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africa-calendar 2005

November 30, 2004  

laafi-calendar 2005, cover

i proudly present: africa-photo-calendar 2005, the third calendar of laafi – initiative for development in burkina faso for which i had the honour to supply the photographs (all from my photos from burkina faso 2003).

please order the calendar numerously, as it’s the most important means of fundraising for our activities in burkina faso. the perfect x-mas gift for friends and family ;-)

laafi-calendar 2005, january/february/march

please use your blogs and spread the word! we deliver around the globe. :-)

order via my contact-page in case you don’t understand german. the calendar is in german, though.


friends and i from the small NGO ‘laafi’ sat together the other day and talked about ideas about using IT in development projects (like walkie talkies or mobile phones for communication between remote / rural health institutions). we realized that it would be very useful to share know-how with other NGOs who most probably have been facing similar challenges.

however, hardly any NGOs of our size has decent project descriptions on its website (if they have one). the discussion went on that night and the idea evolved to launch a knowledge management portal covering the topic area “development work in burkina faso”.

we only found two KM examples within the development aid sphere, both of them using a top-down approach, with rather high inhibition tresholds for participation, poor visibility in search engines and both aren’t in german: developmentgateway.org (fuelled by the world bank) and digitaldividend.org (run by the world resources institute). in contrast to them we want to achieve a bottom-up know-how repository that is supposed to live from the general public: people engaged in development, students, journalists and simple website visitors. a dynamic resource anyone can contribute to. with good findability and in german.

everyone familiar with web technologies will already have guessed what solution we came up with to achieve the bottom-up approach: a wiki. it is supposed to cover the following areas: NGOs working in burkina, general information such as health care and education systems in burkina, project examples, discussions, etc. the plan is to add all the information laafi has about burkina and our projects and those of others, then to motivate other NGOs to contribute themselves and finally to hope that visitors referred by search engines will fill the site up with relevant content. all in german at first but it might be extended to english (and/or to the subject of other sahel countries) at some point.

the biggest challenge will be usability. folks interested in devoplement aid usually are everthing but geeks and won’t be familiar with concepts such as wiki. therefor contribution, information retrieval and context (“what is this?”) must reach unknown levels of simplicity. it needs to be intuitive, easy and with just as few advanced options as needed.

as i’ve never set up a wiki or a knowlede management portal, i’d be happy if you could point me to resources and articles that could be of interest, or if you could share your experiences in this field, and about tips on which wiki software to use! let’s see where this idea gets us.

ps. regarding findability: i expect this blog entry to be in the top three google results on “knowledge management” “development aid” within days. fancy a bet? ;-)

update july 11th: bet won (a pity nobody took the challenge;-), the entry is #1 on google now. however, martin pointed me to a more interesting and competitive keyword: ict4dev, which stands for “information technology for development”. he also pointed me to the NGO geekcorps and tomas krag and his blog multiplicity. thank you martin, that gives a lot of material for further investigations.

update 2007: the resulting platform has been launched in 2005: www.burkina.at (German)

laafi-fest übermorgen

June 16, 2004  

ich würde mich freuen, die mittlerweile gar nicht so wenigen leser dieses blogs beim alljährlichen afrika-fest von laafi persönlich kennenzulernen.

‘laafi – initiative für entwicklung’ ist eine kleine initiative im freundeskreis, die seit jahren in burkina faso kleinere projekte im gesundheitsbereich finanziert. weitere informationen zum fest sowie einen anfahrtsplan gibt’s unter www.laafi.at/fest.


i recently returned from burkina and just put the photos online: burkina faso 2003. for the background of my trip see www.laafi.at.

burkina faso now.

November 21, 2003  

from tomorrow i’ll be in burkina faso for a couple of weeks, with some others from laafi. i hope i’ll meet the man on the right again..

if i promise to try hard shooting good photos for the africa-calendar 2005, will you go and order a copy of the photo-calendar africa 2004?

i’ll be checking my mails form time to time, in case someone wants to reach me.

update: i met him again. see the photos from burkina faso 2003.

sam marlboro

zehntausend kilometer lang hat uns das waisenhaus begleitet, war immer als ziel mit dabei. also konnten wir gestern gar nicht anders als weiterfahren und standen heute früh gegen eins vor seinen toren in ouagadougou.

 kathrin rohde from the ouagadougou orphanage AMPO and a few of her kids celebrate the arrival of the donated landcruiser. now, almost four years later, the landcruiser is still in use and good shape.am morgen werden wir euphorisch von den kindern des waisenhauses begrüßt, wir sind die helden des tages. alle haben auf das auto gewartet, das ab jetzt dem projekt als rollende werkstatt für die rollstühle behinderter kinder in der region rund um die hauptstadt zur verfügung stellen soll. denn das waisenhaus ist eigentlich viel mehr als das: zum kinderdorf für 120 kinder von sechs bis 18 jahren gehört auch eine schule, eine krankenstation, eine behindertenwerkstatt, ein frauenberatungszentrum, ein marionettentheater und eben die rollstuhlwerkstatt, die mit unserem landcruiser eine fahrende schwester bekommt, mit der auch in der regenzeit abgelegene dörfer erreicht werden können.
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burkina wir kommen!

January 26, 2000  

von einem wunderschönen sonnenaufgang werden wir auf moussa’s flachdach geweckt. ein konzert von hahnenschreien hallt von der großen felswand wider und die frauen des dorfes sind längst am weg vom und zum brunnen. mit 20 liter großen tonkrügen am kopf gehen sie mehrmals den steilen weg zu ihren hätten. wir besuchen noch ein paar alte, die die stöcke einer frisch geschlachteten ziege verteilen, auch moussa bekommt etwas ab. klaus und ich interessieren uns für zwei handgeschnitzte alte hocker, moussa für “zivilisationsware”. so tauschen wir einen wasserkanister, ein paar schuhe, etwas gewand, ein paar feuerzeuge und einen reisewecker gegen die beiden prachtstücke. später plagt uns dann das schlechte gewissen, so was wie uhrzeit und vor allem einen wecker in die wunderbare welt der dogon gebracht zu haben.
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Common misspellings: Farnberger, Fahrenberger, Farenberger, Fahnberger, Fahrnleitner, Fahrngruber, Fahrnberg.
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