Andrius, Samwel, Everyone,K
Please note Maria, is helping me. She donated her 100 dollars to Samwel.
The money I get from Andrius is specifically earmarked for Prof Chan's
travel to Kenya in January.
*World Social Forum and Integrated Farming Workshop
*We need to coordinate our efforts in preparing for the World Social
Forum and the workshop with Prof Chan. In particular we need to check
the WSF website and see what is needed to register and to apply to do a
presentation at the conference. Of this is an opportunity for us to
promote the Integrated Farming work that George Chan has made his
lifework. From my perspective specific objectives should be stated in
going to the conference and arranging any workshops with Prof Chan. Also
I want to encourage the rationale for finding very cheap places to stay
in Nairobi that make it possible to go to the conference without
spending alot of money for accommodations. Also selected people should
go who are relevant to that delegation and who have skills to document
the event, interact and build partnerships and communicate and
articulate relevant information to the network in say the Mbita region.
We can learn a lot from Dante here I think in terms of using low cost
strategy for traveling and interacting with people.
*The Challenging of Setting Realistic Budget and Keeping Costs Under Control
*This is a challenge for all of us.I think Andrius' advice is very
meaningful. Think carefully about the money will be spent. Basically
what are trying to do...or at least what I am seeking to do is to set up
a peer to peer network to fund projects as investments not giveaways.
*Whether or not there is a return or investment on the seed money or
not, the centre or project should be designed to move to sustainability
within 3-5 years so that a portion of the money can be used to bootstrap
other similar projects in Kenya, Africa and around the world. This may
be a little different than what Andrius wants to do but in my view, if
we want more sustainable systems of doing business to replicate
themselves globally...it needs to be based on a process of managing and
pooling financial resources to build up assets within that financial
Kiva www.kiva.org offers microloans to investors via the Internet. It
was only a matter of time that this would happen - using the Internet on
providing money from capital rich areas where interest rates are low to
capital poor areas where interest rates are extremely high.
*Reforming the Development Sector & Overcoming Dependency Economics
*I just spoke to Maria about the reality that there are severe
distortions in non-affluent aid dependent nations like Kenya. Capital
cities become enclaves for well educated development/NGO people who are
relatively well paid as compared to the median income. In Kenya for
example the average per capita income is about 1100 (using Purchasing
Power Parity), however I am starting to realize that NGO/nonprofit pay
in countries like Kenya is probably around many times the average
income. I am sure there are reasons for this including a desire to bring
professional wages to parity with wages in developed countries for NGO
professional. My question is whether that money which goes to sustain
this relatively well paid NGO community would better be spent on groups
like Kiva that offer low interest loans to the small business people in
African and developing countries. The bottom line is how can development
money best be invested to promote sustainable economic development?
*Designing Methodologies to Develop Relevant Best Possible Estimates for
Project Outcomes/Benchmarks and Deliverables
*In reference to comment below from Andrius about seeking out a certain
set number...while I think I understand the need to come up with numbers
like 10 first hand accounts and 300 database entries. However I would
suggest that we carefully consider why we are "signing up" a certain
quantity of people in the field. We need to consider the practical
rationale and readiness for that number so that they are consistent with
project goals, mission and values. The number to be assigned to project
outcomes and deliverables will vary according to each particular
situation and you need to make an assessment of the conditions and
variables on the ground before you come up with the project outcome
numbers. I see similarly to assigning a set number to the number of
letters sent that might make the social agriculture project a success.
No doubt it is good to have traffic here but I think it is also
important to take into account the quality and relevance of the
communications and that there is a threshold upon which the law of
diminishing returns is reached and therefore the communications becomes
I would suggest a focus on empowering a core group and then considering
an organic pace of development in terms of expanding that network based
on various criteria:
1. Readiness of the core group
2. Climate of the community and receptiveness
3. Technology and organizational infrastructure - including funding.
In my view, what is vital is that a plan for network and project
sustainability is developed and put in place. we might consider setting
up something like Kiva or Inveneo and then set up a system to coordinate
the process in the field of capacity building and development that is
resource centre/unity centre/ecocentre oriented..
Whether money is spent or t-shirts or the trip to the WSF, or
etc...there should be an endgame sustainability plan by which no more
external funding is needed.
Similarly a project such as MyFoodStory could also be designed so that
it can eventually grow into a social enterprise - that to me would be
the ideal scenario. For me the numbers of people that are part of the
networks or customers or pageviews or whatever - the project outcomes -
should be tied to our best possible estimate of what is a part of a
feasible scaling plan for developing and replicating sustainable ventures.
