Our initiative, Project Hello World, provides Internet access and educational opportunities to remote villages in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our projects respond to the needs of the communities, and are run by the communities.
There is a wealth of online learning material, which can be used by children and adults to develop skills and acquire knowledge. We link communities to the resources of the Internet, so the capabilities of each Hello Hub are limitless. In this simple way communities can begin to overcome some of the disadvantages of isolation and limited resources. The benefits are both individual and societal, not only allowing access to information in every sphere of life, but enabling communities to link with each other and the best of the world. The Hello World model is freely available to any community who wishes to use it, and the software may be customised to teachers and students to meet their needs.
In regions of political turmoil, a culture has a better chance of survival if it is documented. Hello Hubs provide the means to do this and also to speak out and be heard by the rest of the world. This is an invaluable means of fighting tyranny, and of giving some power to the powerless. Those who have been dispossessed and alienated due to conflict or natural disasters can reconnect with family members, and obtain relief information or alerts.
While the technical accomplishment of bringing Internet access to a remote rural community in Africa is important, it is just the beginning. Hello World fosters radio stations and local journalism, and provides reference tools, business opportunities, and more. Our Hubs provide local producers with the means to bypass price-fixing at markets, advertise, and find new suppliers. Because of the essential and pivotal role the Hubs play in the communities, our experience is that they remain well maintained, without being vandalised.
The success of the Hello Hubs in some of the most disadvantaged communities on Earth is a demonstration of how powerful collaborative community work can be. Project Hello World is about connecting people, ending isolation, enriching communities and aiding them in establishing autonomy.
Written by: Katrin Macmillan