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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The real story involves anti-social entrepreneurs and anthropology.

People often ask me 2 questions.  How did I end up spending the 90s in El Salvador and how did I get into NGO work?  I usually give the 140 character verbal version. But the turning point was 20 years ago this week. So here is the longer story.  continue reading....

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It's not a black and white photo

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mobiles to teach real-world statistics?

Saturday, was the last day of the 2-week Youth Empowerment through Arts and Media (YETAM) workshop with the youth.  Each of the sub-groups had the task of prioritizing 2-3 areas that they wanted to focus on over the next 6 months and developing a basic plan. Continue reading....

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On Girls and ICTs
Putting Cumbana on the Map

Monday, November 23, 2009

Being a Girl in Cumbana

Sometimes being a girl is no piece of cake.  For the Youth Empowerment through Arts and Media (YETAM) workshop we hoped to have 50% girls participating, and we ended up with about 15 girls and 40 boys.  The boys raised this on the 3rd day of the workshop (through no prompting by the facilitators).  "Why aren't there more girls here? And the girls who are here, they never talk, they just sit there.” “They don’t have the ambition or the drive to improve themselves so they don’t even come to workshops like this when they have the opportunity”. Continue reading....

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On Girls and ICTs
An example of youth led community change in Mali
Breaking it down: Violence against Children
Stories that touch the heart



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Putting Cumbana on the Map--with Ethics

We've completed our first week of arts and media training with around 55 youth in Cumbana, a coastal community some 450 kms north of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.  If you ever tried to Google Cumbana, you’d find information about a photographer with the same last name or links to tourist hotels at the nearby beaches in Maxixe or Inhambane, and not much else.  We actually did this as part of our Tuesday session on Internet with the youth.  Googling New York was another story.  But why?  Continue reading....

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On Girls and ICTs
Being a Girl in Cumbana
Is this map better than that map?


Sunday, November 8, 2009

It's a light, it's a bag, it's a charger! It's FLAP!

When I was at PopTech in October, I saw the solar FLAP (Flexible Light and Power) bag, a joint project of Portable Light, Timbuk2, and PopTech.  It seemed like something that could help make mobiles in program work more feasible for staff, community volunteers, or community health workers. One of the main challenges we find in our work is lack of electricity, to charge phones among other uses. Continue reading....

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FLAP power for the basics: illumination and communication
Pop! Tech:  Oh!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Inhambane: land of palm trees and cellular networks

Landing in Inhambane, Mozambique, the first thing you see is the blue Vodacom sign:  ‘Welcome to Inhambane – a land covered by palm trees and the best cellular network’.  I don't usually believe ads and this time was no exception. But I have to say, it seems to be true. My sim card is actually on mCel, not Vodacom, but the coverage is still damn good.  And the two cell phone companies are everywhere. I’m not sure which I saw more of – yellow Frelimo t-shirts (elections were last week), yellow mCel kiosks or blue Vodacom kiosks.  Continue reading....

Related posts:
Putting Cumbana on the Map