>I will share my thinking about your budget. You know that we have very
>little money and so it is precious to us. We want to spend it wisely. So we
>spend it on what is essential and we hope to have some left over that we can
>spend on what is fruitful.
>It is essential that you provide the minimum for your family. My
>understanding from our discussions that the minimum is 50 USD per month.
>Also, it is essential that you pay for your tools for your work, such as
>Internet access. But it is not essential that you have Internet access every
>day, once or twice a week is enough. I think that you can do this for 33 USD
>per month or please correct me. So 500 USD = 6 x 83 USD is enough for your
>minimum for your essential, especially if you find other sources of income
>locally and globally, as you should.
>Also, you will receive a bonus of up to 500 USD if you and your team achieve
>* 10 personal stories, which could be, for example, 10 interviews of growers
>about the connection between their crops, their personal values, and their
>technologies, how they are connected.
>* 300 profiles of growers, by which we mean basic information about the
>growers, how and why to contact them. This is not so difficult as it may
>seem because I will help you make a strategy for this and we can work with
>organizations that can provide us with this information and that can
>represent the growers, especially if they do not have direct Internet
>If you achieve these targets there will also be an additional bonus for all
>the people who help us online, I think we will have a community currency as
>we did for the chocolate project, where people online earn the currency and
>they can pool it together for projects. This way we can get help so that all
>our teams meet their targets and we earn all the bonuses.
>We also have $400 for your team. Please let us know how you might like to
>use this money most effectively, so that I can add my input and approve. You
>can divide it up as cash, but you can also use it to fund something that is
>helpful for the community as a whole. Here it is good to think, what is
>Your journey to the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya will be very
>fruitful if there you can sign people up for our groups as you did in Uganda.
> If you can get permissions to sign up 25 people you are doing well, and if
>you can sign up 50 people you are doing very well. The same is true for Jeff
>Buderer when he comes. I will tell you the truth that each person you sign
>up is worth 100 USD for our network, and each person who writes is worth 1000
>USD. You may ask why? and I will give you two reasons. The first is that is
>how much it costs. Imagine sending a person to a conference to organize
>people. If the conference, travel, lost time all cost 2,000 USD and the
>person signs up 20 people they have done reasonably well. It is not so easy
>to find "independent thinkers" or to get their permission! The other reason
>is that organizing such people, as you did in Uganda, has enormous value.
>Thanks to your work in Uganda, we have assembled a fantastic group of
>Africans at our Holistic Helping group. In the last 90 days we have received
>220 letters there and it is the second most active group in our lab. We have
>received inspiring letters from Leonard Boniface in Tanzania, Ken Owino in
>Kenya, Masimba Biriwasha in Zimbabwe and now in Thailand, William Wambura in
>Tanzania, ACTWID KONGADZEM in Cameroon, Tom Ochuka in Kenya, Charles Loku in
>Uganda, Derick Odemba in Kenya and Benter Oballa. Thank you also to Benoit
>Couture and Maria Agnese Giraudo. Our help as organizers means that our
>leader Janet Feldman can help us accomplish wonderful things! (And Janet,
>thank you for your thoughtful letters which are on my mind!) The result is
>very productive (just think of Agnese's trip). This is actually very
>difficult to do, we are bridging the digital divide! This is I think the
>reason why Greg has given us the opportunity to do the MyFoodStory work. It
>is also why I am giving half of the budget to our team because I know that
>this is most effective. If the European Union tried to do what we have
>already done, they would budget about 500,000 to 1,000,000 euros, and they
>are not guaranteed to succeed. So please know that in our work our greatest
>asset is our people - our "independent thinkers" - who we are able to
>involve. This is what is clearly fruitful.
>So let's work to find money so that we can pay for you to go to the World
>Social Forum. Samwel, you know that I don't have any extra money to give
>away. So we need to keep our costs minimal. It is enough for us if you go
>as one person. Please think, you will know other people there who will be
>there and who you can work together. I imagine that Jeff Buderer will be
>there and please also try your best to be there for his meeting with George
>Chan. Also, I think the organizers of the World Social Forum do their best
>to make it inexpensive to attend. You should be able to find a place to stay
>for free and inexpensive food.
>Are the T-shirts a fruitful idea? Let's discuss this before you do anything.
> Wouldn't it be more fruitful to try to get wireless Internet access to your
>area? Let's think together!
