About Boukary Konaté

Teacher, blogger, and translator in English, French and Bambara at www.fasokan.com, webmaster, trainer in blogging and social networks, and promotor of the Internet in rural settings. On twitter @fakosan.

Internet experimented in villages near the river Niger

A teacher explaining a lesson through research on Internet

One of the mains objectives of Segou Villages Connection Project is to connect the villages of the Segou region with Bamako, the capital of Mali. The partnership with the Niger/ Loire project of UNESCO provided an opportunity to bring Internet in 8 villages near the river Niger: Sékoro, Segou, Markala, Kokiribozo, Macina, Ouromodi, Diafarabé and Mopti.

Internet training in rural school in Markala

The schools pupils of these areas have been lucky, to discover the first notions of the Internet in their classrooms. Beyond the discovery of the role that Internet can play in the school life of children, we also realized that, in these isolated parts of Mali that the Internet can be a mean of information and allow the populations to express themselves, to share their lifestyles and to exchange experiences with others on-line.

A warm welcome by the local authorities in Ouromody

As in other villages, during a warm welcome ceremony organized by the local authorities, the mayor, a teacher and the chief of the village of Ouromodi – a retired experienced teacher – did not hide their enjoyment and stressed the necessity to have at their disposal tools allowing them to be connected to the rest of the country and the world, like Internet.
“We do not know it, but we heard about the Internet and its roles in various domains. We find it a convenient tool to open up our villages along the river “, said the village chief
With the Mobile Internet solution, the training session in the different villages (see pictures here) went very well.
For more information, please read these posts published during this tour of villages:

Learning african languages online

To teach African languages must not be limited today only in the classrooms, in alphabetization centers and under Sheds. They must drill walls, cross boarders to  be accessible to everybody all over the world. This is the africantongues project’s main objective to give opportunity and chance to everyone to learn African languages in writing and audios without a great need of the teacher’s physical presence to be competent and performed in writing and reading  languages that can also play their roles in the multilingualism, culture and experience sharing and the globalization.

It is only necessary to speak English and\or French, so, you are able to learn online, in writing and by audio, some African languages on the platform of africantongues.

You can find words, phrases and sentences in these languages, also translated in English and/or French.  To listen the pronunciation by audio, you have to click on play only. So, you will not only know how to write, but also how to pronounce the words, phrases and sentences in African languages.

Interested in learning some african languages, click on this link ce lien or follow @fasokan to learn bambara language, the most spoken language in Mali, Josephine Lukom to learn Luganda language and @kafic to learn Twi language, a Ghanaian language. The project always in building, will give real satisfaction to all who are interested to learn our languages.

The platform concerns also, all who can read and write their mother tongue and/or other African languages and like to promote and develop them online. If you are in this group, please, join us on africantongues to permit to your languages to be learnt outside boarders.

For that, follow @africantongues, @socialistr @kofic, @fasokan, for details.

Technology in the village: A radio station created in the village with mp3 and memory card

Here is an innovation technology which allows the villagers to get in distance on FM, the music that a neighbor is playing on memory card.

How is it made?

We insert in an MP3, a memory card containing pieces of music and we check the pieces of music on the card as we check FM radios frequencies.

Once the music got on the card by the radio well, the neighbors can listen the same pieces of music with in distance their radios even small.

Due to the lack of electricity in villages, the MP3 and the radio are connected to a battery.

I would like to develop that system in some Ségou village for some different purposes:

- Inform and make sensitive the rural people on the advantages of sending children to school, especially, girls

- Inform the rural populations about the contagious diseases and about their dangers on the society

- Record the African traditional songs which are of disappearing and make them listen to young generations

- Record tales, proverbs and stories of the village for the young generations

- Create songs tales competitions between small children of the villages, record and plays these songs tales in the village. The winners will get gifts for their works.

- The initiative is here, but needs some means to realize it:

-  Solar panel as source of electricity

-  A battery

- A big tape recorder

- A MP3

- And memory cards




Learning to use cameras

Yesterday, after much time of learning computer, sms and Internet in cybercafé center, the participants and I went to walk near the river Niger in Dioro. It was about to go to learn how to use cameras to make pictures and videos.

In villages, we always see this small device with tourists and projects people but, more people don’t know how to use it even if we always have curiosity to touch it. One of the purposes of this training is to teach to participants how to make photos and videos and use them in posts on blogs.

Each participant, with a camera, discovered the manner we use it. Every one made photos. When we have been back to the cybercafé center, they learnt how to transfer photos from cameras to computer, how to modify them and send them as files by mail to some others. They also learnt how to use pictures into post in blogs.


The participants use sms, word and twitter

Together with all the learners, we find a simple and fast manner to send information from villages through sms. The learners also learnt how to write posts on word for those who have access to Internet connection in their services or cybercafés. To send informations en pictures through Internet, we create count mails for all the participants so that since Ségou and surrounding villages, some can use sms and some can use Internet.

