Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Anan warns of the danger of excluding poor rural communities from the Internet:
“People lack many things: jobs, shelter, food, healthcare and drinkable water. Today, being cut off from basic telecommunications services is a hardship almost as acute as these other deprivations, and may, indeed reduce the chances of finding remedies to them.”
With this in mind Project FOCUS works with local organizations in rural Southwest Uganda to launch an Internet Café, providing access to information and communication previously unavailable to residents of the region. The Café will also provide technology skills training, a revenue source for a local community-run primary school, and allocate space and tools for the production of creative multi-media projects.
Web access provides communities with the opportunity to improve social welfare, and claim their voice in the global conversation on strategies for rural development. With this service, the local populace will benefit from direct links to job, educational, weather, and health information, as well as more efficient markets for produce and products.
The community Internet café will be administered by I.T. trained staff members from the local partner organization ICOD (Integrated Community Efforts for Development), and will provide technology skills training, a revenue source for a local community-run primary school, and the space and tools for the production of creative multi-media projects. Groups of local teachers, farmers, and healthcare workers in Lyantonde will be connected with respective groups in the U.S., the latter assisting the former in utilizing best-practices while searching the web for relevant materials and networks.
For this project $25.000 is needed. More at the Project FOCUS microsite.