Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia

by Fundacion SOLE Colombia
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Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal, Colombia
Children in Pisamal 2020
Children in Pisamal 2020

Dear SOLE Colombia friend,

Thank you for your support to help us build a School in the Cloud for Pisamal!

This has been a tough year for the whole world, and the neighbours in Pisamal have also had some hard times during 2020. Due to Covid-19, the plan we had to build a School in The Cloud together with the community, had to be posponed. In this rural area, because of the restrictions and where most of the people work on their coffee farms and have to do long walks from their farms to reach the only internet access point in the whole community, it has been difficult, almost imposible, for many people to come together to do SOLE and continue with the plans of building a physical space for the commumnity, a SOLE Lab to learn together using the internet. 

However, Robinson, one of the community leaders in Pisamal, made a good use of the internet during this year, connecting with different people through WhatsApp and Facebook and with the SOLE Colombia team through videocalls, and facilitated with these tools, different conversations with his neighbours about the future they want and contributed in this way to the great conversation we had all around Colombia as part of the UN75 iniciative. 

Some neighbours in the community, many children among them, have also been using the internet during 2020, not only to do SOLE, but also to do their homework and connect with other people. Nontheless, the community decided not to build their School in The Cloud - SOLE Lab for now. 

We respect their decision and will stay connected to the community, inviting them to keep doing SOLE with the tools they have and if in the future the decide they want to build a SOLE Lab, we will be supporting them as a team.

So thank you for your support. Even if the project in Pisamal won't continue in the near future, thanks to your support, the community was able to connect to the internet this year, something crucial during the pandemic. We also hope to keep you up to date with the news from Pisamal.

We will be deactivating this project on GlobalGiving and you no longer will receive the usual reports from Pismal. This because of the decision of the community and also because of a generous donation we received to fund a SOLE Lab in Colombia. Now we'will be looking together with the SOLE Colombia community (different people all over Colombia who do SOLE in their own communities), the best place to do it. 

Now we're inviting all of our donors to continue supporting SOLE Colombia on GlobalGiving through another project that's more relevant than ever: How to give longlasting peace to Colombia?. This year we had the chance to start a great conversation about the future as part of UN75, where more than 2000 people all around Colombia, had the chance to talk with their communities. For us, this also meant an opportunity to contribute to peacebuilding in our country and that's why we want to continue talking with people from diverse backrounds and regions and looking together for solutions to the big challenges we face as a society. 

We invite you to explore this project, support us and share with your contacts what we're doing together to give a longlasting peace to Colombia.

Thank you again for your support!

Stay healthy and happy holidays!

Sanjay Fernandes, Maryam Tertel and the whole SOLE Colombia Team

Children in Pisamal 2020 - 2
Children in Pisamal 2020 - 2
People all over Colombia talking about the future
People all over Colombia talking about the future

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Children during a SOLE in Pisamal
Children during a SOLE in Pisamal

Dear SOLE Colombia friends,

Today we want to share with you some news about the community of Pisamal and what they have done during the pandemic to stay connected and participate of the great worldwide conversation about the future we want (https://www.un.org/en/un75).

For the whole SOLE Colombia Community and specially for the community of Pisamal, the last months have been challenging, but amazing at the same time. Robinson's house, the only place in the community with connectivity, and where the neighbours used to meet in person to do SOLE, has been closed for the last months due to the restrictions. In the last weeks they have had the chance to meet in very small groups to do SOLE again, but it is still hard for them to return to the routine they had. Even with this situation, they have found ways to have their voices heard while they speak about the future they want. 

This year is the 75th. Anniversary of the United Nations and we have been invited to join the great worldwide conversation about the future we want. Many people from different regions have started conversations with their own communities, using the platforms we shared for this project, Start SOLE and Loomio, that allow people to do SOLE remotely. This has given the whole SOLE Colombia community the chance to connect to and invite diverse people all over Colombia to have dialogues starting from their own dreams, realities, challenhes and hopes.

The community of Pisamal, with Robinson leading the initiative, also joined this project and started a conversations with a particular question "Why are colombian people poor"?. Adriana, one of the grannies of The Granny Cloud in Spanish (Nube de Abuelitas), joined their conversation and helped them to bring their voices to the United Nations. Because of the connectivity, Robinson and Adriana connected through a videocall on their computers and Robinson connected all the participants through WahtsApp. All participants live in different places on the Pisamal mountains and the only way to communicate is through WhatsApp. Even if this is a challenging situation, we still admire the fact that the people find ways to participate with the tools they have.Here you can find some quotes of the different conversations we have had all over Colombia during the UN75 + SOLE project: https://parqueenlanube.padlet.org/solecolombia/lavozdecolombia.

