:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Thursday, May 04, 2006  

Blogging others' stories on HIV/AIDS, and "NGO 2.0"

Brian Shartz and Curt Hopkins at Blogswana (creative name) are doing some innovative blogwork. I'm always excited about innovation in web technology, and as this one related to health and storytelling, it piqued my interest. Check out this project:

Our proposed project would involve training about 20 students in Gabarone who would commit to a year of blogging for someone whose life has been effected by HIV/AIDS. They would post blogs for those on the far side of the digital divide, those without access to computers and connectivity. While the scope of this project may be unique, the concept is not. Patrick Makokoro provides a great example of ‘blogging for others’ in AIDS in Zimbabwe: One Orphan’s Story. He allows Chipo Baloyi to tell his own story about the devestating effect AIDS has had on his family:

My day begins very early in the morning when I light the fire and heat the water for my two small brothers and three younger sisters to bathe in before they go to school. If we have access to maize meal, I cook a pot of porridge for them to eat. After seeing them off to school, I start my daily household chores: sweeping the yard, cleaning the dishes and washing the linen soiled by my young siblings. Since it will still be cool, I then go out to the garden and water.

My father was the first one to pass away, in October 2002. He had been sick for quite some time, and we had to sell off some cattle and goats to pay his hospital bills. We also visited traditional healers to get local medicine for his ailments, but all this was in vain. After he succumbed to this strange, unnamed disease, we had to sell two more heads of cattle to pay for the funeral expenses and to pay some people who had done different services for us. This left my family with nothing...

* * * * * * *

As I mentioned in a previous post, I like to talk about the Web 2.0. A few friends and I are putting together a project in the near future (no talking about pipe dreams before they come to fruition, i was advised by a wise sage), and we can't stop talking about the potential of the web 2.0 -- which is why the defined concept of NGO 2.0 grabbed me:

If the transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 can be said to be the transition from static, authorial, unitary, proprietary, non-transferable content to distributed, networked, user-generated, shared and easily transferable content, and if traditional NGOs may be said to function as cash-intensive, centralized, hierarchical, bureaucratic, specialist-driven operations, then Blogswana is, in a sense, NGO 2.0.

Blogswana bypasses the hierarchy of both the traditional charitable organization and of the recipient government. Its organization is largely horizontal. It distributes funds to a network, populated by the actual individual recipients of that aid, to do its work. It aggregates the work product of those individuals. It enlists those recipients to create and distribute the next generation of aid themselves. It’s a user-generated, entrepreneurial, person-to-person network of aid.

It’s NGO 2.0.

Sweet. Thanks for that clarity, Blogswana team. :>

posted by Anjali Taneja | 5/04/2006 11:17:00 PM | |


Looking to meet other HIV postive people like myself for friends, please go to http://www.13km.com to find my HIV/AIDS chatrooms (let's chat).

# posted by Blogger HIV+DaveyBoy : 5/18/2006 11:20 AM  

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