A typical day in Dadamac

It's 7.45 am here in the UK so I'm a bit earlier that usual starting work, and thinking it might be interesting to make notes through the day.

A "water cooler" moment.

So far I've read a blog comment that Vijay wrote and responded to it. Then I went to check my emails. The chat box was open. It had a one-line message from Vijay - so I wrote a line back and he wrote one to me, and then we both went back to our tasks. it's the virtual equivalent of a smile and a wave, or a momentary exchange of pleasantries with a colleague at the water cooler. For me it was a pleasant way to start the day.. and for him... well he's in Delhi.. so .. maybe a good way to end to his mornings work.

Blogs I haven't written

You may have been directed to this blog because I want to give you background to an ongoing story. Well the truth is that I may not have written it yet. I'm trying to exchange a vicious circle for a virtuous one. In the vicious circle - here and now - I need to refer people (like you perhaps) to previous events or ideas that I haven't actually blogged about. In the virtuous circle every unfolding story is readily to hand (including the one specially for you). Hmm - How to make the flip over?

The ideal solution

My friend Omo suggests a"person multiplier" - He wrote "This is a gizmo which allows you to determine how many copies of yourself are required for the tasks on your schedule and creates them - are you running one?"

Education In Rural Nigeria

During the course of Wednesday's UK-Nigeria meeting, we found ourselves contemplating the realities of education at Fantsuam. For that was among the traditionally vast range of topics covered in a session which also spanned everything from Sickle Cell Disease to Mozzi-Mort!

It was interesting to learn that students at Fantsuam are being introduced to Twitter on the diploma course.

Open Source in Rural Nigeria

The crucial topic of open source software proved the highlight of Wednesday's weekly online UK-Nigeria meeting.

Interestingly, the UK side were informed that Linux is a key part of the curriculum on the 'IT Essentials' Cisco course, run by Fantsuam staff.

It was explained to us that the first approach is to introduce the students to the basic concept of open source.

Kelechi told us that part of the students' installation module includes installing Linux as well as Windows. We also learned from John, a trainer, that most of Fantsuam's students are very familiar with Ubuntu.

We were extremely interested to learn that Kelechi is currently testing another open source e-learning platform called Dokeos. He explained that it is built on Php and uses mysql as database.

He is hopeful that this system will help him administer the students' exams and tests online. He also hopes that this may help to reduce the costs of materials and presumably administrative costs too.

Dadamac has recently set up an Open Source Special Interest Group where team members can learn more about the subject together.

Development-trade-aid-permaculture-power generation

I'm covering two events - First the GlobalNet 21 Meet-up called "The Path To Development -Trade or Aid" (yesterday evening) and secondly the March First Thursday meeting (this afternoon) which predictably did not go as planned - but was a great session involving people from three continents, ei enrolling for 2010

The Peoples Open Access Education Initiative: Peoples-uni continues to go from strength to strength. It is now open for enrollments for the first semester 2010. It is offering 12 courses, including a new one, and one offered in two additional languages. Dadamac is proud to have been associated with People's Uni from its very earliest days. Professor Dick Heller (Coordinator of the Peoples-uni) has asked us to share the following information:

This is to tell you that we are now open for enrolments for the first semester 2010. We have 12 course modules, including one new 'Public Health Nutrition'. One of the modules, 'Public Health Concepts for Policy Makers' is also offered in French and Spanish versions.

We are learning the lessons from each semester as we go, and are working closely with Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK to try and develop a partnership that will allow students to receive an academic award from them on the basis of study with Peoples-uni. We remain on the lookout for other similar linkages. We have a further number of new modules in development, and various other plans and changes.

British African Federation (February Meeting)

Yesterday, after John Iruaga had finished his Twitter learning session, I went out to the February networking event of the British African Federation (BAF).  Topics included:investments; Business Safari Missions; low-cost migrant remittances, micro-finance, micro-savings and currency exchange; business match-making and mentoring; a new weapon against mosquitos (and cockroaches); tractors and a trade mission. As a result there are  introdu

Dadamac Learning - Twitter

So... how is the Internet actually changing opportunities to learn? Does the phrase "death of distance" really mean anything? Here's a quick example from this afternoon (February 25th) when John Iruaga who was in Nigeria sent his first Tweet, helped via Skype by Andy Broomfield who was in the UK. It was a spontaneous bit of teaching. It happened simply because Andy was sitting next to me, working on his laptop, when I bumped into John Iruaga on Skype.

i knew that John Dada had asked John Iruaga to find out about social networking, so Twitter was on his learning agenda. True tweeters may think the whole thing is totally intuitive - but I, for one, didn't find it so. When I first went to Twitter I had never seen any one else Tweeting and had no idea what to expect. When I logged in (because someone told me I should) I had no clue what I was trying to do or why. I went round in circles a few times and ended up none the wiser. I knew that John Iruaga, like me, would start out as a complete Twitter newbie. 

Sickle Cell Disease - Global awareness day.

Sickle Cell Awareness day was created by the United Nations to recognise Sickle Cell Disease as a global health crisis.

Member states were urged to raise awareness of this terrible genetic disease on June 19 each year. 

And John Dada and his team at Fantsuam Foundation have already started to action this call.

At yesterday's weekly UK/Nigeria Dadamac team meeting, John explained that a SCD support meeting had been held at Fantsuam last Saturday .  A  documentary in collaboration with the Abuja SC Support group is being prepared for showing on this year's Global SC Day.
Those interested can view my previous blog entry about the daunting task faced by John and his team, who are battling overwhelming need with severely limited resources.

The Fantsuam Sickle Cell Support Group meeting is held on the third Saturday of  every  month. Support groups are usually comprised of people  who have either been affected or are carers. Attendance is growing each month  - with more than 80 people at last Saturday's meeting. 

Due to the vast numbers there is a need to change the venue, so canopies under mango trees at the fishfarm will be used for future meetings.  Attendees came from as far away as Akwanga (about 80km from Kafanchan) and John said he " just felt helpless in face of such need."

The meetings are for networking, with parents and carers sharing information about how they are coping. A nurse councellor answers  questions and gives advice on how to cope with sickling crisies.


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