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Highlights of Visit to Nigeria

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  • Pamela McLean
    Andrius - following our chat - here is the report I prepared for BA - but it is rather long for an email: Pam *Highlights of Visit to Nigeria: 19th October to
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 10, 2006
      Andrius - following our chat - here is the report I prepared for BA -
      but it is rather long for an email:

      *Highlights of Visit to Nigeria: 19th October to 2nd November 2006*

      The visit began with a meeting with Bode Omokaro, Programme Coordinator
      of DIFN (Development Impact For Nigeria, UK Charity Commisssion No
      1091028). It was my first meeting with Bode, my previous contacts have
      been with Yomi Oloka the UK coordinator of DIFN. Together Bode and I
      gave a presentation to the head teachers from ten schools in the Lagos
      area. The meeting was opened by the local government chairman. The
      “Teachers Talking About ICT” programme was explained. The head teachers
      were interested in making the training available for their staff and the
      local government chairman expressed support. Subsequently I gave Bode
      initial training as a TT presenter and presented him with course
      materials so that he can prepare to implement the programme. He will get
      ongoing support online.

      Next I met with the OCDN chairman, Chief Gbade Adejumo, and the OCDN
      secretary, Chief Michael Mojoyinola, in Ibadan – people I have known
      well for many years. OCDN is the Oke-Ogun Community Development Network,
      and was responsible for the successful art competition for “A Ray of
      Hope” in Oke-Ogun earlier this year. I showed the chiefs the sports and
      educational equipment I had brought and we completed detailed planning
      for the trip.

      On Monday October 23rd I travelled with Chief Adejumo to Ago-Are. There
      I stayed at the home of Pastor David, manager of the OCDN InfoCentre in
      Ago-Are, for a week. During that time we met with the chairman and the
      ex-chairman of the Community Association to discuss the support that
      outsiders can give to the Information Centre. I also collected
      information, for the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), regarding an
      agricultural distance learning programme, which had been delivered
      though the InfoCentre. We hope this may lead to closer future links with

      I was asked by Pastor David to help raise the profile of the InfoCentre
      with local schools. I made visits to several secondary schools and
      suggested starting a schools club at the InfoCentre, which could include
      linking up with schools overseas. The first meeting was held on Thursday
      26th October. Despite very short notice, the participants were greeted
      with messages through the Internet, from London (Charity for African
      Welfare and Development) and Northern Ireland (Done McBurney, Youth
      Ambassador for the Culture of Peace) and the children of Largymore
      Primary School. . Following the greetings from Largymore P.S. the
      participants visited the school website, and prepared email replies.

      The schools club was attended by one hundred and twenty two people, at
      least six of whom were teachers. The teachers were also interested in
      "TT" (the "Teachers Talking About ICT" programme). We agreed to set up a
      separate teachers club, which would be a first step to including the
      teachers, through the TT-Online part of the TT programme.

      Saturday was a social day. The Oba (local hereditary ruler) was
      celebrating thirty years as ruler of the town and surrounding area. The
      Baale Agbe (chief of the farmers) decided I should accompany him to the
      celebration - suitably dressed, according to local tradition. He
      provided me with a tailored outfit - matching his own and that of other
      guests, made of material specially designed for the occasion, plus a
      splendid head-dress. This "regalia" drew favorable comments over the
      public address system from the master of ceremonies.

      On Sunday the sports and educational resources were presented.

      On Monday I travelled to Okeho with Mrs Victoria Adetona. We made the
      presentation at a ceremony attended by the Oba of Okeho. I was also
      shown the computers that have been installed by OCDN in a room of the
      town hall and we discussed the possibility of future TT programmes
      there. I was also updated on the local micro-credit scheme, and visited
      its office. There I was shown a laptop (which is used for administration
      and IT training) which was awarded through a world bank scheme,. This
      was particularly gratifying for me as I had sent the details of the
      scheme to Chief Adejumo a couple of years ago and he had forwarded them
      to Mrs Adetola, who had then applied. Mrs Adetola also told me about her
      work with the Oyo State "National Council of Women's Societies" (NCWS) a
      women's empowerment group. We agreed that if she would send me reports
      of her women's work and micro-credit work then I would raise the
      visibility of both these initiatives on the Internet.

      My next visit was on Tuesday with Chief Mojoyinola, to Iseyin, where the
      final presentations were made. I was also shown the two OCDN computers
      in Iseyin, whicj have been installed in a partitioned off area at the
      end of the library, under the supervision of an education committee.
      Chief Mojoyinola said the library had been a valuable resource when he
      was a young man, but the books are now badly out of date (the most
      recent gift of books included science books published in 1969.) We
      discussed the possibility of printing up- to-date resources through the
      computers, and thus helping to update the library. Two freely copyable
      CDs of ICT training materials were given to the centre to start this
      initiative. However, a better printer will be needed if such printing
      out is to be done. There is a good quality photocopier which would
      enable readers to make affordable copies of sections of the books.

