We have been using the ICT tools so in so many ways, for so long, we
often wonder how come more people do not see the advantages and good
uses of these wonderful tools! Everything we have accomplished has
been thanks to the use of ICT.
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From: forming a virtual organization that up to date has helped more
than 10,000 children learn about computers. (Our Quipunet page section
"Embrace a school" was hacked recently and so far we have been unable to
get it back - due to lack of funds) Under that project, we are now
working (with a lot of success) forming rural libraries (with real
books) adding to the computers, and educational CDs that were donated to
some of the schools. A library in Huancayo was the first. Managed by
religious sisters and located in the outskirts of Huancayo. Then Ada
Hoffman, one of our volunteers, started a library in Chalhuahuacho (a
VERY rural town in Peru). She even paid for the training of a librarian
and made arrangements with the Municipality of Chalhuahuacho. Now, this
library, is open to the public and the kindergarten kids in the
mornings, and afternoos is open for all school kids. Weekends they are
open for the neighboring towns. The news we receive all the time are a
joy to behold. "Pastorcitos" (shepherd kids) are taking turns among
them so one of them can have more time to go to the library! The
coordination of this project was done all by e-mail. One of the most
exciting news was the teleconference that was presented from
Chalhuahuacho by the Farmers' Congress! The beaming smiles of the
farmers of Chalhuahuacho was described by Ada, who also mentioned she
was "Chinita" (chinese) with her smiles. Two more groups from the
Embrace a School project have been collecting funds and are already
planning two more rural libraries in places as rural (and forgotten) as
Chalhuahuacho. The money has been sent to Manto Parpay and to
Vilcabamba, two places in Cusco.

Other uses of ICT tools:
 
We are still working for ITC (International Trade Center) presenting
electronic forums to developing countries using low-key approaches. ITC
is happy because these forums are very economical and because they are
giving the desired result.

Last year we presented a virtual seminar featuring the Ashaninka from
Marankieri Bajo. It was a success and people are requesting another
one. We are not sure if we will present another one or not. If we do,
we'll include the comments from the Muckleshoot (Students from the
Indian tribe that visited Peru and that are working now on their own
project: "Village to Village"). The seminar was unique because several
of the Ashaninka presenters had to travel about 40 minutes from their
jungle town to the nearest town just to be able to use computers. Quite
an experience!
  
And last but not least. We are working with the Latino communities in
the State of Washington introducing the tools of ICT. Our project:
"Empowering Communities through the use of ICT tools" is using the
concept that each community can learn the tools, and can contribute
their own experiences, lessons, knowledge, information, etc with other
communities. We are using participatory programs to accomplish this. 
And the first "pilot" community we chose for this project is already
showing this concept works! The page of : www.aipeuc-ps.org is all in
Spanish but maybe you can see how it is working. With only 6 months of
existence we are attracting young volunteers as contributors, and
everyday more and more people are visiting our pages. BTW, Aipeuc-ps
stands for: Association of Peruvian Institutes in USA and Canada- Puget
Sound (We are a chapter of the national AIPEUC with more than 140
organizations. Soon we'll have the "Comunidades Latinas del North
West" a bare bones web page that will grow as the "pilot" web site is
growing. We need sponsors to keep on. But we'll get there.


Martha Davies


  

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