Lively and reflective UK-Nigeria meeting

“Lively and reflective” was one description given to this week’s UK-Nigeria online meeting.

Lively because it was a sharing of information and of each others learning journey’s, and reflective as this was the first opportunity that the team had had to e-meet since the online celebrations of Dadamac Day . Additional feedback from the team summed up the overall consensus of this Day:
“ Dadamac Day, re-emphasised how much of a global community we are”.

“Yes,I thought the Dadamac Day was brilliant. So much information and sharing in a small space of time over thousands of miles”

Dadamac Day was “held” online from the Knowledge Resource Centre at Fantsuam Foundation in rural Nigeria. The KRC is the virtual and physical home of Dadamac in Nigeria. It is also where the local community at Fantsuam can connect with the International community. This is all made possible by the Internet connection provided by Zitnett- an amazing on- going success story in its own right.

Ladi, The KRC Administrator, went on to explain that “ The KRC supports programs in FF by providing the necessary resources that will help them. We support the Academy by managing the e-learning content and the Sickle Cell laboratory will be for people to carry out their practical research while [the] KRC helps them with a place for theory”.

The Sickle Cell Laboratory that Ladi mentioned is an exciting new development in John Dada’s and Fantsuam’s battle against the disease. It is currently being built and John hopes that the building will be “presentable” sometime this week. This is a ground breaking initiative as I understand that Lagos is the nearest similar laboratory ( a fact I remember hearing recently but will need to confirm the source of this). However, I do know that this rural community does not wait for the International Community to come to its aid ( although help and funds are always much appreciated and used effectively!) it leads the way forward everyday in its holistic and integrated approach to development. The fact that John and his team have successfully screened over 5000 local children for Sickle Cell Disease in a matter of months is just one example of this.

At this week’s meeting an example of the importance of the KRC was illustrated by the fact that Chollom who is now the Dadamac Twitter Ambassador , credited Dadamac as his teacher in this skill saying “It may interest you to know that I learnt and started using twitter through dadamac”
Kelechi added that flickr and drupal were also introduced to FF by Dadamac and went on to say “I must admit , through collaboration with Dadamac, I really got to expand my grip of open source technologies.”

This is why the KRC is so important as it is here that informal learning continues: The vision being that in time this will also grow into more formal Graduate and Post Graduate learning.

Ladi comment that the“ KRC support self directed learning, students do more of the work” is very true as it is the quality and the dedication of the Fantsuam staff who once told about new software/opportunities then go away and work either on their own or together to master the skills they wish to acquire. As Kelechi told the team” this is one of the benefits of the KRC too, we have human resources who are always available to provide learning support”.

Pamela Mclean
best summed up the KRC and self directed learning when she said “ that is what Dadamac and KRC is all about meeting people and learning.......learning in a fun way”.

In brief other matters discussed:

Microfinace: Gayl, the VSO volunteer, is leaving in December but structures in place to continue to build on her legacy. The Mifos team has now entered most of the relevant data. More computers for the MF section needed although the field officers are able to refer to the data.
Cisco webex and holding a video conference plus the bandwidth issue discussed
Zittnet: The railway corporation in contact about getting connected to Zittnet.
 Appropedia: Learning about appropriate power at the KRC. Looking at what information is wanted by FF.