking a photo and the
camera just melted!
lucas: but you're a linux convert, right? :)
henry: Sure. I very determined Convert
samwel: yes after the source event
henry: Sam is now connected to the cam. Look at his real appearance NOW
lucas: i've helped organise our group a bit - not that they need help
but i'm not an expert in computers so i help with talking to the press etc
henry: We're almost leaving]
samwel: we should do get them and do linux training or such like
lucas: nope, can't see him in real time
lucas: i think i can get some help from this end - in my linux user
group here in the canary islands http://www.gulic.org
samwel: what real time do you want
henry: Let me tell him to invite you and you'll see his face
lucas: i'm on linux (using gaim, an oldish version) - not sure i can see
samwel: ok that is why
lucas: no, can't see sam moving - just a fixed image outside
lucas: yes :(
lucas: ok, so i save this - can i share it with our groups?
lucas: public domain etc?
I cant undestand the language
lucas: it's spanish :)
lucas: i'll share then
samwel: good to be together
lucas: i'm eager to learn about your conversation - and explore what
henry: Allow us to save our reputation now
lucas: yes, this has been great
samwel: wait mornig and hear great news
lucas: i've used skype with henry - not high quality sound when we tried
- but good!
henry: I liked it
lucas: fun hey?
samwel: those are the best of the three
henry: You can always call me anytine you feel like (oh not during the
day. Always busy like hell fire)
lucas: which three guys, sam?
lucas: henry: ok, i'll be careful
henry: Maybe Sam is refering to his, wife, child and himself
samwel: together and sharing
henry: Bye for now
lucas: ok, glad we met! bye!
samwel: it is ok
henry: Lucas, we're late for supper. Glad to have you here with us.