Cloud Computing & Africa

Dino (in the Philippines) fixing Habiba's Computer (in Kenya)

In Kenya we spent a good amount of time with Wubshet and Habiba, the two local leaders on the ground for Gambella, Ola Nagele, Shambani and Bulesa Dima to talk about how simple online tools can make their lives a lot easier. The first thing we did was clean Habiba’s computer, we used GoTo MyPC with our super smart technical guy, Dino and he cleaned all the viruses and old files that had accumulated on the computer for the past couple years.  They also had another computer that was being fixed in Nairobi, it had crashed and Habiba was very upset because she lost all her important files.  Enter, Box.net

We started off explaining to Habiba how Box.net works and the ability it gives you to store your files in the cloud.  AJ explained that once your files are in the cloud they are not in danger when your computer crashes.  AJ showed Habiba how to make a voice update on the Box.net mobile app and Habiba’s eyes just lite up.  She was explaining to us how much easier it will be to send regular updates on the village’s progress.

We also talked with Habiba about the village blog and how many, many people are able to receive updates into their email every time they post to the Ola Nagele village blog.  Mailchimp’s RSS to email feature makes it possible for people to receive every blog post in their email and follow the story of the village’s transformation.

AJ explaining Mailchimp RSS to Email

We ended the day by having a GoTo Meeting with the new HD Faces to talk with our staff and Whubshet about how to use GoTo Meeting to make meetings easier.  We showed him the functionality to share his screen while using HD Faces to see all the people on the call.  It was quite a unique experience.  Both Wubshet and Habiba are familiar with Skype but they were both very excited about being able to review village reports and other documents on their screen with other staff at GHNI and still be able to see everyone’s face.

GoTo Meeting with HD Faces GoTo Meeting with HD Faces

I’m excited to see how these tools will continue to make the field staff’s communication easier and more efficient while at the same time using these tools to connect the developing world with the developed world.

  • http://HowToRelay.blogspot.com markhoroszowski

    GREAT use of technology, and great job explaining it, as well as how it can be used to empower others. Thanks for another awesome post!

  • http://ajleon.me ajleon

    Thanks, Mark! :)

  • Sylvia Morris

    Melissa,
    It’s so impressive to read your blogs about what you’ve been doing in Africa, thank you for sharing your experiences. Keep up this good work!

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