ICT4D.at 2020 General Assembly

2020. The year, where everything is a little bit different than what it used to be. Due to the Corona virus, the idea for a physical meeting for the general assembly was abandoned. But gladly for us, especially in comparison to older pandemics that humanity has suffered from, our generation has an advantages – the technology to „meet“ at least virtually and catch a glimpse of each other’s homes.

On our call, on 12th of September, we remembered the projects and successes of the past year:

We also discussed ideas for our new website, legal requirements such as ICT4D.at’s budget 2020 and also held the election of our chair and vice-chair. Paul got reelected as our chair and we are very happy to have him lead our organization. Georg decided to step down from his role and I was elected as vice-chair. I would like to thank everyone again for their trust in me.

Virtual 2020 General Assembly

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ICT4D.at 2020 General Assembly
was published on 28.09.2020 by Sanja Cancar. It files under global
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AnitaB.org and TEQtogether online workshop: Changing men’s attitudes and behaviours towards women and technology

May 26, 2020 · 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm BST register here.

AnitaB.org and TEQtogether present an online workshop that aims to help men rethink what more they can do to help empower women in and through digital technologies. In the past ICT4D.at partnered up with TEQtogether to work together to change men’s attitudes about women and technology.

Join Professor Tim Unwin,  Dr Elizabeth Quaglia. Dr Chux Daniels and Paul Spiesberger on May 26, 2020 · 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm BST for an online workshop about Changing men’s attitudes and behaviours towards women and technology.

Find further information here and do not to forget to register in advance since spaces are limited.

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AnitaB.org and TEQtogether online workshop: Changing men’s attitudes and behaviours towards women and technology
was published on 13.05.2020 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under Europe, global
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ICT4D Online Guest Lecture at the TU Wien

As a member of the research group INSO at the TU Wien (Vienna University of Technologies) I am once a year invited to give an introduction to ICT4D. The research group for Industrial Software (INSO) deals with the study of development and maintenance of software systems in practice. The presentation will be a part of their Beyond the Desktop lecture.
I will give an introduction to ICT4D, discuss projects & past research with the students and I will give them an overview of our activities & projects at ICT4D.at. We are currently looking for students who are interested in participating in our projects or to start writing a thesis in the field of ICT4D.

For the first time due to the Covid-19 outbreak will the lecture be available via an online stream. Everyone is welcome to tune in:

Thursday, 23th April 2020, 17:00 – 19:00 (Vienna time zone)
Join via Zoom by clicking here: https://zoom.us/j/541201875

The lecture will be in English language.

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ICT4D Online Guest Lecture at the TU Wien
was published on 21.04.2020 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under Europe
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The Skybird Programme: Innovation and partnerships in WASH for improved living conditions in East Africa

Over the last year we established a partnership with the Austrian Red Cross to team up in one of their current projects called Skybird funded by the Austrian Development Agency. The Austrian Red Cross together with its partners embarked on a 5-years regional WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) capacity strengthening programme in East Africa. It is the overall aim of The Skybird Programme to contribute to improved living conditions – including health, environment and livelihood – in East Africa through increased innovation, strengthened capacities and partnerships of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) movement in WASH and related fields to enable more gender sensitive and effective WASH service delivery.

The Skybird Logo

Geographic program priorities: The Skybird Programme targets the East African region, with specific focus on Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somalia and Uganda:

Map of the geographic programme priorities

Technical WASH knowledge was provided by representatives of the national WASH teams as well as through Austrian Red Cross WASH advisor Magdalena Bäuerl. Another key activity in the project is the implementation of micro-projects awarded to WASH priority branches of Ethiopia and Uganda Red Cross Society as well as other selected Red Cross National Societies in East Africa to foster innovation and collaboration. Although primarily WASH focused, the micro-projects will also explore the following related topics:

  1. Gender, diversity and inclusion
  2. Food security, nutrition and livelihood
  3. Digitalisation
  4. Cash Transfer Programs (CTP) and marked-based interventions
  5. Urban WASH
  6. Climate change and green energy
  7. Community engagement and accountability

Two workshops in Uganda and Ethiopia were implemented between the 11th and 20th February 2020. They invited national and international specialists for each of the related topics. We, ICT4D.at, represented by myself (Paul) were covering the digitalisation part. The specialists had the task to bring in new aspects and ideas into the Red Cross to break their patterns and think a bit outside of the box. The two workshops were split into two phases and Red Cross members from all over the country gathered in their respective capital city to participate in the workshop.