Together with the community of Pisamal, we still have in mind the construction of physical place, the SOLE Lab, where the people can meet more easily to do SOLE. Until we are allowed to meet again and start a construction, we're working together to find the ressources for the community to stay connected using Internet. 

Thank you for all your support and we'll keep you informed about the next steps the neighbours of Pisamal are taking.

Please stay tuned and stay healthy.

Robinson, Pisamal neighbours and the SOLE Colombia Team

Girls at the SOLE in Pisamal
Girls at the SOLE in Pisamal
Conversations in Pisamal and all the world!
Conversations in Pisamal and all the world!

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Children in Pisamal on a SOLE session
Children in Pisamal on a SOLE session

Dear SOLE Colombia and Pisamal friends,

We hope you are safe and healthy. We know that the last 3 months have been challenging for all of us, no matter in which corner of the world we are.

At SOLE Colombia and in the community of Pisamal, we also have been facing a new reality, in the way we work and interact, in the way we learn and live on a daily basis.

This worldwide situation brought us to rethink the importance of what we do. We have a big challenge: How to respond to this situation with the tools we already have, what can we do? What other ressources are available to respond? Sitting at home and having some important conversations with some of the neighbours of Pisamal, who are close to the Internet connection in the village, we are discovering new forms to continue this project. Even if the situation has shown much more clearer the existing inequality and some people in the village are now much more isolated from the world, there's still hope and Robinson - SOLE ambassador - , together with other neighbours, are already looking for solutions. 

This year, before the pandemic began, neighbours in Pisamal were doing different kind of activities with their children and adults: Different SOLE sessions + Cinema (60 kids and adults have participated), one Bingo activity with 50 participants from the village to raise funds for their own project, an approach to the Mayor's Office of Aguadas to present the project and find support from the local Government, and meetings and calls with the SOLE Colombia team.

To give more sustainability to the project of building a SOLE Lab (School in the Cloud) in the community, the neighbours also implemented a minimum charge for the use of the internet when someone visits the internet spot at Robinson's place, to make a consultation, and thus they have been saving to contribute to the project.

They also have started to connect with other SOLEs in Colombia and have the intention to be part of a great conversation we are starting with many diverse communities all over Colombia about the future we want.

This is an awesome start for a rural community of 570 people where there is only one place with internet connection and the dream of having their SOLE Lab is still alive.

We are conscious that while restrictions continue, there's no possibility to start building the phisical space that we altogether, neighbours and SOLE Colombia team, have been working for. Nontheless, we're still working together with some of the neighbours and trying to keep the connection using the technology we have and the internet connection, that has been the only way for people in Pisamal to stay connected to world outside the village.

We are working on a new plan for the coming months, so the people get motivated and ready when the the time for starting to build the SOLE Lab begins.

The community of Pisamal and the SOLE Colombia team, are thankful for the immense support we have received from SAP in Colombia and all the donors that have also contributed to this beautiful project.

More than ever we need to realize the importance of the connectiviy and see it as a right for every human being and every community worldwide. There are still many remote places in our country that are disconnected from the world and are facing a much more challenging situation than the "connected world".

With a simple investment in connectivity for a specific community, like Pismal, we can contribute to a huge difference and open the window to new opportunities to arise.

Neighbours in Pisamal are thankful with every small contribution to this awesome project. We invite you to support us and share this news with your larger network. With your contribution, they'll have the chance to be connected to the Internet for a larger period of time and have enough ressources to find the sustainability for this project.

¡Thank you and stay healthy and happy!

Robinson and his neighbours in Pisamal and the SOLE Colombia team

 

Adults and children in Pisamal on a SOLE session
Adults and children in Pisamal on a SOLE session
SOLE + Cinema
SOLE + Cinema

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SOLE Session with children in Pisamal January 2020
SOLE Session with children in Pisamal January 2020

During the last months, Lina, Eccediel and Robinson have been inviting other people from their community, to come and join the weekly SOLEs they're doing at Augusto's and Lina's place, two well known neighbours in Pisamal. 

Pisamal is in the middle of beautiful mountains, where you can sit all day long contemplating the amazing landscape with a cup of coffee. In spite of the beauty that surrounds the people living in this amazing spot in Colombia, it is not an easy task to visit every single family living there, to tell them about the new SOLE (Self-Organized Learning Environment) they have started to build together with children and adults, and invite them to join the SOLE sessions. 

Some months ago, many neighbours got togehter to celebrate and that was an important attempt to present the project to the community. For some of them it wasn't a new project, they already knew about SOLE from 2014, when Robinson, the first SOLE ambassador in Pisamal, started to invite people to get together and learn in groups using the Internet (when they had the first Internet kiosk at Robinson's place that closed some time later). For many others, it was the first time they heard about this project and this new learning opportunity.

