[hackerspaces] Refugee Memberships...

sheila miguez shekay at pobox.com
Wed Dec 2 18:24:46 CET 2015

On Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 10:54 AM, Petr Baudis <pasky at ucw.cz> wrote:

>   I guess part of the misunderstanding is the seduction of lumping
> all "undeveloped world" together - Syria and Kenya, Paraguay and
> Indonesia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, (South) Sudan and Nepal, ...
> In fact, the tech situation in each of these locations is AFAIK very
> different and their economic level may not correlate well with ih.
> Another thing is that 10 year old anecdotes / experience with some
> of these regions may be largely invalid today.

His observations still stand for the amount of effort and drastically
different expectations that will come in to play for people without
experience who have good intentions.

As I mentioned upthread, I volunteered some small amount of time with an
organization in Chicago to tutor a brother and sister and also teach a
class in "computers" to kids. They were from Somalia.

I wasn't a great volunteer. For example, for the class I didn't realize
that the goal was not to teach programming to kids but to teach
keyboarding, mousing, word processing (all valuable, and not what I
expected). And in cultural and language ignorance, I ended up calling an
ambulance because the kids' mom was moaning in pain. I didn't know that
people express pain in different ways, and I did not have enough vocabulary
in common to know how bad the pain was.

So, before attempting to help, learn how not to be worse than useless and
how not to make expensive mistakes.

Also, consider things beyond mere membership. it will be a waste of time if
you don't consider transportation as just one thing. The refugee
organization I met with had a van to give kids rides, for example.

shekay at pobox.com
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