Since November of last year I’ve been volunteering at Camara.

I felt that if I was going to go to Africa long term it would make sense to have some volunteering experience before going. Plus, if we are to attempt to get a placement with VSI having volunteering experience would be invaluable. It’s also very hard to get out there and get hands on experience using Linux in a enterprise environment. So, this alone was enough to get me down to Camara.

Camara have been in business for 2/3 years (I think). They basically refurbish computers, install Ubuntu (Linux), Educational, Multimedia and Office software; they also include a full suite of start up guides for the novice computer user and AIDS/HIV software to help educate in Africa and ship them to Camara “hubs” in East Africa. The computers are then sold at a nominal price to the schools and distributed.
Teams of teachers are then trained in Camara Dublin and then sent out to Africa in the summer for a few weeks to show the recipients how to use and maintain the computers.

Eoghan and Cormac at Camara made me a kind offer to drop into the hubs on our travels down East Africa. I’ll gladly be taking up their offer. The opportunity to actually get involved at the point where all of the hard work pays off is exciting. Maybe I can train the trainers, give a hardware course, teach some school kids or generally just help out.

What I want to avoid for this monster trip is feeling like we have to keep moving on [south]. Jeanne and I do want to stop off and absorb the local culture and enjoy the people and their traditions. I think it would be a shame to go to Africa and take all of the way. So volunteering makes sense.

Eoghan at Camara is also linking to this blog so updates will HAVE to be regular. At least, when an interbox connection is available!