Workshop in Ethiopia (by @chriskloyber)

Phase 1

Phase 1 was focusing on defining problems in the regions where the Red Cross is active. It was quite interesting to hear Red Cross workers describe first hand problems people in Uganda and Ethiopia face, since they work on the front lines every day. The problems range from

  • Food shortage & nutrition
  • Lack of income, inefficient agricultural techniques & tools
  • Unreliable weather conditions, floods & climate crises
  • School dropouts – especially young women caused by a lack of sanitary pads
  • HIV/Aids infections
  • Deforestation
  • Illiteracy
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Lack of toilets/latrines
  • Minor citizen rights
  • Gender inequality
  • High crime rates & rape
  • Soil infertility
  • Lack of fresh drinking water
  • Single mothers with no support
  • Alcohol & drug abuse
  • Informal settlements with no legal validity
  • Domestic violence on a daily basis.

Christian Kloyber then guided the participants through a Process of Design Thinking. Each local Red Cross branch chose one of their most pressing problems and started to generate ideas on how to tackle them. Tools as negative thinking or brain-writing pool were introduced to the participates and many ideas were generated. This was also the moment where the specialists stepped in. We were moving from table to table to bring in our expertise. I tried to spice up the ideas with ICT4D approaches and proposed technologies to support their cause and ideas. This was quite challenging, since many of them rarely thought of using ICTs as a tool in their daily work. Some already got in touch with application such as Kobo or mobile money, but never thought of going beyond. I talked with them about data can empower communities and how for instance Ushahidi is visualizing citizen activism, how iWalkFreely is fighting against woman harassment, weather forecasts via SMS can change the way farmers work and how Farmerline is supporting them via mobile technologies. How health workers use decision trees on mobile phones to pre-diagnose diseases, how voice based mobile phone games can educate the illiterate and how mobile saving groups / micro financing apps can empower women to be more independent. Over the first 2 days we developed first ideas on how to tackle their problems.

The working groups from the different regions in Uganda focused on the following aspects:

  • IGANGA: improve hygiene and sanitation through mobilizing communities through sensitization and setting-up sanitation facilities.
  • MOROTO: manage waste through community engagement in green energy and setting-up waste management centre.
  • KAMPALA SOUTH: Capacity building for entrepreneurs through waste management through collecting waste for recycling and reselling as well as starting gulper businesses and using a phone app to sell products.
  • LIRA: communal farming and family farming through mechanization of agriculture, collectively purchasing modern tools, involving the entire household to increase production and promoting digitalization to ease access for market information as well as promoting family incentives to motivate them and encourage trading in farming unions.
  • NTUNGAMO: equipping single mothers with the right knowledge to be assertive through sensitization campaigns about dangers of female pregnancy and the importance of keeping girls in schools as well as empowering single mother.
Red Cross participants in Kampala with their trainers

Working groups from Ethiopia ended the first 2 days with the following set of ideas:

