A while ago I was skyping with a friend who runs a revolutionary outfit called the Bulungula Incubator (BI) in rural transkei, 4 hours from anything remotely urban (the closest googlemaps really gets is Coffee Bay and that’s 2 hours away! see it here if you want).
Bulungula is far from any of the the comforts of city living that you’re currently enjoying as you read this – is your tv on? got hot running water? a flushing toilet? got an electric light switch next to the door? a hospital or clinic just a short drive away, and a good school for your kids close by? For Bulungula, the closest hospital, clinic, school, and source of clean potable water used to be hours away.
The story started a long time ago and is worth a read. For a heartwarming and very real look at the good things you can do if you apply yourself, this is one video you REALLY should watch – see brilliant video. Also see great pics about what the school is doing here.
But this post is about highlighting the crucial role that ICTs can have in the real lives of people living in rural Transkei.
So back to my chat with my mate. She was REALLY excited.
well, cos she finally got a VSAT phone for their office (read mud hut).
big deal – what does that mean exactly?
In her own words …
“This week we FINALLY got internet, fax and phone at the BI office. FANTASTIC. You can’t believe the difference it makes not having to run 50m up a hill everytime I need to make or receive a call.”
So I asked – but what sort of difference does that make exactly?
This is what she said:
“Communication is everything and when you’re as remote as us, you have to have decent technology in order to stay viable”
A helluva lot of hard work + technology can actually make a difference in people’s lives.
Don’t forget to watch that video.