A digital class in Senegal – Intro (part 1)

Djilor - 'skyline'

Djilor – ‘skyline’

Djilor is a small village located in Senegal, in Fatick region, 200 km away from Dakar, near the delta of Sine Saloum.
Even if we can consider 200 km as a short distance from Dakar, there is a huge gap in terms of health and daily life: here malaria is endemic the whole year and a simple diarrhea can cause a serious disease. The only hospital is in poor conditions.
In spite of these problems, telcom technology is widespread: smartphones are very common and mobiles work everywhere. If you talk to teenagers about internet, they immediately ask for a Facebook account. The only internet point is in Fimela, at a walking distance of half an hour, and wifi connection is available only in couple of touristic and expansive lodges.
Fortunately, in one of these lodges, we were able to manage our ‘digital classroom’ with some secondhand laptop donated by an European company.
After a short visit to a local festival, we spent our first day installing software, cleaning virus, resetting keyboards, translating in French, dusting down computers, testing connections … On Sunday night, everything was ready for our first class in Senegal.

… to be continued …

Djilor - main square

Djilor – main square

Setting up computers

Setting up computers

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My social media week … how to raise awareness

I attended only few events of Social Media Week in Rome. Unfortunately.

I mean … less than the number of events I was interested in.

But  I appreciated very much “Social Media & No Profit: not only Social Marketing” conference. I’m really involved in these two topics, but I didnt’ have any direct Italian experience.

I was surprised by discovering that most of  the people that attended the conference, didn’t know the in-depth power of a social media campaign. Barcamps are an unknown practice. In communication field, social media are often used as a showcase, a window … no more.

So, that’s why this conference has represented  a great opportunity, as  we afforded important experiences as a fund-raising project, a no-profit platform and different campaigns.

Please, spend few minutes of your time watching these videos and spread the word!

Fund-raising for Haiti

No-profit and Music 2.0

Yesterday, the Italian blogger Antonio by Il Circolo dei viaggiatori posted a wonderful video about a special project. It was a music performance made by musicians from different part of the world, but they were all playing the same song: “Stand by me”.

The project, called Playing for change, wants to connect the world through the music, by providing resources for music and art.

The foundation mission statement is: “Building and connecting music/art schools around the world”.

The project involves busketers, professional and unprofessional musicians, filmmakers, artists.

The first music school will open at the beginning of 2009, in Gugulethu – South Africa.

Let’s think about the mix of this project: no-profit, traditional media, web 2.0, travel, different cultures.

Don’t you find it really exciting?

Enjoy this video!



An innovative way to help a no-profit project: 24hrsCamp

banneranglesx01In my social media experience, I immediately realized how they can be useful for no-profit organizations or projects.

We can list many reasons: participation, easy access to viral campaign for fundraising, reduced costs, different tools and media for different target, and so on.

These are just some of the benefits a no-profit organization can get from social media.

That’s why I felt so excited when I read about a special event that will be held in Milan next week end: the first 24 hours camp.

What is exactly 24hrsCamp?

The main idea is to create a new ‘format’ in order to overcome the ‘business’ logic and barriers that everybody can find in a company. Finding new methods to do something new and helping people.

For this first event, the goal is to create awareness, collaboration, and debate about maternal child mortality.

Every year more than 500.000 women and 3.5 million of babies die in childbirth.

There are two associations involved in this first project: Terres des hommes and PangeaOnlus.

Another new important element of this event is the mix of different professional skills: project managers, designers, psychologists, journalists, entrepreneurs, marketers will work all together at the same time with the same goal.

Last, but not the least I really like the reasons 24hrsCamp gives to involve people (from 24hrsCamp website):

  1. NUOVE soluzioni, VECCHI problemi
  2. UNA SFIDA CON SE STESSI per CONOSCERE gente interessante
  3. REALIZZERAI un progetto per la comunità

That means:

1. New solutions, old problems

2 .A challenge with themselves to meet new interesting people

3. Create a project for the community

I strongly believe it will be a very successful event!

What do you think about this kind of organization? Do you believe that a 24 hours no-stop Camp could represent an innovative way to manage a project and break old schemas?

Good news from the World!

Chile

Few days ago, Chilean government passed a bill against the whales hunting. It turned its territorial water into a whale sanctuary.

The new law forbids hunting, selling and transportationt of 43 species of cetaceans.

Moreover, it defines new conservation areas and protects the whole whales lifecycle.

Further information:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081015/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_chile_whales_1

Protecting whales around the world:

http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_international/join_campaignsprotecting_whales_around_the_world/index.php

Italy

From october 23rd to 27 will be held in Turin “Terra Madre 2008”, a world meeting of food communities.

Terra Madre (mother land) is a project created by the Italian association Slow Food with the aim of giving voice and visibility to the rural food producers who populate our world, and sustaining their ability to work under the best conditions, for all of our good and for the good of the planet.

The Terra Madre network is made up of all those who wish to act to preserve, encourage, and support sustainable food production methods.

Terra Madre fights against hunger, by defending local cultures and products.

The main projects are about education, biodiversity, and short chain.

Info: www.terramadre.org

Blog Action Day 2008: let’s talk about poverty

Today is the BLOG ACTION DAY against POVERTY. Bloggers everywhere will publish posts that discuss poverty in some way.

It’s really difficult for me to say something original about poverty and its causes.

I can only tell you something about my personal experience and feelings.

I was born in the 60’s and, at that time, poverty was something my parents tried to forget, because it was strictly connected to their childhood during the Second World War. The power of media was so far to be as strong as now and there were just few images about poverty.

The first time I really felt aware and realized how many people are affected by poverty was during my first trip to Africa. Poverty and hunger. Not only children, but also adults.

As citizen, traveller, human being I couldn’t ignore what I saw. It was 1989.

Now it’s quite impossible to figure out how many people in the world live with less than 2 $ a day. The number is increasing every day and poverty is involving also ‘industrialized’ countries.

Globalization, economic crisis, wars, overexploitation, diseases: we can list so many reasons, without find any solution. Poverty is rapidly spreading out.

That’s why we should care about it and fight against poverty also with small, individual actions and behaviours.

Knowledge and awareness can be helpful to balance the huge divide between two parts of the world.

There are many projects against hunger and poverty that need our help. I’d like to suggest you to join one of them, and help people to realize it, by donating and involving friends and other people.

Here, you can find some associations with serious, interesting projects:

http://www.kiva.org

http://sharehlp.org/

http://www.bambinineldeserto.org/ (children in the desert)

http://www.savethechildren.it

http://www.amref.it

Blog Action Day 2008: POVERTY

Blog Action Day 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Hi Readers and Bloggers!

I’ve just found an important opportunity to partecipate to a useful example of viral campaign.

Every year there is a no profit event called ‘Blog Action Day‘, which aim is to create awareness and a global discussion about an important topic, by involving bloggers, podcasters, etc. in the SAME DAY. Last year the topic was the environment. This year is POVERTY.

I believe it is not easy to talk about poverty, but that’s why it’s so important to raise awareness with different opinions and points of view. If you have a blog, if you partecipate on network debates, please don’t forget on OCTOBER 15th to write just some thoughts about poverty.

You can register your blog’s partecipation: http://site.blogactionday.org. Here you can find details and further information.

Spread out the voice!

Here you can watch the video: Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.