The alternative spring break group from Dartmouth College came in March for their annual trip and finished preparing the building for the internet center (1st floor) and volunteer apartment (2nd floor). The leader of the community development organization for which this internet center was built has been having to travel quite a bit for work reasons but is creating business opportunities at home and is preparing to settle down and work more from Saman. His constant presence will create more security and oversight in the community which will be a better situation for introducing the necessary expensive equipment. So now what is left is the installation of internet and a telephone line, purchase and installation of computers, telephones, an inverter and batteries to give electricity when the power goes out, a UPS box for each computer to protect them for safe shutdown when the inverter loses charge and the power is still out, and an internet center control program. There are community members who could run the internet center, but it would be ideal to start up the center in a way that an expat volunteer or intern with excellent language skills and computer skills were to stay in the volunteer apartment and oversee things, also serving to teach community members computer skills at the same time. This way the internet center can be launched successfully in a protected manner and members of the community development organization can see its success and then learn the exact practices that should be followed in order to maintain the success. The end goal is to train the community members and pass the responsibility over to them. If the expat volunteer/intern does not run and oversee the center and community members launch it themselves, it is not likely to be as organized and successful and efforts would therefore be less efficient. So we are keeping an eye out for someone who fits this role. If you or someone you know speaks excellent Spanish (Haitian Creole also is a huge plus but not required) and is knowledgeable with computers, as well as is interested in volunteering here for perhaps three months, please e-mail CaitlinMcHale@EsperanzaMeansHope.org.
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