  • SOUTH OMO: introduce alternative source of energy, easily accessible, avoid deforestation (forest is source of energy and income); provide alternative forms of energy including solar and stoves or Wonderbags; ecotourism; diversifying income generating activities e.g. bee keeping, poultry.
  • ADDIS: focus area are non-official settlements of refugees. Different type of payment system for post or pre-paid using mobile system to afford water, engage the private sector to be attracted to the area and provide information on the location of the service provider; use of mobile money; pipeline extension.
  • BENISHANGUL: feedback mechanism and information for the public regarding (water) services. The community needs to be able to access information and file complaints; Show why something is still broken – show where the spare part currently is e.g. DHL tracking and causal change; advocacy for the water user committee so that they start working.
  • BAHIR DAR: market area with a lack of hygiene facilities – combine a latrine with some source of income e.g. coffee shop so that the latrine can afford income; use of biogas; also add shower services; linked to next level of disposal treatment;
  • WEST ARSI: introduce and promote energy saving stoves and biogas, promote gender equity. Provide agricultural inputs, establish and maintain water infrastructure.
Red Cross participants, specialists and their trainers in Addis Abeba

Phase 2

The last two days were headed by Michaela Pichler. Since more than 12 years Michaela is developing, writing and implementing international project with the Austrian Red Cross. She shared her profound knowledge and experience with the participants over a 2 days workshop in a very joyful and fun manner. She took the results/ideas from the first 2 days and guided the participant to order them in a structured way.

We started to frame our overall goal and went back to the problem statements. What is the thing we are working on and what is the overall goal each group has? After our overall goal was set, we moved on to define our specific objective(s) – so how are we contributing with our idea to the overall goal? We described our expected results and which activities are necessary to achieve these results to contribute to a specific objective and the overall goal. This structured path gave the participants good tools to plan, describe, evaluate and reflect on their ideas. On the last day we discussed logframes and how indicators help to determine what progress has been made towards achieving the objectives in the logframe.

All the training on creative thinking and on the development of a proper project application had a deeper purpose than just an improved future project application writing. The actual goal was to prepare the participants for Phase3 in the Skypbird project where they will have to apply the tools they learned in Phase 1 & 2.

Phase 3

We are currently in March 2020 and therefore in the middle of Phase 3. Red Cross members in East Africa are now starting to compete against each other in a competition for the best micro-project ideas. They will have to find problems in their area of action, find creative solutions and then write them down in form of a project application. Phase 1 & 2 prepared them with the tools they need to do so. The competition will happen within the Red Cross only. Over the next couple of weeks the Skybird organizers in collaboration with their specialists will review the project proposals and choose the best applications. The winners will get a budget to pilot their ideas and implement their project. I am very exited about the ideas coming in and we are looking forward to review and continue working with the Austrian Red Cross in Eastern Africa.

Icons, logos and picture credits: Austrian Red Cross

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The Skybird Programme: Innovation and partnerships in WASH for improved living conditions in East Africa
was published on 12.03.2020 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under east africa
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Introduction to ICT4D at TU Wien

Tomorrow I will give a shot introduction to ICT4D at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien). I got invited by the Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation to contribute to a round of guest lectures of TU researches who implemented in the past related “Projects in Development Aid”. I will talk about our ICT4DMZ project, a current project in India and as well as give an overall introduction to ICT4D.

I will also not be alone, since I invited Christoph Derndorfer to take over the part about OLPC. He is the editor of OLPC News and will share with us his lessons learnt from over a decade of OLPC. You shouldn’t miss that!

Venue: Freihausgebäude (Wiedner Hauptstr. 8) – grüner Bereich, 2. OG, Raumnummer: DA02F16
Date & Time: 17.12 2019, 18:00

Everyone is invited to join the discussion.

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Introduction to ICT4D at TU Wien
was published on 16.12.2019 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under Europe
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Fight for your home

We were on time! I swear! We even arrived way ahead of time. But nonetheless, we were not prepared for the masses that would follow the call of the Viennese chamber of labour and the weekly newspaper “Falter” for the so called “Wiener Stadtgespräch” (Vienna city talk) of Shoshana Zuboff.

Even with a valid registration, we were not able to enter the packed hall were the speech and interview took place. Gladly, there was a live stream of the conversation right next to it across the corridor and we were able to follow the discussion live. And what a bliss that was.

The Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff coined the term “surveillance capitalism”. In her work she calls upon political and public action against the overwhelming power of surveillance that internet giants like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. accumulate.

In her captivating speech she stressed the importance of our democracy, our freedom and our society, which she compared to our home and our home being on fire right now. If the planet is on fire like Greta Thurnberg says, it is fair to call our society our home and the current state that it is in – “on fire”.

We are on the brink of the transition to an information civilization. How we want to shape our future is still in our hands – but we have to fight for it.

Find more information here:

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Fight for your home
was published on 22.11.2019 by Sanja Cancar. It files under global
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2019 Vision Meeting

Two weeks ago we had our 2019 Vision Meeting and General Assembly in Linz. We sat down for two days to re-shift the direction of our NGO and reflect on the past year. Many new challenges arose in the past and new opportunities are ahead. After 10 years, we decided to revamp our legal framework, since we would like to update it to our changed needs and visions. We will do so in an internal and open discussion to all members. We are very happy to welcome Sanja as our newest member. Current and past project were put on the agenda and we used the time to work on some pressuring tasks. Sometimes working physically in the same room has some benefits overall. It was an intensive work-weekend, besides all the fun, discussions, drinks and, lets just call it “team building”.

We also covered the legal requirements for an Austrian NGO and I presented the 2019 budget, which was accepted by all the attending members. Furthermore, Georg was re-elected as the vice-chairman and myself was re-elected as the chairman of ICT4D.at (6 in favour, 0 against, 2 abstain). We both would like to express our gratitude for the trust they put in us and we hope that we will be able to live up to their expectations. Bella and Florian were accepted by all attending members as the new internal financial accountants/auditors.

We are planning new projects and are looking forward to continue working together. If you would like to be part of our small group of engaged people, then please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are open to anyone with any skills and you can simple tune-in to one of our calls.

Members of ICT4D.at at the Vision Meeting
Left to right: Álvaro, Florian, Bella, Georg, Sanja, Paul & Chloé

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2019 Vision Meeting
was published on 15.10.2019 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under Europe
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Capturing The First Pycon Africa

The inaugural pan-African meeting of the Python programming community (Pycon Africa) took place on the 6 – 10 August 2019 in Accra, Ghana at the Bank of Ghana Auditorium, University of Ghana premises which had 323 attendees mainly from all parts of Africa and beyond.

Bank of Ghana Auditorium Credit: Noah Alorwu

The conference had attendees coming from Madagascar, Namibia, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Italy, Senegal, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia, US, Netherland, Zimbabwe, Germany, Brazil etc.

The conference kicked off with an International visitors’ tour of Accra, where guests were taking round to experience the way of life and also visit tourist sites within Accra. Some places of the visit include; Independence Square, Makola Market, Cultural Centre, National Theatre just to mention a few. 

Arrival at the National Theatre Credit: Chuma Umenze

Aside that, there was a beginners day session at the conference venue led by Joey Darko to introduce newbies to the Python programming language.

The opening ceremony started with a cultural display of Ghanaian dances such as Adowa, Agbadza, Damba Takai and many more.

Adowa Dance Credit: Khophi Photography
Here is a video of me dancing with Django Girls attendees who also served as volunteers
#pyDance #DjangoGirls

After the opening dance, Marlene Mhangami the chair for the conference mounted the stage to welcome everyone officially and also introduce the executive team behind the organization of the conference.

Meet the team. From left Marlene > Noah > Mannie > Michael > Daniele >Aaron > Abigail

Moustapha Cisse took over to present a keynote on ‘AI : The potential for Positive Impact‘.

