Stories from September, 2009
Sept, 27th marked the end of a busy week-long journey for Malagasy blogger and Foko coordinator Stephane, a.k.a pakysse. Stephane took off from Antananarivo, Madagascar on the 21st and landed in JFK, NYC on the 22nd for the Climate Change Conference in New York City at the United Nations Headquarters and the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh.
A number of workshops were held by the Rising Voices grantee Nomad Green in September 2009. Thanks to the passionate translators like Azaa, Ariungerel, Tungaa, and Odnoo, many articles have already been translated from Mongolian into English and was featured in the Nomad Green site.
It is always easier to criticize than to get involved and one of the criticisms we hear most often at Rising Voices is that helping under-represented communities join the online global conversation will inevitably lead to their westernization. Álvaro Ramírez and Diego Gomez, co-founders of the HiperBarrio project, addressed this question while they were in Austria to pick up their Golden Nica award.
Two members of Foko Madagascar were recently invited to major international summits to represent their country and community in discussions about development, climate change, and poverty.
The day after Pablo Flores gave his presentation at the Ars Electronica Symposium about cloud technologies and education we were able to sit down with him for a few minutes to find out more about his projects and his current year-long sabbatical in which he will be visiting OLPC projects around the world and creating a multimedia website which compares his observations from one to one computing programs in different countries.
Pavel Kutsev, leader of the organization Drop-In Center, points out how the selection of patients for substitution therapy programs in Ukraine is flawed, and calls on the authorities and the harm reduction community to improve it.
It was a busy weekend for three Rising Voices grantee projects as representatives from Blogging Since Infancy, Voces Bolivianas, Abidjan Blog Camps, and HiperBarrio all spoke about their projects at major international conferences.
Dennis Kimambo, the co-founder of the Rising Voices grantee Repacted was featured recently in the BBC pods and blogs podcast. In this interview Dennis talked about training local communities to blog and how this helps the communities to tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Pablo Flores from Plan Ceibal, Uruguay's One Laptop Per Chile project, and Blogging Since Infancy presented at this year's Ars Electronica Symposium on Cloud Intelligence. Pablo asked the audience to consider how those who have the most to gain can benefit from the information amassing online. The value of intelligence, after all, is in solving problems facing society. Flores points to housing, nutrition, and education as three major social issues which can be improved with more access to better information. In order to bring intelligence and information from the cloud to everyday citizens in Uruguay, for example, they need a network of connectivity and devices.
HiperBarrio was represented at Ars Electronica by Álvaro Ramirez, Gabriel Jaime Vanegas, and Diego Gomez. Álvaro's presentation introduced the history and evolution of HiperBarrio and how the group of young bloggers and citizen journalists in San Javier La Loma have managed to maintain a sense of community while still introducing new members to remain open and inclusive.
In June we reported that HiperBarrio had won the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica awards in the Digital Communities category and with it a 10,000 euro prize. Last Week HiperBarrio members Gabriel Jaime Vanegas Montoya and professor Alvaro Ramirez Ospina were in Linz, Austria to receive the prize.
Pavel Kutsev, leader of the Ukrainian harm reduction movement and director of Drop-In Center, blogs about a new HIV/AIDS awareness program launched by his organization. These awareness displays will be placed in pharmacies frequented by drug users.