Camara Kenya Guest Expedition 09 by Mitchell O’Gorman
Everywhere we went in the Camara van we were greeted with waves and smiles. It’s clear that awareness of Camara’s is growing. Our driver Joshua, another remarkable man who volunteers as a driver for Camara, works as a preacher, and wants to become a computer technician through the training and experience he receives with Camara, told me about his burning ambition to “spread the light of Camara”. He believes that Camara should eventually be able to reach even the most rural areas of Kenya over the coming years, and he spoke with passion about the great difference it would make for the rural people of Kenya to have easy access to the volumes of educational information Camara computers provide.
Camara’s growing popularity cannot be attributed solely to the beneficence of the Irish people in providing computers to Africa. The computer provision model is not a unique one in Kenya, indeed computers are available to schools through other NGOs and public bodies. Camara’s achievements, however, have been driven by the unrivalled support they provide to the schools and community-based initiatives they supply with computers. Another volunteer, Jay, who has been tasked with the responsibility of opening up and staffing Camara’s newest hub in the World Heritage Site of Lamu Island, explained to me that when computers become faulty, it is just as expensive to repair them as it is to buy a whole new computer. Camara however, provide computer skills training to two teachers from every school they provide computers to, and also provide free maintenance for 6 months for the computers they supply. Schools then have the choice of extending that warranty by a further 6 months for the sum of roughly €1 per computer. “That” he explains, “is why Camara is the only project that is very successful”.It is clear to me that education really is the best way to help Africa reach its great potential, and that Camara are providing African nations with invaluable tools and skills with this goal in mind. To the old maxim “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” can be added “Give him a computer and he can do a correspondence programme in best-practice fishery management, and blog about it to his Tweeps.” Or something like that.
The Camara Kenya Guest Expedition team were:
Barbara Dooley – Women’s Mini Marathon draw winner
Mitchell O’Gorman – Newmarket Consulting (Camara Charity Cup winners 2009)
Barbara O’Callaghan – State Street Ireland (Camara Charity Cup runners up 2009)
For more photos please visit our flickr set