Moustapha Keynoting Credit: Khophi Photography

Afterward, talks scheduled for the day started and runs till mid-afternoon, where a plenary discussion was held on ‘The role African technology communities play in the global technology ecosystem, and how the growth of these communities can be nurtured‘ on the panel were: Solomon Apenya – Andela, Daniel Roy Greenfeld – Britecore, James Yankah – Brompton group and Marlene Mhamani – Pycon Africa Chair

Anna Makarudze the Vice President of the Django Software Foundation then concluded day 1 with a keynote on ’Diversity in tech: An African’s Perspective’ 

Anna Makarudze keynoting

Day 2 started with an energized keynote by Ewa Jodlowska the executive director of the Python Software Foundation on ’Our Stories’ where she spoke about the PSF and what they are doing including grants for the 1st Python in Education.  She ended her keynote speech by saying “Help one another, talk to one another, code together and work together”.

Ewa Jodlowska Keynoting Credit: Khophi Photography

After her speech followed by other interesting talks of which one captivating talk was that of Anthony Shaw: Standing out in a world of 20 million developers of which he touched on: setting small goals, picking your skillset, having two specialities, focusing because that makes you faster, timeboxing, learning to learn, imposter syndrome, & how to have successful interviews

Kojo Idrissa finalized the conference with another epic keynote on: “Kojo, #Python, and You”

Kojo Idrissa Keynoting

After Kojo’s keynote, there was lightning talks presentation and guess what? Well since you didn’t make it I am not gonna tell you. Keep reading

Lightning Talk by Edison Abahurie J

The conference was a huge success all because of the amazing sponsors: Python Software Foundation, Britcore, Andela, Django Society UK, Django Software Foundation, Django Danmark, Nexmo, Django Events Foundation North America, GoFundme, Python Academy, Real Python, Aktech Labs, SikiLabs, Torchbox, Read the docs, Wildfish, Caktus Group, Weekly Python Exercise, ICT4D.at, Khophi Photography and to all GoFundMe and Sharing ticket donors thanks for the kind support.

Pycon Africa Group Photo Credit: Khophi Photography

For others, Pycon Africa was a place to connect with coworkers they never met in person for the first time while for some an avenue to meet their mentors in the Python ecosystem.

The conference also provided networking opportunities, collaboration on open source projects, remote jobs, and so much fun😎

Thanks to all who helped one way or the other to make Pycon Africa a memorable one.

If you’re reading this, you don’t want to miss Pycon Africa 2020 in August at Accra, Ghana.

Start making preparations ASAP.

More pictures of the conference can be viewed here:
1. https://photos.app.goo.gl/nJV519frPtwPvFmP8
2. https://photos.app.goo.gl/eJsTYitHRSTgQsFVA
3. https://photos.app.goo.gl/3zyT4WcAWjsoPtBG6

I promised right, the conference ended with sprints, tutorial session, and a lightning #PyDance to avoid burnout.

Lightning #PyDance

>>>End()

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Capturing The First Pycon Africa
was published on 18.08.2019 by Noah Alorwu. It files under sub saharan africa
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The Whitsun Dialogues: Digital Europe. No borders, no limits?

Source: http://www.pfingstdialog-steiermark.at/en/

In the beginning of June at the picturesque Seggau Castle in Austria over 400 experts, academics and professionals attended the “Geist & Gegenwart” Whitsun Dialogue to talk about digital Europe. Our partner organization “European Youth Award” was also invited within the scholarship programme.

The various presentations, panel discussions and workshops dealt with a broad range of topics and tried to address the most pressing questions of our times – how to deal with ethical, philosophical, democratic, economic, social… achievements in times of digitalization. Does the idea of a boundless society threaten our humanistic ideal? Can Europe compete with the American monopolistic private companies and how to loosen our dependency on them? Will we be able to use the countless opportunities digitalization and artificial intelligence offer us in a responsible way?

The prestigious event started on the first day, 5th of June, with interactive workshops for the scholars. As you can imagine a broad range of interdisciplinary and international exchange of experience and knowledge happened. My personal highlight was a presentation by the digital pioneer Tim Cole, who compared the big four (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and their market dominating, seemingly endless power to the four horsemen of the apocalypse. His call for action included everybody, because “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem“.