Lina and Eccediel are both neighbours and know exactly the difficulties they have to spread the word in their community and that's why they started different strategies to catch people's interest. Having the only spot with Internet access is for sure a great oportunity to invite people to learn together and use the internet to have access to a wider world.

Lina, with the support of Eccediel and other neighbours, went to visit different families and created a weekly space to, no only do SOLE, but also to get together to watch a movie, and start different conversacions around diverse themes and Big Questions.

This strategy is becoming a great plan for children and adults to get together, learn and have fun. Now, more neighbours are motivated and asking Big Questions about different topics. 

They also are planning other ways to save money for the SOLE Lab and pay for the Internet connection. Even if they know that there are some ressources coming from different donors, like SAP and all generous donations from you and other donors worldwide, as a community, they want to contribute with their own ressources. This shows the commitment they feel with their own learning process, with SOLE Colombia as an organization and with all other supporters who are putting their energy and ressources to give this amazing community an opportunity to learn and solve their own challenges. 

All this activities are important before we start to build the SOLE Lab in the community. Before we, together with the neighbours, build any infrastructure, it is imoprtant for different community members to feel part of this project.

We are happy to share with you this news and invite you to learn more about this and other projects on The Playground in The Cloud. We also invite you to share with us any idea for finding more ressources for the SOLE Lab in Pisamal and other remote places all arround Colombia. 

Thank you for your constant support and stay tuned for the coming news from Pisamal!

Best,

Sanjay, Maryam, Lina, Eccediel and all SOLE participants from Pisamal. 

SOLE Session aith adults and children December19
SOLE Session aith adults and children December19
Inviting neighbours in Pisamal
Inviting neighbours in Pisamal
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The neighbours at Robinson's place + SOLE Colombia
The neighbours at Robinson's place + SOLE Colombia

The community of Pisamal is in the middle of the coffee region in the department of Caldas in Colombia. People living on this beautiful mountains and with a wonderful climate are manily coffee farmers who dedicate their lives to take care of the coffee plants, and in times of harvest work all day long, so they can sell their best quality coffee beans in the nearest town of Aguadas. 

We visited them for the first time 5 years ago, where Robinson, who is passionate about technology and education, started doing SOLE at night (after the long workdays this is the time they have to learn together) with his neighbours in the Internet kiosk at his home, where he had some computers and Internet access thanks to a project with the ICTs Ministry. After some years, there where some changes in the project and the kiosk was moved, so they couldn't continue with their SOLE sessions. That's why Robinson had a great idea, to build a SOLE Lab (School in The Cloud) in the community, a place where neighbours from all ages can come together, get curious, ask Big Questions and with Internet access, solve the common challenges they have.

Togehter with Robinson, we have been working to explore what is needed to start the construction of the SOLE Lab. Together with our partners, we made two designs of the SOLE Lab for Pisamal, where we will use sustainable and long lasting recycled materials.

We also visited them the first days of November to build a closer relationship with the community, to find new possibilities and to work together with different neighbours planning the actions that have to be done before the construction. 

There we had the chance to meet new people from the community, children and their parents, and also older people who are all motivated to have a place with Internet access and where they can learn together, have a closer connection to the rest of the world, and why not have the chance to start new entrepreneurships that could give them new opportunities as individuals and as a community.

Thanks to all the support different people have given us, and mainly thanks to a generous donation we received from SAP in Colombia, we were able to do this visit and we'll be able to plan, prepare and do the construction of a School in The Cloud in Pisamal in the coming months.

While we get prepared for that big step, the community is already getting ready to start the SOLE sessions with the Internet that is now working at Robinson's place (his place is a common place Pisamal. On the weekend people from their places all over the mountines come on foot, by jeep or by motorcycle to get together and have a good time.

This project is already on its way, but we still need support to maintain our support to the community for a longer period of time and guarantee the internet access and electricity in the SOLE Lab in the long term. 

We invite you to share this story with your contacts and if you would like to get to know the neighbours of Pisamal, we could also arrange a videocall for you to connect with them.

We'll keep you informed about the next steps.

Stay tuned!

Sanjay, Maryam and the neighbours of Pisamal: Robinson, Lina, Rubelia, Claudia and Eccediel.

Kids took us to visit other neighbours
Kids took us to visit other neighbours
The mountains of Pismal
The mountains of Pismal

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Organization Information

Fundacion SOLE Colombia

Location: Bogota, Bogota D.C. - Colombia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @solecolombia
Project Leader:
Sanjay Fernandes
Bogota, Bogota D.C. Colombia

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