Folks, the Organic Health Response (OHR) is located on Mfangano Island, Kenya, in the heart of Lake Victoria. They seek to activate information technology, social solidarity, and environmental sustainability to turn the tide against HIV/AIDS across Lake Victoria.
Over the years we’ve supported OHR’s ICT initiatives, namely a highspeed Internet link from their ICT resource headquarters, the Ekialo Kiona (EK) Center, on Mfangano Island to the nearest mainland city of Kisumu. This record breaking link is East Africa’s longest wifi connection (You can read more here: WiFi to Help Out HIV/AIDS on Mfangano Island).
The Ekialo Kiona Center implements a suite of programs including the innovative Cyber-Voluntary Counseling and Testing Pilot, a computer lab with 17 low-powered Inveneo PCs, an organic demonstration farm and native tree nursery, the world’s first microclinic program for people living HIV/AIDS, and EK-FM, a youth-driven community radio station.
The Organic Health Response helps connect kids to their local ICT resources by hosting school field trips to the EK computer lab. According to OHR,
“Last week, a group of 15 kids trickled in to the EK Center for their first tour, led by EK’s ICT Coordinator, Brian Mattah. Sounds of excitement bounced off the ferro-cement walls, as little fingers punched away at the keyboards. For many, this was their first experience in front of a computer screen. In conjunction with a fieldtrip, Mfangano youth are paired with student pen-pals at Rutherford Elementary School in Stillwater, MN. Over the years these kids will learn to communicate with each other via email. At the same time, students in the USA learn about life on Mfangano Island and help raise money to support each field trip.”
The EK Center’s the only high-speed Internet hub on the entire island. For local youth, there are no training facilities in their island communities to support a healthy connection to the outside world.
OHR supports local-global youth development by providing ICT experiences at a young age (computer training, journalism, radio production, and editing skills), in hopes of building and empowering skilled and empowered leaders for the future. EK-FM youth presenters have been sending us posts over the last few months (More here…). Stay tuned for even more from these talented folks.