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Wednesday's Meeting Feedback- in brief!

At our Wednesday's UK/Nigeria online meeting, as we routinely tackled the business on the agenda sometimes, I forget our geographical and cultural differences so it was helpful to be reminded of them this week.

As Pam and I were shivering here in the UK, with the threat of snow forecasted, the team in Nigeria told us about the fierce heat that they are currently experiencing (as they wait for the 'rains' to come.)

Appropriate Power Visibility

Hi Bala

You were asking me about visibility so I will share some thoughts here - in this visible online space. You are interested on behalf of the newly forming Appropriate Power Special Interest Group. I hope what I write here will help not only that group, but also other Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that we may set up later.

Wednesday Meeting Treats!

Once again,Yesterday's online meeting between the UK and Nigeria did not fail to disappoint. As well as addressing the items on the agenda in an informal but business-like way, we had two welcomed treats.

The first treat

 When the team was discussing permaculture and the kitchen garden at Ungwar Masara, the UK were thrilled to be sent a recent video (via Skype chat and from a mobile phone) showing the 850 Jatropa seedlings. These have sinced been moved into the shade to protect them from the current hot conditions that our friends at Fantuam are currently experiencing. The rains are expected in the coming weeks and the seedlings will then be planted so we are hoping that not too many seedlings perish in the interim.

Some of our Nigerian member also shared with the UK, their plans for adopting their own kitchen gardens.

Permaculture, and sustainable local food production is an issue that the Dadamac teams are keen to investigate together.
For additional information about how we plan to do this please read Pam's earlier blog about Kitchen gardens and Jatropha.

The second treat

When we were discussing 'any other business', Bala Bidi (the ZittNet Manager at Fantsuam) shared his interest in exploring how wind energy could be harnessed by installing a small wind turbine on the mast. Cicely, A VSO volunteer, mentioned that she has a friend who is an expert in this field.The outcome of the discussion being that an Appropriate Power Special Interest Group be set up. (This is now currently being established on Dadamac Moodle).

Possible future collaboration

March FT- Kitchen Gardens and Jatropha

The First Thursday chat on March 4th at 12.00 GMT/UTC will focus on two of our permaculture interests - kitchen gardens and jatropha. The plan is that Marcus Simmons will join the chat as our permaculture adviser. One or more people from the Dadamac team in Nigeria will also chat. They will discuss what has been happening since Marcus's visit a few months ago. It is still very early days, so the discussion will be about first practical steps that have been taken (or are being planned) by the permaculture early adopters, and what else they need to know.

Down to earth

It will be very down to earth. How are the jatropha seedlings getting on? They are being carefully tended during the intense heat of the end of the dry season, waiting for the rains to come to give good conditions for planting out - but are they surviving okay? What of the kitchen garden ideas? What is the feedback on the keyhole gardening? Has anyone done any follow up on setting up a personal kitchen garden? What problems are people facing? What information is it useful to exchange?

Fola's phone and baby boy

It's almost exactly ten years since I was first involved in communication between UK and Nigeria. In those days my friend, the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale, could only phone one person in his entire Oke-Ogun Community Development network. If we made a phone call it was to the landline of Chief Adetola, in the state capital Ibadan. What a contrast now. Today, from rural Ago-Are i got this text: "Mornin ma, my wiv gave birth 2 a bouncin baby boy yesterday afternoon, thanks Fola." 

Not only did Fola send his information to me, via SMS he also went online through is phone and shared his news publicly through a couple of yahoo groups saying "Hi all, God gave my family a healthy,handsome,bouncing baby boy yesterday afternoon and I really wish to say this is God' revelation and manifestation in my new family. Thanks be to Him alone." The two groups be wrote to were LearningFromEachOther (one of the Minciu Sodas groups) and FantsuamSLD - self-directed learners (a group set up to demonstrate yahoo groups to participants on the SDL course in Fantsuam in 2008).

Universal Learning Centre

I have no personal experience of the Universal Learning Centre but I came across it today because I moderate comments at dadamac.net  and someone posted this one:

Haiti, a legitimate cause

Hey, I'm seeking help for the kids of Haiti. I'm doing my part for a non-profit organization in which the main focus is to creating oppurtunities for the children in haiti. If anybody wants to give money then this is the site: Donate to Haiti or Help Haiti They give children in Haiti books and teach them. Yes, they're a real cause. Please help us

I confess my first responses were

  • That it was probably a scam
  • That people who were donating would already be donating through the channels they know and trust
  • That Haiti and disaster relief aren't much related to what Dadamac is focussed on

However, when I when to the site I found that it wasn't disaster relief, but part of an ongoing educational programme. The site says:

Jatropha

Hi Vijay

Sorry you could not make it to February First Thursday, but I know you are very busy at present. You would have met some interesting people including members of the Dadamac team in Nigeria. It would have been interesting to compare some of the eco-developments there, such as growing Jatrohpa, with what is happening in India

I mention Jatropha because at our UK-Nigeria meeting yesterday we were told that "we are raising a nursery of 2000 jathropha palnts we intend to transplant when the rains begin"

ArcSpace Manchester

This is a copy of an email sent to Victoria Sinclair (Project Manager Generate Project and director ArcSpace Manchester):

Hi Vicky

I am writing to you ref Ref ArcSpace Manchester, the email you sent to PRADSA, and the information below which I read on your website:
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We cultivate a holistic, environmentally sound entrepreneurial zone, seeding inspiration and cohesion, nurturing creativity through workshops and peer to peer learning. People are empowered through intercultural and creative skills-based exchanges - from visual to musical to written word and everything in between using inclusive technologies, academic and international partnerships.

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