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.
There has been some progression with the Saman Internet Center since the last update, but not much. There has been some plumbing work done as well as a toilet installed in the apartment upstairs. I think this is okay because meanwhile the community development organization that is meant to manage this internet center is developing in the area of human resources and their ability to manage such a responsibility so perhaps things are occurring as they should. An intern that recently left the country stayed in the community center in this community of Saman for three months and did a wonderful job! Coming from a developed country, the United States, and being used to a different way of life as well as possessing necessary resources, this man set a great example for community members and gave support to Peralta, the founder and leader of the community organization. The College of Dartmouth is perhaps coming during their spring break in March and will hopefully be able to help in finishing the internet center, since they are the ones that constructed the building last year, which is still unfinished. It is always good to complete a work begun. This country has unfinished buildings all over the place because people start a project and are unable to finish or leave it for a time when they can finish. I am sure that this building will not be just another unfinished building but will be completed and used for what it was originally intended. Your support in this is highly appreciated. Thank you.
There has not been much development with the Saman Internet Center over the past few months and it is mainly due to lack of funds. We just received the funds that were donated through GlobalGiving this past week. Peralta, the man in charge of the project, would rather wait until funds accumulate as well to take care of several needs rather than use the funds at first. However, he has used funds to take care of a few things. Electricity has been installed in the apartment above the internet center and a toilet has been installed as well. The apartment is almost ready to be rented, which will generate more funds which can go toward the needs of the internet center. However, accumulating funds this way will be slow and hard to actually accumulate. Therefore, this project still depends on donors.
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