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REPACTED: Challenging the digital divide

In our last update on the Rising Voices grantee REPACTED of Kenya we informed that eighteen vibrant youths participated in the blogging lessons.

We are glad to announce that twelve new blogs were opened by the participants. Most of them had short introductory posts like James Karongo introduced himself as a young hardworking gentlemen while Mashale wrote a short poem.

These posts appeared several weeks ago and you must be wondering why they are not being updated. In a report to Rising Voices Dennis Kimambo states the challenge the REPACTED members face:

“At first we could not afford Internet because of the cost of the Internet connection, but with the competition in the mobile phone business in the country quite affordable modems are available in the market. The only challenge is how to maintain the monthly fee for internet connection. 
 
For the internet connection we face a serious challenge because the modem takes one computer at a time. We are working on how to network the modem to serve more than two computers, but the service provider Zain say that it can not take more than two computers. We are also paying 50 USD per month, maintaining the cost may force the community to pay some small money. The only problem is that we recruited from the slums where life is below 1 dollar a day.

We also need about six computers so as to satisfy all the new bloggers before the spirit of blogging goes down.”

But there is much potential among these bloggers. Read what Ong`eng`e wrote about Tribalism destroying the national unity:

No one chose or applied to be born into a specific tribe. It all happened as God chose it to be….when will ‘TRIBALISM’ ever end in Kenya? This is the question that troubles and linger the air around every mind of a Kenyan citizen…

It is so painful to walk into an office only to be asked what tribe you belong to. In schools and colleges, the level of interaction and socialization has been reduced, leaving many feeling alienated from the world. I have seen experienced employees go without jobs, long time friend break up and neighbours and friends turn against one other as lives are brutally extinguished by tribalism.

[…]

We should wake up, set our differences aside and work to build a united nation.

Meanwhile Collins Dennis Oduor posted about two magnet theater outreach efforts in Hilton and in Nakuru women prison.

You might be interested to watch the video of the performances. Dennis also reports:

“The members of the organization who are theatre practitioners in the community enjoy the project because they are using the equipments to capture photos during the community theatre outreaches. They have also done enough community theatre outreach videos the only challenge is how to blog the videos because it takes very log to upload a video clip here due to the slow internet connection.”

So it is evident that access to Internet is a challenge and I hope they will be able to overcome this problem soon. Those who are interested to help this project can come forward to help them sustain their costly internet connection or donating more mobile modems and computers.

Thumbnail Image: Ong`eng`e

6 comments

  • I see we have the same problem in Uganda
    our kids would love to blog
    now that we have Tought them some computer skills but the internet cost are too high

  • I think this topic of lack of adequate internet access in East Africa is coming to a head soon. It’s not that it’s impossible to build out high speed access, it’s just that our governments are being run by idiots.

    And that’s putting it nicely.

    I’ve learned quite a bit about problems and possibility that lie ahead in alleviating this problem in my article on Project Diaspora (http://projectdiaspora.org/690)

    Tribalism, Nationalism, “Corporatism” are killing innovation in East Africa. Development in ICT is dead on arrival if we can’t get the government fat cats to work together and see the broader picture.

    The only people losing out are us!

  • Rezwan

    Thanks Teddy for the link and your comment. We are very much interested to read your take on the issue and would like to amplify so that these are heard by the right persons who can induce the change.

  • […] et pourquoi pas chercher a savoir….ce qui se passe de spectaculaire du côté du Kenya.Encore une fois, les faiseurs de miracles assurent comme pas possible et nous épatent dans […]

  • […] communities of the world. Here, Rezwan writes about the internet connectivity problems facing REPACTED bloggers in Kenya, the explosive energy of young bloggers in La Loma, Colombia, and shares the beautiful photos taken […]

  • As kenya is embracing the digital devide and oppotunities .There is need for us to appreciate our different cultural divasity as a nation.This will com a long way in fostering development,cultivate a sence of identity and above all reduce HIV prevelence among us.What do you think?

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