Another Wednesday UK-Nigeria online meeting - and once again it delivered real gems of information.
John Dada and his team are always mindful of the need to provide information for the commnunity which they serve in the local language(s). For example, recently sickle cell information was translated from English into Hausa and this process is to be repeated for other educational data. It was therefore very interesting to read John's recent email (shared below), which explains this issue of language in more detail.
At this week's UK-Nigeria online meeting it was fitting that learning at the Knowledge Resource Centre using Zittnet's enabled internet connection was the main focus.
It was decided by the team that the First Thursday " open" meeting would in future be a focus for the Knowledge Resource Centre (KRC) users at Fantsuam Foundation. However, in readiness for this additional computers will need to be sourced. It was suggested that 4 - 5 computers are required and will then need to be "skyped"
This week’s online meeting began with a testing technical question. As regular participants will know, we “meet” virtually every week using the Skype networking programme. However, since most cyber cafes lack this facility, the query was raised as to whether we might exclude people by adopting the same format for our monthly First Thursday meetings.
It was therefore suggested that using Yahoo Messenger might be a better option. However the vote from the Fantsuam Foundation was that Skype remained the preferable format for them as well as being easier to log into, it was the most effective alternative for sending files and pictures.
During the course of our meeting, John (I) had noticed that Pam and I had been editing our typos on Skype as we went along. At the close, he asked how we were doing this and we were able to explain the process, sharing that knowledge with the group, This was a good example of shared internet enabled learning - especially as this particular skill was first taught to Pam (UK) by a user in the USA. We are delighted to say it has now been passed on to rural Nigeria!
News of an assortment of comings and goings kicked off this week’s online meeting between the UK and Nigeria teams. We were told of the imminent departures of three of the VSO team members who have provided such invaluable service at Fantsuam. At the same time, we were informed of some new arrivals and the welcome new appointment of a Programs Manager.
In addition to this during our busy hour online, we also covered topics ranging from Sickle Cell. screening, bandwidth issues,and beekeeping!
Cicely, Lauri and Dori
We were sad to be reminded by John that Cicely, Lauri and Dori, current VSOs would be leaving in September as their contracts at Fantsuam Foundation are coming to an end. Their contribution has been immense and they will be sorely missed. However, plans have already been put into place for other FF team workers to continue their good work. It is also apparent that, once you have been involved with Fantsuam, you never really leave us! Laurie has already said that she will be liaising with Women for World Health and similar organisations to explore the potential for organising mercy missions for FF.
On another positive, note FF's Gayl (VSO) and Kelechi are to be assisted for a fortnight by a volunteer from EWINROCK. This person will help out with the Management Information System, while another VSO should also be arriving next month to assume the role of Entrepreneurship Advisor.
The UK team passed their congratulations to Kelechi, who was until recently the Director of the Academy. We now learn that he has handed over those responsibilities to his team and is now the Program Operations Manager for FF.