Reliable internet connection is a pipe dream for most rural communities of Kenya, Rusinga Island inclusive. It is a challenge that Evans Odula and his Badilisha community members had to live with for many years. Accessing an internet connection involved waking up early in the morning and travelling miles away only to have a glimpse at your inbox. It involved spending money travelling, paying exorbitant prices to access, and sometimes you had to book a room in the lodge to spend a night there in Homa bay town since power blackouts were also very rampant. And the worst part of it was that we were not allowed to touch the computer, an issue that gave us little or no chance to get acquaintance and exposure to the digital world.
Digital illiteracy inhibits development since we had limited contact with the Global community. Interaction and exchange of ideas is a catalyst for international development and discussion on global questions and development targets. The problem was half solved by the emergence of mobile phones and simple internet connection gadgets, but somehow that was something to celebrate since something is better than nothing. And also someone once told me that if you can’t get what you want then you should learn to want what you already have. So we had to want what we have since it was the only option that saved us from travelling miles and also incurring expenses.
With the latest technological advancements, a lot is happening, and we have smiles on our faces as we all go digital. Thanks to the hard work of our dear friend and collaborator Andy with his nearly impossible ideas about using bitcoin to empower rural communities to undertake permaculture and nature conservation work and also improve our community centre’s basic infrastructural development. On top of our wish list was an internet connection, a medium we needed urgently to enable us to tell the world about what we are doing in our community centre Badilisha (www.badilishapermaculture.org) through blogs photos, videos and even through social media. All these needed a reliable connection to achieve.
Finally, we realized that Andy s nearly impossible idea about using bitcoins, through the ClickForCharity platform was finally working and yielding results. We saw that through clicks, we managed to get an internet connection gadget, something that has meteorically changed our fortunes digitally. A lot can now be done on our doorsteps as we can reliably connect and interact with the Global community freely and at will. We can now teach our Badilisha team members how to use a computer and also learn how to update our blogs and website on the latest project developments. This will enable us to get freedom in trying to solve our own problems and get independence through Global partnerships and friendships. The internet connection we bought with this support is fast and reliable enough to assist us in our work. It can be connected to many computers and can also be used as wifi with laptop computers and mobile phones. Though currently, we have only one computer
The internet connection will still go further into turning Badilisha to be a local Tele-center, where communities may come in future to explore different things they need or look online for markets for their products in case of producers like fishermen or even Moringa or vegetable farmers. So with continuous clicks, a lot is changing here. We foresee our forest being protected, we foresee farmers benefiting and improving on their work and a total change of fortunes.
Truly this ClickForCharity project is an attestation that slow and small solutions work, in accordance with one of the permaculture principles. When we started this whole journey making trials and changes together with Andy, it all looked impossible, but now we have proved that with clicks something can happen which can benefit disadvantaged communities of the world and change their fortunes positively. Thanks to ClickForCharity for enabling us to join the digital world.