      On returning to Ibadan on Wednesday I attended a meeting with Professor
      Francis Egbokhare, director of the Distance Learning Centre at Ibadan
      University, to discuss his plans for collaborating with OCDN, and with
      others in our network. This was another encouraging example of positive
      results coming years after initial efforts. I was shown a thick file of
      correspondence which had lead to the Wednesday meeting – it began with a
      letter I had written back in 2000, in support of the founder of what is
      now OCDN, suggestion collaboration with Ibadan University. The
      university is now planning to set up a new distance learning initiative
      for rural areas, building on our initial work in Ago-Are.

      The trip was extremely useful for mutual updating and future planning
      for continuing to work together. The resources were well received. The
      face-to-face meetings gave encouragement and new direction to the
      projects on ground, and enabled various new links to be established. I
      will be following these up and strengthening them in the coming months
      now that I am back with my home computer - with the easy access to the
      Internet and the reliable electricity supply that makes my access to
      information and communication systems so simple compared to the
      challenges faced by my friends and other contacts in Nigeria. On behalf
      of those friends and contacts, and the people they aim to serve, and
      myself, I thank BA for making the trip to Nigeria possible.
    • Pamela McLean
      Andrius - and everyone. The newsletter that I ve copied below gives more information about our activities. It s very sketchy because I don t have anyone to
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 10, 2006
        Andrius - and everyone.

        The newsletter that I've copied below gives more information about our
        activities. It's very sketchy because I don't have anyone to write it at
        present - but I needed to put something out to let people know we are
        still active - and in need of help ;-) I wrote it after I came home.
        To subscribe to the Newsletter please go to
        (The introductory information is a little out of date there - updating
        various bits of information that we have on the Internet is another of
        those jobs crying out to be done.)

        Anyhow - the newsletter itself is well up to date:


        Newsletter 40 from Cawdnet : Notes from Pamela McLean

        Introduction - and invitation to potential guest editors.

        Welcome to the latest update from Cawdnet - working in
        Nigeria and the UK to make the most of digital technology.
        The format this time is rather different - no full
        stories, just a series of notes so you get a flavour of
        our current and recent activities. Jon is not able to
        return to Cawdnet yet to continue editing our Newsletter -
        so I am looking hopefully for some guest editors to fill
        the gap. If anyone would like to try their hand at an
        issue or two of our Newsletter (maybe more) please let me
        (pam@...), or Lorraine Duff, lorraine@...) know.
        We'll provide the information for the editor to knock into

        Content - some of the stories waiting to be covered:
        1. Teachers Talking
        2. Cawdnet Campus
        3. Barefoot Power
        4. Health Workers Special Interest Group
        5. Peoples University
        6. Global Learn Day
        7. Meet Andrius Kulikauskas
        8. IICD Trainers Workshop
        9. Ago-Are InfoCentre
        10. News from Victoria Adetona in Okeho
        11. Iseyin
        12. David Mutua
        13. Ibadan University
        14. Football Tournament
        15. Summary


        1. Teachers Talking (TT)
        Progress in various directions. Interest from trainers
        elsewhere, in Nigeria and other African countries.
        On 6th July 2006 there was a joint Cawdnet - Trainerspod
        Elluminate Webinar about Teachers Talking.
        On 10th October 2006 there was a joint ICT4Development
        presentation with Tim Neumann of London Institute of
        Education to London University Knowledge Lab.
        New collaboration with DIFN (Development Impact For
        Nigeria) in Lagos, where Bode Omokaro is in discussion
        with ten local schools about presenting TT. Given the lack
        of computers at his training centre he plans to start with
        the 'No-Computer Computer Course' (NC3). If anyone can
        help with the provision of one or more laptops for the
        training then Bode would also include the 'Hands-on
        Computers' practical sessions.


        2. Cawdnet Campus
        This is our new "virtual campus" on the Internet. There
        is much going on behind the scenes. Expect to see
        evidence there of activity from various Special Interest
        Groups (SIGs)as time goes by.


        3. Barefoot Power
        This is a domestic solar project involving collaboration
        with Stewart Craine of Barefoot Power and Fantsuam Foundation.


        4. Health Workers Special Interest Group
        A warm welcome to Professor Dick Heller who is leading
        this new group at Cawdnet Campus


        5. People's University
        This is an online discussion group with innovative ideas
        about distance education. The present focus is on health
        - the discussions opened on Monday 31st October 2006.


        6. Global Learn Day 10
        This is an annual event, this year (8th October) there was
        input from Cawdnet - http://bfranklin.edu/gld/


        7. Meet Andrius Kulikauskas
        Andrius and Pam met earlier this year. His network Minciu
        Sodas laboratory http://www.ms.lt/ and Cawdnet are coming
        together through a yahoo group called "Learning From Each


        8. IICD Trainers Workshop
        In July (18th - 22nd) 2006 Pam attended this workshop in
        Zambia in her role as a trainer for Fantsuam Foundation.