The second day began with forums about Europe’s competitiveness and artificial intelligence, followed by workshops about current and future developments:

  • Mobility of the future
  • Digitalisation in healthcare
  • Security in a digital Europe
  • Information and manipulation in the democratic discourse
  • Culture and media – digital and analogue worlds
  • Transformation of job profiles and the economy
  • Digitalisation in production – killing jobs or safeguarding employment locations?
  • Trust in technology

Charlotte Stix, an expert on artificial intelligence, emphasised the necessity for ethical principles and a global perspective since AI and digitalisation know no national borders.

“The concept of Europe entails addressing and preserving fundamental rights and values. These should also influence the digitalisation of our world and the development of artificial intelligence (AI). If that happens, Europe can develop into a leading force: AI with people at the centre.”

Source: http://www.pfingstdialog-steiermark.at/en/charlotte-stix-01-2/

The evening was crowned by a interview of Peter Sloterdijk, who basically stated that we live in the “best of all times” and that people tend to confuse potential risks with real dangers. He gave valuable insights, but ended on a slightly controversial note at the end where he stated that the rising of anti-semitism was due to alarmism. In protest several people left the room. You could argue that his claim for the need of discussion and nowadays “non-willingness” to debate were proven to be right, but I also recommend to read the reaction by the Jewish newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine.

The last day was finished with keynote speeches about the ethics of the digital discourse (and by a last jump in to the pool at the hotel).

Overall my impression is mixed. While a „high-caliber interdisciplinary and international sharing of experience“ with „new insights and perspectives, knowledge“ was promised, I would have welcomed more diversity on the stage – especially with that topic in mind. The event was driven by a kind of technic and future pessimistic view, bearing a lot of fears and possible threats. Only a minority of the speakers shared an inspiring atmosphere when they focused on the chances, hopes and necessities.

You could see there was a big “digital divide” between the old and the young – or to be more accurate the “old worldviews” vs. the “new worldviews”. That is probably the reason why I enjoyed the first day the most where the students and young academics debated in interactive workshops.

Also the topic of ethics in digital era is crucial, the catholic church representing those values not so much. Again – a more diverse approach would have been much appreciated.

The event turned out to be a great networking opportunity though. We even got to meet the Regional Governor of Styria Hermann Schützenhofer:

The prestigious biennially event is hosted by the Styrian Government in cooperation with the Diocese Graz-Seckau and the Club Alpbach Styria.

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The Whitsun Dialogues: Digital Europe. No borders, no limits?
was published on 23.07.2019 by Sanja Cancar. It files under Europe
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YES We Care 2! Kick-Off and first Study Trip

We recently started to work with mladiinfo from Macedonia, Risky Businesses from Romania and YoungAfrica from Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia on our YES We Care 2 – Youth Empowerment through Social Entrepreneurship. We support our partners with our ICT know-how and contribute with our experiences from the field. The overall goal is to map social entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia and offer them trainings, networking and guidance to further grow their businesses. ICT plays a vial role in establishing a successful business and needs to take local realities such as limited resources and different interface into consideration. Read more here about the current project and find here more information about the past first project implementation.

Yes We Care 2 Banner

Kick-Off in Harare

We started the project with a kick-off event in Harare, Zimbabwe where the consortium met for the first time in person. We discussed and planned the upcoming studies visits in the three African countries and how we will succeed in the implementation. The meeting was a lot of fun, surfaced many challenges within our planning and brought us all closer together.

First Study Trip to Beira in Mozambique

For the last few days the city of Beira in Mozambique was our working place. Although “working” is not quite the right term. It was a mix of study visits, cultural networking and enjoying the country. In total it was quite intense, we were visiting a lot of places, met a lot of interesting people and promising NGOs – even the mayor of the town gave us an official welcome.

