Helping Under-served Community Access The Internet Without Barrier
The community benefiting from Project Hello World has no doubt improved the lives of its members. The testimonial recorded is a huge success to the founders and while many would have doubted the relevance of the project in the community, Mr. Aliyu Zubairu, has attested to the fact that it has provided solutions to problems ravaging the community and the establishment of Hello Hubs in Suleja Community is worth celebrating.
Here is our interview with Mr Zubairu, the Suleja Community Support Officer Of Hello Hub.
How has the project helped the community?
Mr Zubairu: Honestly, the project has helped the community in a lot of ways and has given people of outside community privilege to participate.
How is it being daily managed and what structures are put in place to ensure the durability of the project?
Mr Zubairu: As the Suleja Community Support Officer, I do visit the Hubs three times a week. Not only that, I use to visit some other days and on Sundays to spend few hours in the hubs. And whenever I’m not present in the hub, there are some people I train in the community who come to the hub to open for other people to use. In my absence, they are in charge of the hub because they are trained very well so they know how to use it and manage it.
How many people have you trained?
Mr Zubairu: I can’t hold the figure on my head; I have trained many and also registered many people.
Can you tell us how the community leaders’ leverage on the information gathered here to help provide more leadership roles?
Mr Zubairu: Most of the leaders of the community do come here to access the internet. There are some that have never even touch computer before. But due to the presence of Hello Hubs in our community, some of them have learned how to type, some even have e-mail account, which they don’t have before.
With my assistance, they open their e-mail account here; some of them even browse the net using google. The community leaders visit newspaper sites to read more on events and happening in their local community. They share this information with their loved ones and other community members.
Is the government in support of the project?
Mr Zubairu: The only support the Local Government rendered was the fencing of the place to avoid vandalism. After that, I don’t think there is any help the government has rendered because the hub is managed by Hello World, headed by Katrin Macmillan, and she also recharged the data monthly. Maybe later in future when the local government sees the benefit of the hub in the community, they can be able to render a helping hand and support the Hello World that is running it. But for now, it is Katrin Macmillan that runs the hello hub, recharge the data and maintain the facility.
Do community leaders feel threatened with information gathered here?
Mr Zubairu: No. I don’t think so because now the Internet has opened a lot of people’s eye. At least, most of the people know theirs right by browsing through the Internet. The community and government welcome the idea because that is what they are supposed to do but since they are unable to do it, other people from outside rendered helping hand so I don’t think there is [any] problem. In short, they are even wishing for more to come because this is a good development.
Before, they have to go to the café, use their money to get some certain information, do some registration, and check examination results online but today, it is in their own community free of charge. Honestly, they are happy about the project. And with the turn of people day to day, I think the project is a success in the community.,
The hello hub project is not for the community alone, other people from outside the community come here to use the center.
The information they get here help a lot in their day to day activities and presently we are planning to launch the women’s training for our mothers in the house that [couldn’t] come here due to the social-cultural factors.
We are training a female teenager, Zaliha Sguaibu by name, whom after her training, will guide the women on how to use the hub because some of the men do not allow the women to be trained by other men so that is why we are launching a programme for women to be coming to the hub either three times in a week or four times in a week.
READ MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT FEATURE HERE: http://ruralreporters.com/from-aid-to-empowerment-how-project-hello-world-is-closing-digital-divide-in-nigeria/
About Project Hello World
171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all children left school with even basic reading abilities, yet 134 million children have never been to school. 32 million of them are in sub-Saharan Africa – a number equivalent to all the primary school children in USA, UK and France put together. Project Hello World builds digital schools to bring child-led digital education to those without access to formal schooling. Basing our work on the research of our Board member, Sugata Mitra, the winner of the 2013 TED Prize, we work with local communities to design and build Internet-enabled rugged, outdoor computer kiosks for education, connectivity, community journalism, business and play. Our founding belief is that development must be led, defined by, and serve the community, and all of our work is in service of that belief. Our pilot project in Suleja, Nigeria is ten months old, and a proven success. We are reaching children in the school system and out of it, homeless and housed, Christian and Muslim alike. We are a UK-registered charity with a track record of community development projects in Africa. Our team comprises technologists, educators, economists, programmers, policymakers and community liaisons. Our board includes world leaders in education technology and community development. Have a look at one minute of project Hello World in action: http://youtu.be/_8mygrERY2s