Well, we are going to have to put this project on the back burner for now for failure to progress. It is really a project that is secondary to our organization's focus and we are unable to dedicate much time to fundraising for it. Funds raised have allowed for different works to be done on the building for the internet center and long-term volunteer apartment that is above it, such as electric work, plumbing, and the purchase of a toilet. However, we have not had a final cushion to get things up and going, so we will have to just put things on the back burner for now and if the opportunity arises, progress with it.
I apologize if this update and news is dissatisfying to you as a donor. However, this is the reality of how things are often done here in this country for this reason of lack of resources. You often see half built houses or houses that have the starting of a second floor but are left that way for years. This is because people invest when they have the resources and take steps toward their end goal, but just put the project on the back burner when resources are not available. So when in Rome... we will have to do the same.
Thank you so much for your support and you may be interested in checking out some of our other ongoing projects that we are more able to focus on at this time.
There is, again, not much to report for the internet center, mainly because of the continued absence of Peralta, the man who founded and heads up the community development organization that the internet center will go to serve. He continues to spend weeks at a time outside of the community in order to work, and comes for a few days only in intervals. However, he is now transitioning from work away from home to work more frequently at home, and his business is growing, so it may not be long before he will be able to spend much more time in the Saman community and oversee the internet center and organization as a whole. Previously he was doing garden work in an area of the country two hours away. But now he has a functioning vehicle and is selling rice. He will soon start utilizing his candle maker and adding candles to the merchandise he drives around and sells. This business is just beginning but is going well, so once it gets stable, he should be a much more present husband to his wife, father to his kids, and leader to the organization. There is still a group willing on coming down this fall to help set up the finishing touches with the internet center. Let’s hope that Peralta can get his business going before then to the point where he can be as present as he needs to be. Thank you, always, for your support!
We have 6 desktop computers in our possession in the US, donated by a global computer company called CSC. We had hoped to use perhaps 3 of them to start the Saman Internet Center, but we still have absent leadership that will cause us to have to use these computers for other purposes, then solicit more in the future when the leadership is prepared.
Again, Peralta, who leads the community development organization that this internet center will be a part of is chronically absent from the community working in a garden hours away in order to support his large family. He has plans to transition to a business at home but is still trying to save up in order to make the transition. He was set back by his mother passing away in August and the funeral costs there. We have not met in more than a month and I, therefore, have no update as to how things are coming along on that end. But in addition to his necessary presence, the community development organization as a whole needs to regroup before taking on such a project as the launching of the internet center. So the launching has been set back due to these reasons. We are setting the tentative launch date for sometime next fall.
Another issue is that we hope to have a computer savvy, Spanish speaking expat there to at least oversee the first few months of the Internet center, train locals in proper computer use, and work with a trained local in order to enhance their likely sub par computer repair skills in order to be able to handle things after this person leaves. We have solicited for a Peace Corps volunteer for this purpose. The next round of volunteers come in May, but we were told these are likely already designated to projects and we may have to wait until September unless someone does a project change. If we get a volunteer before the center will launch, we have plenty of work in other areas of our organization for him or her.
Thank you, always, for your interest and support!
We now have an IT expert, Rob, volunteering here with us. He was able to display his skills as soon as he arrived by fixing my two CPUs which conveniently both would not turn on as soon as he got here. It seems as though something happened with the Windows operating system in both of them, so he downloaded an operating system that is new to me called Ubuntu. But this only worked for one. Nonetheless, I was thankful to have a working computer. He then suggested that we take hard drive out of one and put it in the other, compressing both computers (or the hard drives at least) into one! I was amazed! Now both of these CPUs that I was juggling between are both in one computer. What a pleasant surprise out of an unpleasant situation!
With Rob's skills, I think we could do some compra venta shopping, which is essentially pawn shop shopping. We could find parts and construct them into the best use of the parts. I think that with his skills, we can save some money, is what I am trying to say. However, we have no money to start with even to get cheap parts. Peralta's presence is still needed more to launch the business. But we are moving in the right direction and I don't think it will be long from here before we have a business up and running.
Thank you for your support!
It has been 6 months since the internet center building was completed by Dartmouth students and no more advancements have been made due to two factors. First, no equipment has been donated and no further funds have been donated. Second, Peralta, the leader of the ODHS, the community development organization heading up this project, has had a lot going on in his life and has not been able to be as present as is necessary to oversee things. He really could benefit from a small grant that would allow him to leave his primary form of generating income, which causes him to have to leave the Saman community for months at a time, and to begin a small business he is prepared to launch to generate income from home and include his oldest son in doing so. He lacks few materials to get this candle business going. What he mainly lacks is any sort of financial security that is necessary for the transition time needed where his income will be cut off as he dedicates his time to starting up the candle business which will inevitably take a certain amount of time before it starts generating a proper income, as any new business would. He'll need a buffer with time to learn the business, etc. He is a man with lots of responsibility, and even more so now that his wife recently gave birth to twins, giving them a total of eight children each, five together, and seven collectively that live in the same house as them. This large number of kids is not necessarily a reflection of their lack of control or lack of planning but of their love for each other (husband and wife) and for human beings. Therefore, an investment which helps the head of this household support his household as well as the community development organization he envisioned and began acting to create over five years ago, is an investment well spent that will bring fruit for everyone.
So the first next step in getting the internet center going is to enable Peralta to be more present in the Saman community. The second step is to have the funds available to purchase the remaining necessary equipment. The third step is to recruit a long term intern to oversee the set up and at least first few months of the internet center. This person should be an advanced Spanish speaker with strong computer knowledge and an easy going, culturally sensitive attitude. In the next few updates, I should inform you on the progress made toward these steps, leading to the ultimate goal of launching the internet center. Thank you for your support!
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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