Dear Andrius and All,
Fantastic letters, and hope it's OK if I combine a couple of them, as I don't want to "triplicate" myself, haha! Before I dive into the subjects at hand, I want to make a special plug for one of Shannon's endeavors (I believe I recall this correctly?), which I am trying to network for and promote as well.
This is called GuluWalk, which will take place Saturday October 21st, in over 75 cities in 15 countries. An incredible project, and a wonderful role model for ALL of us: http://www.guluwalk.com/. This project supports the children of N. Uganda, affected by war and violence.
This food project and related activities at our forums also has the same potential for good. I have already responded on the "My Food Story" posting to Andrius, and hope we can discuss what's in that soon. I see in another mail (excerpt below) that you ask me abt leading a team for Pam's group (learningfromeachother), Andrius. I'd love to do this, but find that I'm in the same position as Pam right now, ie a number of fairly consuming commitments.
Andrius wrote: We both thought, Janet, it would be wonderful if you might work as team coordinator for Pamela if you would be interested, and perhaps this might develop into an income stream for you and your projects, and more funds for field agents, as we'll be looking for more business opportunities. Please consider it and let us know.
Since this project relates so much to what "holistic helping" is all about--the concept and the forum--and since we have a number of African members at HH who are working with this focus already (agriculture, nutrition), I hope that we could have a team there, which I can work with and help re coordination and networking.
I would suggest Sam Kongere for this, or Kennedy Onyango (GRASSUP link), or Benter Oballa (agriculture background). Steve is also a member--wish he could lead our team, but think he has his hands full with his own!!--as are Pam and Jeff, so that will be very helpful when it comes to overall coordination of team efforts. There are numerous linkages forged through HH for a grouping from Kenya and Tanzania (created by Andrius, Maria, myself, Benoit, and now being developed at the grassroots by Sam, Kennedy, Tom, Benter, Helen, William, Lenny et al), so to me a team seems a "natural", and I'm not sure that developing another one in a new forum would be effective or necessary.
On your criteria below, a few thoughts:
- a crop
- a human value that the crop helps us pay attention to
- a technology which fosters that value and therefore favors that crop
KAIPPG has several crops--maize, beans, sweet potatoes--which foster both better health for local communities, and also generate an income stream (a "holistic" approach). We are linked with a tea business in the USA, though are not growers at this time. Coffee and chocolate are possibilities, as is "honey", if you consider that a "food".
We use low-tech ICTs at the moment--radio, mobile phones, video and photography, cassette recordings--more than computers, though we are highly interested in wireless networking and building, as this would provide a solution to the current lack of infrastructure in rural areas, which makes radio the best technology at the moment, in part because it is the one more available.
The AirJaldi Summit will address some of the ways that wireless solutions can be used to provide affordable Internet access in rural communities. The conference will focus on the advantages that wireless networks can provide, by enhancing the quality of education, governance and health-care, increasing economic development, and promoting cultural exchange. Special emphasis will be placed on identifying best practices for rapidly increasing connectivity for regions most in need.
This is where AirJaldi, and some of our other networking and contacts--such as with First Mile Solutions--come in, and I hope the work of OVF on that summit will help all of us to link more closely with this particular form of technology.
We would link up as much as possible with Jeff Buderer's of One Village's interest in wi-fi and echoupal (Internet kiosks), the upcoming AirJaldi summit, and also if possible with Gary A. Bolles work on wifi, he was interested in connecting with us and I think would be glad if we could assemble a public group working in this area and on the ground, for example, with Samwel Kongere in Kenya
Andrius and all, KAIPPG is already operating a series of kiosks, which now stock many different kinds of educational materials. We are looking to ensure that they are Internet-connected, whether via "wires" or wireless! This can be done to an extent now with Internet-enabled radio. I love the "system" this represents, and believe that others like Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria are doing the same (Pam may be as well), ie one or more "telecenter" locations (a central gathering point) combined with a decentralized series of kiosks, which can help to disseminate info across a much wider swath of communities and populations. I'll be happy to help develop such a "model" further.
For now, I would say this in response to the "Crops-Caring-Communication" triad of linkages:
--crop: maize (for example...I'd like to poll our HH members and ask KAIPPG et al which crop they'd find it most useful for us to focus on)
--"caring" (value): holistic approach, integrating health and income-generation, sustainable practiced and human welfare
--"communication" (devices): radio, listening groups, and audiovisuals (video, cassettes)...which kiosks can stock!
Andrius writes (to Sam):
Pioneers of Change http://www.pioneersofchange.net
for whom I have started to some work on their website. The primary need that I see
is that you and your colleagues could offer services as online assistants to help people in your region get integrated into the online world (especially our lab!) and make good use of these opportunities.
Andrius, see my remarks in one of the other notes today abt my links with "Pioneers". I wanted to highlight your idea of our African (and other )colleagues offering integration/linking services, which is excellent! I will be happy to network on this to help "make it so".
Andrius writes (to Sam):
Also, as part of your work on http://www.myfoodstory.com
if you agree I think it would be good if you could represent us at the World Social
Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, January 20-25, 2007, http://wsf2007.org
especially to sign up people for our working groups as you did so
successfully at the Africa Source II summer camp in Uganda which is a big reason (along with Janet Feldman's leadership) why our Holistic
Helping working group is so vibrant!
Thanks so much for all of your terrific work--Sam and Andrius--and for your lovely compliment. It's so uplifting that HH has become as vibrant and helpful as it has, and in a short space of time!--and we hope this trend will go ever-upwards! I think it would be wonderful if Sam can attend and represent us; registration info should be up imminently (they say early October on the site).
One BIG consideration: do we want to organize an activity during this forum? For example, a presentation by Sam and members in Kenya abt our MS-connected work? OVF, myself, and others have discussed bringing George Chan, and linking him to groups there both within and outside of the WSF context. There is also a meeting of the Global Young Greens at about same time, in Nairobi, which Sam and others might consider attending in tandem.
WSF 2007 Organizing Committee executive office - Kenya
Physical Contacts: Masandukuni Lane, Off Gitanga Road
Postal Address: P.O. Box 63125, 00619 Nairobi Kenya
Telephone: 254-020-3860745 ou 254-020-3860746