We have been asked to explain the relationship between Dadamac Foundation and Dadamac Limited. It is causing some confusion for people who think it must be like the relationship between, for instance, Ford and the Ford Foundation or Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (i.e step one: become a great commercial success; step two: share the resulting financial wealth through philanthropy). Dadamac is very different. We didn't start on the commercial side and then create the foundation. We started with our voluntary work and are now at the start of building our commercial operation (Dadamac Limited). We don't have financial wealth; our wealth is harder to quantify. We have a considerable amount of social capital and a wealth of knowledge and information, built up through years of voluntary work.
The various faces of Dadamac
We are creating an online presence under one brand name – Dadamac – which brings together
Much of what Dadamac does (and has been doing) is scattered around the Internet. It will gradually connect up with the website: rather like activities in scattered annexes gradually moving into a new main building.
The Dadamac Team Blog brings updates on who we are, what we are doing, and how you can get involved.
We are based in Africa and the UK, and could not exist as Dadamac without the Internet. The Dadamac team in Africa is led by John Dada in Bayan Loco, Kafanchan (a rural location in North Central Nigeria). The UK team is led by Pamela (Pam) McLean in London. Now we are more visible on the Internet and we are setting up online stuctures that will make it easier for new people to join our team.
Thanks to our UK presence you can easily interact with us:
The key to Dadamac's success is its use of the Internet, and the way it connects people in UK and Africa who know and trust each other. Through years of experience we know how to make the Internet work for us. We are always willing to try new things - but the things we really use are the things that prove their worth.
Back in 2000 we were very limited:
- We were only using email
- Our people in Nigeria were all making long journeys to the nearest cyber cafe.
- Phones were rare, only owned by big organisations or elites, and limited to landlines in the cities.
Now things are very different:
- John Dada's community work has brought a VSAT and community wireless network to Kafanchan
- All our key people (in Nigeria and other countries) have mobile phones
- Some of our African contacts have dial-up Internet connections in their homes
- Others access the Internet through their mobile phones
- Each week we hold various UK-Nigeria online meetings for our Dadamac people and projects
- Photos and video are playing an increasing role
- We have experience of audio-graphic conferencing and other communication tools
- Dadamacademy is home to a small, but growing, community of learners.
- It is a model of learner-directed-learning enabled by the Internet.
- It operates outside established academia
- It is open to collaboration
- It's investigations relate to 21st century lifestyles, learning and livelihoods
- It's learners are on self-directed "learning journeys", with their learning needs and direction generated by practical projects that they are doing.