It’s hard to believe I was really there…U.N. Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. I went there for the follow up meeting to the Infopoverty World Conference that took place in March, and was asked to be one of the presenters. My goal was to show how United Methodist Communications is using affordable, accessible and appropriate technology to improve communications in the developing world.
The people I’ve collaborated with over the last two years gave me plenty of good case studies to work from. There’s Betty Kazadi Musau who lives in Lubumbashi, DRC – she is using FrontlineSMS to build community among women who suffer pain and rejection from fistula. And, Pierre Omadjela who is always so willing to test new products…most recently biNu that allows him to check email on his basic mobile phone…saving him time & money spent on cyber cafés. Ernani Celzo, who lives in the Philippines, continues to inspire with his communications work and most recently with his response to Ushahidi…a tool that will allow him and others to map The United Methodist Church beyond the U.S. for the first time in history. These three examples don’t really begin to touch the stories that have unfolded from my experiences in teaching some of the tools available now to those living in remote parts of the world.
Betty, Pierre, Ernani, Chenayi, Priscilla, James, Isaac…all of these amazing people are using technology for the best reason of all…to improve and save lives.
So it’s their voices that were amplified in the U.N. Headquarters, and it’s their work that will make the difference we seek. The UMC has enormous potential to grow in its impact in the world, and communications technology can help in that impact…only so far as the people use them. As time moves on, I pray that God brings us more willing partners who work in this same spirit to make the world a better place for all.
See the presentation