        9. Ago-Are InfoCentre
        Lots to update people about, including the COL/IITA/OCDN
        project - and the launch of schools and teachers online clubs.


        10. News from Victoria Adetona in Okeho
        Cawdnet helped Victoria's micro-credit organisation Rural
        People Development Initiative (previously known as RUSEL)
        to get a laptop from the World Bank - which also helped
        youth in Okeho to get computer training.
        Victoria also recently became vice president of the Okeho
        chapter of the Nigerian NCWS - National Council of Women's
        Societies - a women's empowerment group.


        11. Iseyin
        Presentation of two CD-ROMS marks the start of what we
        hope will become the Iseyin digital-library/book-printing
        project - but a better printer will be needed if this is
        to become a reality.


        12. David Mutua
        Update from David Mutua in Kenya


        13. Ibadan University
        New links between Ibadan University Department of Distance
        Learning and the Ago-Are InfoCentre.


        14. Football Tournament
        Presentation of trophies and team vests in Ago-Are, Iseyin
        and Okeho.


        15. Summary
        The Newsletter is in need of guest editors - anyone
        interested in exploring what would be involved please
        contact pam@... or lorraine@.... Meanwhile this
        edition gives some key points of what is going on.


        This newsletter is being sent to you because according to
        our records you have expressed an interest in our work and
        consented to receive these emails.

        CAWD is a UK Registered Charity (number 1104228).

        CAWDNET-News mailing list
      • Pamela McLean
        Andrius said to me: I m just wondering if you might write about your direction, what you care about, what s on your mind. I need that invitation. I need to
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 10, 2006
          Andrius said to me: I'm just wondering if you might write about your
          direction, what you care about, what's on your mind.

          I need that invitation. I need to gather my thoughts. As usual when I
          come home from Nigeria I feel a bit disorientated.- it is a kind of
          reverse culture shock.. I think I adapt more quickly to my situation
          in Nigeria than I do to coming back home again - things like the lack of
          water and electricity - the pressure of intrusions into "my personal
          space", the bad roads and chaotic, anarchic traffic systems, living with
          more natural rhythms - waking at cock-crow - rising around dawn, going
          to bed fairly early (because the hurricane lamp or candles give little
          light) etc. Then I leave my friends still struggling with those everyday
          problems, and I come home to life as it is over here - flushing drinking
          water down the toilet, hardly aware of dawn or dusk, switching on lights
          as soon as it gets a bit gloomy - and of course using the Internet as
          effortlessly and I turn on a tap. And there is no more of the endless
          quizzing about how everyone slept, how everyone is in their health, how
          everyone's family is and so on. All those greetings can get a bit much
          - but I kind of miss them when they are gone.

          So - I was asked about direction.. I often say that I more or less know
          where I am trying to get to - but that getting there is rather like
          tacking across the wind.- something which can look, to casual
          spectators, like complete changes of direction, not purposeful progress.
          Every time I come back from a "reality check" visit it's like the wind
          and currents have changed and I have to get my bearings again and reset
          the course.

          So - I'll just touch on a few of the people and places and what I want
          to help to happen next. I won't try to explain how and why - or how come
          we are at this particular point. It would be too complicated. I can
          fill in such details later if anyone needs them in order to act.

          Bode - helping him with TT. I need to keep in contact with him now, so
          that he continues to develop his own positive experience of being part
          of an online community. He was very impressed when we were at the cyber
          cafe together and I was able to introduce him to Lorraine for a chat,
          and she was helping him to find web links that he needed. . Previously
          he had only seen chat used by other people at the cyber cafe for
          trivial purposes. usually involving a lot of lies and trying to impress
          people. He was delighted to discover it could be used usefully.

          It would be good if we could present a TT course together - or at least
          go over things in more detail together before he has a go on his own.
          I'm trying to get all the resources that I gave him easily available at
          Cawdnet Campus - with a view to sharing them with others too, and also
          gradually improving them. At present they are just as I used them myself
          when I was training teachers. I'd really like to do additional notes
          that would make the resources more useful to other trainers who have not
          been involved in their development.

          Bode is only going to do the "No-Computer Computer Course" part of
          Teachers Talking with his teachers at first, because he hasn't got any
          computers at his office/training centre.. He's hoping I might be able to
          get him a a second hand laptop from somewhere so he can also do some of
          the Hands-On Computers practical work. As far as TT-Online goes,
          anything he does of that will have to be at the cyber cafe.- so it is
          only likely to be possible for the most enthusiastic, because of the cost.

          I'm glad Bode and my OCDN friends are getting to know each other and are
          interested in how they might work together. Chief Adejumo (chairman of
          OCDN) has a long time concern with tackling corruption in local
          government. He was particularly interested to hear about some training
          that Bode is doing with various church groups, in the Lagos area, to
          help people be more aware of how local government should work, and about
          issues of accountability.

          I'll write about other people and places later.

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