I am most definitely not in Africa. But from the projects I’ve been working on, I might as well be.
Nurses for Africa
At work, we’re helping out with a site for 16 nurses from St. Louis that are in Zambia, providing medical care and education and HIV/AIDS prevention. Zambia is in southern Africa. Each day, the team in Zambia sends us videos and emails about their adventures with the help of a satellite phone and Internet cafes.
We post them on http://nursesforafrica.net/. It’s so cool to get to work every day and learn about what adventures are transpiring half the world away. When researching for the project, I even connected with my old friend from middle school that was born in Zambia to find out about possible Internet service providers. Small world!
Books for Cameroon
While the nurses are in southern Africa, my friend Wendy is in Cameroon – on the western coast of the continent. She’s a Peace Corps volunteer. Yesterday I got a tweet from her, asking for some help spreading the word about her new project called Books for Cameroon.
Wendy lives in a small village where her house doesn’t have running water. But she does have the Internet! So, using her blog, Twitter and Facebook – she’s raising $11,500 to send 22,000 books from the US to Cameroon.
I worked with Wendy via instant message and email yesterday to write and edit press releases and pitch emails for her to send out to various local and national media outlets.
By the way, please donate to her cause if you feel so inclined!
I am continually amazed at the way technology makes the world a smaller (and better!) place. In a million years, I never imagined that I’d be IMing friends in AFRICA – working with the Peace Corps and volunteer nurses – to promote literacy and HIV/AIDS prevention. Even if my part is small, after all I’m not the ones in Africa doing the heavy lifting, I am so glad that I can contribute to their work in my own little way, from my own little home in St. Louis.