As twitter is very important in share instant informations, in getting contact with people all over the world, we create twitter account for some participants. You can follow them here: @fasokan, @alassanD, @ycoulibaly, @hamidoud111, @dembloumar, @diarraseydou, @Dtraore, @kassoumD

As we work on Internet connection key USB, we have been obliged to divide participants in for group of work around for computers with for key USB connection. Each group is leaded by a participant who has got a better level than the others.

I would like you to follow us and participate to our events through these counts.

Internet and sms formation in Dioro village

Today, the 18th of June, the Ségou villages connection project members in a very old mammywagon went toward Dioro by a very bumpy road. We were 6 persons from Ségou, Cinzana  and Zambougou with our luggage because we will take much time there: about 8 days.

Dioro is a rural village far of 70 km from the town of Ségou. We arrived in Dioro at about 9. After getting contact with some villagers who conducted us to see the local authorities, we begin things in a cybercafé we found in that village and on Internet mobile we carried with us: a panel solar, a battery, two computers, four Internet connection keys USB and some digital camera devices.

After explaining the aims of segou villages connection through Ségouinfos, more people appreciated the initiative and took part to the formation. Some learners laready knew a little how to use computer but, didn’t know how to use internet for their needs.

Today’s formation has been to teach people how to write posts, how to take picture and videos and how to publish posts on blogs. You will find all these post written by leaners on Segouinfos tomorrow.

We also create a count mail for every learners and teach them how to do that.

Some other people joined us this afternoon to ask if they can participate to that formation they find very interesting. According to them, they like working on Internet but, they don’t know how and that will be an occasion for them to discover Internet a lot and share infos with other through sms.

We are very happy for having chosen that village because we have been very welcome by people.

A new member's formation in Segou

Alassane Keita, a teacher in Ségou, a courageous boy, is interest in working in Segou villages Connection Project to cover the events of Segou city and surrounding villages in images, videos and comments and send them to the blog administrator.    He followed with me training in Internet to become a member of the project.

So, last Friday, the 20th of May 20011, Alassane went to Balabougou with Oumar Dembélé a participant to the in Cinzana-Gare, to make the pictures of a goat that gave life to five kids and send it to me by mail. (Post in French)

SMS infos

Few days after the training in Internet and sending of information by SMS, the participants began to send us informations. Here are some of these informations which are different from those that we daily read on Web:

Seydou, a teacher of Ngakoro in the commune of Cinzana-Gare asks us this question:

“Can the solar energy replace the wood for the kitchen to avoid the deforestation?”

“L’énergie solaire peut-elle remplacer le bois pour la cuisine afin d’éviter la déforestation ? » (Seydou's SMS in french)

Issa, a teacher of Kolonkolona, in the commune of Cinzana-Gare telles us about  the collective hunting organized by the young people of Béléko, Region of Koulikoro, the May of every year:

“In Fougadougou, a village in the commune of Béléko, Region of Koulikoro, every midday in may, the young people of the village go to hunt with dogs. In the afternoon, they come back with more meat and share.   It’s a good moment in the village.”

“A Fougadougou, un village de la commune de Béléko, Région de Koulikoro, tous les mois de mai, les jeunes partent chaque jour à la chasse collective à partir de midi avec des chiens. Ils reviennent le soir avec beaucoup de viandes qu’ils se partagent. C’est un bon moment dans le village.” (Issa's SMS in french)

Hamidou, a teacher of Ngakoro, announces us here the difficulties of having the telephone network in that village:

“If you need to join us in Ngakoro by telephone, be patient, insist on the call because we haven’t our telephones with us everywhere. The difficulties of having the network in the village obliges us to suspend telephones on trees and on wild. When the telephone rings, we come to listen. We hope the phone operators help us to resolve this problem quickly.”

« Si vous avez besoin de nous joindre  à Ngakoro par téléphone, soyez patients, insistez sur l’appel parce que nous n’avons pas nos téléphones avec nous partout. Les difficultés d’avoir le réseau ici au village nous oblige à suspendre les téléphones sur les arbres et sur les hagards. Une fois que le téléphone sonne, nous venons à l’écoute. Nous espérons que les opérateurs téléphoniques nous viennent rapidement en aide pour résoudre ce problème.»

A question from France for the old men of the village is a message which is a part of the objectives of the project: open a space which allows people of various culture to ask questions and exchange on themes of culture:

” Today, I saw a wounded grass-snake on the road. I wondered if in the bambara culture, the snakes, or meeting a snake, had a meaning or was a forerunner “.

“Aujourd’hui, j’ai vu une couleuvre blessée sur la route. Je me demandais si dans la culture bambara, les serpents, ou rencontrer un serpent, avait une signification ou était un présage”. (The author's message in french).

You will follow more infos like that from the villages on a future blog soon.