Telecentres have value to the community
- Dear Peter, Ricardo and Other colleagues,To make sure the Telecentres have value to the community; you must understand the Community and learn information access of the same community. This is will make you get grass root information and communication needs of all the community. In many societies the proposed establishment of first telecentre in the re-cognized areas with dense population to make sure it fulfils some of the health, education, information and communication needs of the population. It is envisaged that the telecentre would be built in an area where it could serve: the local community, preferably near an educational institution, the information thirst communities and the humanitarian and development organizations. Depending on the level of funds raised, additional telecentres could be set up in other areas of the region to expand the services according to needs and values.Usually Telecentre initiation is, like any; other project depending on projection of its sustainability. The contribution of the local community is to take charge of the operation of the Telecentre with a view to making it a self-sustainable facility. To this end, the Telecentre management team must be trained to operate these privately run public facility themselves. This is where the social enterprise comes in to help maintain sustainability. The activities of the Social enterprise; where building the vision, capacity, and systems of the telecentre/organization. Focusing on the social activities (Work) would mean designing and delivering a set of services for the individuals, such as small task computer services which in return gives some personalized income and direct commission to the organization for the Maintenance of the telecentre.You must be broader (think big) and expansively, while designing a telecentre. Your priorities must focus the left behind illiterate members of the community, local languages, women, youth etc.. You have to train your customers in advance because at the longest end they will come back and use the facility for their personal needed services. In addition to other basic services, the telecentre will serve as an educational centre for children and for teacher training. They will also provide ICT-based tools and services such as medical information, radio programmes and web-based multimedia content and training and education. The objective is twofold; to stimulate the development and growth of local businesses as well as to develop ICT skills among the local population (the would be consumers).We should not compare other failed projects with telecentres or social enterprises. There evidence showing that telecentres may have a far-reaching impact on development of local communities given the pent up demand for ICT applications and services. They can serve as information, communication and learning centres for farmers, students, professionals, entrepreneurs, NGOs, community leaders and members. Local administrators and society leaders can access information on basic social services such as water supply, sewage, or infrastructure. Farmers can form joint buying and selling groups and monitor market prices. Small entrepreneurs can find larger markets, conclude deals and use the telecentre for normal office services such as fax, e-mail or document production. For many, community access provides the greatest hope of joining the digital economy and fully participating in an increasingly knowledge-based society.Our government workers are now going part time at our facility where we train women in computer basics to compete with demand at their work places. Stressing the use of free software, communication via internet and the computer infrastructure available in the district will minimize the digital gap, the communication and development needs are initially best achieved through shared access. Where the WiFi will help net the shared information locally and internationally.Community telecentres are a powerful and cost-effective means of bridging the Digital Divide and taking the socio-economic benefits of ICTs to poor or underserved areas. The telecentres bring the Internet, telephone and fax access to people who would otherwise remain deprived of them. Thus creating the value needed.SamSamwel Okech kongereNyamuga primary schoolP.O BOX 191,MBITA 040305-KENYA.Cell: +254 725 600 439Information Networking and E-learning TrainingsUDOGO youth development/Miniciu-Sodas Laboratories
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