>+370 (699) 30003
>I have received the mney in Homa bay and Iam greatful the children and the
>entire family will do well while I am away.I am leaving today to visit some
>farlands for one week and the move away to Dar.
>I am putting my team together and I need to inform you that, they are going
>to report the coming food story on the following crops.
>Groundnuts another legume crop
>I will get in touch with you later My no is +254 725 600 439 cell phone.
>Thank you very much for this opportunity. I can see you need a personal
>budget from me; it includes family expenditure per month and other needs. I
>am ready to work part time till 31st March 2007. My personal budget is USD$
>300 per month.
>The team will meet together early December to discuss the objectives and work
>plan for 2007 as well as distributing the money. We do suggest printing
>T-shirts with the Miniciu Sodas –Lab logo to promote the network activities
>which we all involve in. The group plans to market this forum and hence a
>need for identification within the community where we are working (local).
>The budget for making the 120 T-shirts is $ 850. The team has suggested
>contributing $250 from their $400 and will need additional budget for $ 600
>to complete this. The T-shirts will help in identification.
>The team will be giving these T-shirts to the people helping to give out
>information as a motivation gift and this will allow those people to accept
>the information to be published online and in the long run we will have
>permission to present more information from them.
>Concerning the wireless internet; we need this seriously. Our town is in a
>remote-rural area where Internet connection is a problem. We do walk
>distances to get the connection. If we can get this, we would be very
>grateful. There is no organization which can provide us with Bandwidth so we
>need to contact the wireless phone providers if, they can give a wireless
>connection but this can only be subscribed to one single computer. For now,
>the team cannot give a budget for this but we’ll send you all the information
>if we contact them and know their charges and terms of work.
>The World Social Forum summit will take place on 20th -25th January 2007 in
>Nairobi Kenya. The tentative budget below can be for one person;
>Transport- Mbita- Homabay- Nairobi (USD 85) x two rounds) = USD 170
>Accommodation USD$ 30 per night x 5 days =USD$ 150
>Meals USD $ 20 per day x 5 = USD$ 100
>Others; (Internet access, mobile charging, taxi, printing, phone calls) USD$
>Total; USD 620
>We are supposing as a team to meet Jeff and Chan. The team wishes to at least
>send two people to this meeting. What do you suggest? The above budget is for
>one person for five days.
>Yes, there’s a need for some funds but as a team, we’ll sit down, plan and
>focus mainly on the important activities that we want to undertake concerning
>My Food Story and any other relevant activity. This will give us a clear
>picture on how to figure the budget, other important tools for the group and
>any other item that will help us succeed.
>We are thankful; we hurriedly did the Soya bean presentation. We can now work
>slowly and gradually to make another report successful. The team is working
>on another crop. We will let the forum know about it soon. Its clear as you
>mentioned in your email about 6 stories, this clarifies that we are remaining
>with five food stories to give. What do you mean by 300 producers? Are they
>contributors to the story or the famers producing the crop? My team members
>cannot understand extra and bonus payments for additional funds, but
>immediately I come from Tanzania, I will work plus my team upto 31st March
>2007 as you proposed.
>I am almost through with the translation but I will tune it firmly during my
>trip to Tanzania where they speak fluent Kiswahili. I hope Helen and the
>team there will give support for tuning the Translation. Sharing this with
>them will give another better way for a network because they are good
>Kiswahili speakers than us In Kenya.
>Well, I can share what I did to Lucas but our Bandwidth here cannot allow
>attachments, when it stable up I will send them and share.
>Yes, I got the Instructions and I will set up Mendenyo group soon after our
>meeting in the first week of December. This is when we’ll launch Mendenyo,
>distributing Miniciu Sodas T-shirts, and clearly stating our main Focus. My
>main personal interest has been ICT, Agriculture and Health. What is
>interesting in sharing and expanding knowledge is advancing ICT, an expert in
>wireless is paramount to us all and maintaining a wireless access for an
>isolated community is vital to me personally, getting such an expertise is
>much better. Creating a FOSS atmosphere for this area is wonderful, I hope
>doing and knowing what our Lab does is important for me.
>Samwel Okech kongere
>Nyamuga primary school
>P.O BOX 191,
>Cell: +254 725 600 439
>UDOGO youth development group-coordinator
>Please note our rule: Each letter sent to the Holistic Helping group enters the PUBLIC DOMAIN unless it explicitly states otherwise. Thank you! http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org
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