Social integration through ICTs

14 February 2005

CyberVolunteers Program taking off

Our CyberVolunteers Program is well and truly taking off. Our fundraising dinner in January was attended by more than 60 friends and members of ICV. While the benefits are not quite enough to cover the costs of an international cyber-volunteer, they did help us launch the Program in Mali, Congo-Brazzaville and Uganda. Marouen Mraihi, cyber-volunteer from Tunisia, is finishing up the first project, a portal for Malian Municipalities, with a Malian team, and a locally based US cyber-volunteer graphic designer, but living in Mali, who is working on the design of the site. Marouen is doing fine.

Capacity building for women in Congo-Brazzaville

In Congo-Brazzaville, Azur Développement, partner organization and representative of ICV in Congo, is in the process of launching a multimedia center. International and national cyber-volunteers are preparing to support the activities of the center, focusing on information and communication technology (ICT) training for women. This will provide them with the tools they need to enter active life and entrepreneurship.

This seems particularly necessary in Congo-Brazzaville, a country emerging from several years of armed conflict. According to the UNDP Development Report, the average revenue for women is significantly lower than that of men. We had the opportunity to meet H.E. Ms. Leckomba Loumeto, Minister for the Promotion of Women and the Integration of Women into Development in Congo, who told us that equality of salaries between identical positions is in fact foreseen in the country's constitution. However, she underlined that the disparities are mostly due to more severe poverty of women. In order to address this challenge, the Ministry has launched a micro-credit project for women-entrepreneurs. In this way, Congo-Brazzaville following the example of other countries, where such projects have experienced great success.

While ICV' cyber-volunteers especially focus on developing Azur's multimedia center, they also interact with other actors, including the Ministry of the Promotion of Women and particularly its "Maison de la femme", a documentation center aimed at women who wish to learn more about their rights, and to read other documents not affordable and / or obtainable elsewhere.
From 17 to 18 May 2005, ICVolunteers contributed to a symposium organized by Azur Développement in Brazzaville, on the theme of research and ICTs for development. Approximately 80 students, representatives from associations and governments participated in the meeting. Viola Krebs, ICVolunteers' Director, gave a seminar on research tools on the Internet. In addition, her presence at the Symposium was an occasion to launch the working group on "volunteerism, youth and ICTs" in Congo, whose mission it is to prepare a report and recommendations related to volunteerism and ICTs in view of the Tunis event of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held in November 2005 (www.itu.int/wsis).

Mali: Shindouk, Touareg from the region of Timbuktu publishes journal

Shindouk, the main character of the documentary realized by ICV and CERN in 2003, just finished writing a travel journal entitled 'The West through the eyes of a Touareg.' The nomad, leader of a tribe of 1,500 persons in the region of Timbuktu, describes his recent and first ever trip to Europe from Timbuktu to Geneva, where he attended the Cyber festival, organized on the occasion of WSIS. Since then, Shindouk has become the first nomad cyber-volunteer. We are currently looking for funds to print his story in book form.

On 24 March 2005, ICVolunteers organized a meeting in Bamako, to launch the national working group on "volunteerism, youth and ICTs." The meeting brought together some 50 organizations, as well as government and UN representatives. It was made possible thanks to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Communications and New Information Technologies. In Mali, the meeting was opened by H.E. Mr. Adama Samassékou, President of the PrepCom of the Geneva phase of the WSIS, followed by speeches by the Tunisian Ambassador to Mali and representatives from the two Ministries. The aim of the working group is to prepare a national report for Mali on the topic, outlining what volunteers do in the country, as well as to bring forward specific recommendations for the years to come.

Partnerships with Universities in Senegal

ICVolunteers has started to work with the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and the 'Centre de formation supérieure' (CESAG) which trains students for the sub-region and has an international reputation for business studies. The aim of these partnerships is to allow students to participate as cyber-volunteers in different projects, be it during or after their studies. This is especially the case for both projects in the sub-region and at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Reserach) in Geneva and neighboring France. (VK)

ICV launches the website of CyberVolunteers

ICVolunteers proudly presents its new web site for the Cyber-Volunteers Program, designed as a volunteer contribution by Jim Rudolf (SoftWares) and Randy Schmieder (MCART), both members of the CyberVolunteers Program Technical Committee. The web site contains information about the Program, work in progress and plans for the future. Just have a look at < http://cyber.icvolunteers.org!

Merci

Nous tenons à remercier:

Tous les participants et toutes les personnes qui ont soutenu notre dîner de recherche de fonds du mois de janvier

  • L'INTIF pour son soutien financier
  • La Coopération française pour son soutien financier
  • World Radio Geneva, qui nous a offert sept écrans d'ordinateurs
  • CISCO pour des écrans
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