Our goal within the project was to find local social entrepreneurs to invite them to a training session in Macedonia next year. Our project “YES We Care 2” aims to give those motivated people and their ideas an educational boost and a network to reach out to potential sponsors.

Yet it was not easy to find social entrepreneurs in the local scene since the term is relatively unknown in Mozambique. There might be already several well running businesses which fulfil the criteria of a social entrepreneurship but they are not on the radar of our local partner. Speaking of which: Our study visits and trips around Beira were organised by Young Africa Mozambique. They run a training centre in Beira and in Dondo, a nearby spot in the country side, where they provide education, vocational trainings and many other courses with very practical aspects for young students. In different franchises the students learn to become bike mechanics, farmers, electricians, cooks etc.

Young Africa introduced us to those franchises and we got more than a glimpse on the social impact of the organisation. They also arranged visits with local government officials and businesses and other NGOs. One of the first meetings was with the mayor of the town. Sitting in the mayor’s office, presenting our project, taking pictures – all that gave our trip a very official start and we felt honoured to be invited. The mayor mentioned that we need to try prawns and that supporting young citizens might be even more important after the big cyclone earlier this year.

We were very impressed by the rather quick recovery of the city. The damage of the cyclone is still visible in many places (e.g. many of the roofs are still gone) although the citizens did a great job in rebuilding the structures. As always, the ones who suffer the most are the poor inhabitants. And there are a lot. We passed by many slums when we were going around by car and it gave us yet another reminder how privileged we are to travel around the globe, sleeping in clean beds and having regular meals.

Our discussion cycled daily around the circumstances these people are living in. The question is: How can we help the motivated entrepreneurs and project leaders in the most sustainable way? We cannot solve their problems, but only support them in helping themselves. For us, it is obvious that we can achieve that by establishing strong networks which last longer than our short trips and most importantly providing tools to them to help themselves. Start a business, create jobs and rebuild the city.

The diverse members of our group were also quite colourful and it was a pleasure to work with all of them: Mhlonipeni from Zimbabwe, Constance from Mozambique, Shemo and Lulesa from Macedonia, Robert from Romania, Eric from Belgium, Paul and Georg from Austria. Finding topics to talk about wasn’t hard. Politics, cultural habits, sharing ideas and telling jokes only scratch the surface. There were always funny cultural differences and language barriers. We spent hours trying to bridge those gaps. Trying to count in the different languages was maybe the most hilarious part.

In the end, we shook a lot of hands, built up networks, led very interesting conversations and discussions about social entrepreneurship and how to improve the situation for young entrepreneurs in Beira.

One good example was 3R Mozambique. They create a clean environment for current and future generations through the transformation of the waste. Furthermore, 3R provide integrated waste management services for medium and large organizations and build waste treatment infrastructure across Mozambique.

We also met Baisikeli who import second-hand bikes from Denmark supported by their sponsor. They repair the bikes, sell them in local shops and promote eco-friendly transport in Beira. If this wasn’t already enough, they work with Young Africa in Beira to train young students to become bike mechanics and also create bikes for handicapped people. Many still loose their ability to walk due to a still existing mine problem in the surrounding area. Recently they also built bikes with a pizza oven included, they plan start new businesses with mobile pizza bikes!

We also used the opportunity to connect with local universities. Paul met colleague from the Universidade Zambeze. The local public university which suffered badly from the cyclone. Almost all of their computers were destroyed and they now face the challenge to teach computer science for 500 students with only 20 computers. We talked about how we can support them and explored possible collaborations.

Overall, we simply had a lot of fun. Mozambicans are very friendly people and we are very grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the Mozambican culture. Therefore, we want to thank Young Africa and our project partners for the wonderful collaboration: Mladiinfo and Risky Business.

Written by: Paul Spiesberger and Georg Steinfelder

Yes We Care 2 Partners

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YES We Care 2! Kick-Off and first Study Trip
was published on 16.07.2019 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under sub saharan africa
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