Blog Entries by Romina Oliverio

International Volunteer Day 2010: NABUUR Local Reps Say Thank You!

By Romina OliverioPosted on December 05, 2010Comments: (5)

UNV Online Volunteering Awards Honor NABUUR's Maria Zandt!

By Romina OliverioPosted on December 04, 2010Comments: (4)

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme today announced the winners of the "Online Volunteering Award 2010", an award which honors outstanding contributions by online volunteers to projects aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The announcement this morning brought some very happy news for the NABUUR community: Facilitator Maria Zandt was chosen as one of the ten winners of the award! Maria was nominated in recognition of her tireless work with the community of Wakitaka, Uganda.

Emmanuel Menya, local representative of Wakitaka, explains the impact that Maria has had on the community's project: “In less than two years, Wakitaka Youth Development Group (WYDG); a CBO found in Jinja-Uganda has been able to register many successes under the facilitation of Maria Zandt; an online volunteer on Nabuur.com. Maria, who became the facilitator of the CBO early 2009 when the group had only six goats and 250 broilers for the poultry project, has been able to transform and elevate the CBO activities which involve both income and non-income generating activities that are benefitting the community."

“No idea presented by the youth to Maria as the CBO facilitator has ever failed. All the ideas end up turning out into feasible projects," Emmanuel adds.

Maria's nomination was also in part for her continued involvement with NABUUR in various roles, including supporting other projects and taking an active role in discussions geared towards improving the NABUUR platform. In all her involvement, Maria brings a high level of commitment and dedication, along with great enthusiasm, and she is always employing her creativity and initiative to achieve results.

Congratulations, Maria, we are beyond proud of you and of your work with Emmanuel and the community of Wakitaka!

To read the rest of the winners' inspiring stories, visit the UNV website here.

Volunteer With a Project Today!

By Romina OliverioPosted on September 10, 2010Comments: (4)

There are many ways to get involved with a village on Nabuur. Many of the projects are actively seeking volunteers to help them with tasks that can be completed online, and usually in the span of a few hours.

Below is a roundup of some of the opportunities available.

Build a website for the school in Bukokholo

The village of Bukokholo in Kenya is seeking one or more volunteers to help build a website for the community school. Judith Mukhamba, the local representative, explains the need: "We have registered domin name for the website and we need volunteers who may know how to design the website to design one for us on this task we are looking volunteers who i can give information and he/she design a website for www.bukokholoeducationcenter.org this is our already registered domain for the village."

To find out more or to get involved, click here.

Help Secure Educational Toys and Games for Sajos Academy in Kiserian.

Sajos Academy in Kiserian is looking for educational toys and games to fill its classrooms. The community would like to study the possibilities of fundraising for the toys and games, or locate an organization or individual willing to donate the items.

If you can help in researching potential donors or can arrange for a donation, please leave a comment here.

Volunteer Teachers Wanted for Notre Dame High School in Masaka

The Notre Dame High School in Masaka, Uganda, is recruiting volunteer teachers to teach the following subjects: English, Biology and Computers. Volunteers with experience in school administration and proposal writing are also being sought.

If you can help locate suitable candidates or shortlist websites where the recruitment notices can be posted, join the conversation happening here.

Kenyan Social Enterprise Needs Marketing Advice and Training Centre Equipment

Leso World is a Kenyan social enterprise company which works to improve employment opportunities for young people in Nairobi through producing and selling beautiful African-inspired craft products. The handmade products include tablecloths, napkins, aprons, oven gloves, tea cosies, table mats, duvet covers, and many others.

Leso World has set up a training centre for unemployed youth where they can learn skills including tailoring, carving, painting and music. These skills will give them a way to earn money and work their way out of poverty.

Local representative Penina is looking for volunteers to help market the products in Kenya and on international platforms. The community is also looking for sewing machines and musical instruments to further furnish the training centre.

If you can help, please join the online discussions at Leso World here.

Another roundup of volunteering opportunities will be posted shortly. In the meantime, don't forget to visit http://www.nabuur.com/en/volunteer-opportunities for more ways to get involved - there is something for everyone to do!

Tonny From Mawoito Rallies Support for Tweet-A-Net...And You Can Help!

By Romina OliverioPosted on April 20, 2010Comments: (2)

Last week, an invitation was extended to everyone to support Tweet-A-Net, an initiative consisting of a group of online volunteers assisting several villages in Uganda through NABUUR. Between April 1 and 25, this group is aiming to raise 1000 mosquito nets for the children of three villages nearby the Lake Victoria, Wakitaka, Jinja East and Mawoito through various social networks such as twitter and facebook.

Since the call for support went out, more supporters have stepped up (thank you!), but more help is needed! If you have yet to show your support, take a minute to read a personal statement from Tonny Mulambe below. Tonny is Local Representative of Mawoito village and head of a childcare project for orphaned children in his community; he knows first hand the importance of mosquito nets for the children in the community and he implores everyone to get involved with this campaign - which you can do by browsing down and seeing the many options available to contribute your support!

From Tonny: "Every week, at least one child dies of malaria in Mawoito. Given the poverty levels in the village, the families here cannot buy a net, which costs $2.7. Most of the children who are attacked by this killer disease are not able to go to school once they fall sick and this hampers their academic performance in class since they are not able to attend school regularly. Similarly, this affects the family income since all the little money got is spent on buying medicine for the sick children in the family. To those who are orphans, the situation is made worse in that they are not even able to access basic first line treatment since they have no one to take them their other village health workers. Therefore, this makes them very prone to the disease in that they live in a very miserable state for example the type of houses they sleep in makes them prone to attacks from mosquitoes since they have nothing to cover themselves which could prevent them from catching the disease. The Government has not taken it upon itself to cater for the orphans and other vulnerable children in terms of social protection hence making them vulnerable to any attack. The children still become inefficient in attending school since a sick mind can not capture any thing while in class and therefore this makes them academically poor as a result of malaria attacks.

Its therefore upon such a background that we came out as childcare project to agitate for the rights of the orphaned children so that they can be able to access to some basic medical attention like the one of providing mosquito nets. The children are between the ages of 6-18 years. Our project has a total number of 360 orphaned children whom we want to help with these nets so that they can also live a life that is healthy just like any other human being.

Donate a net and save the lives of our orphaned children." 
Tonny

How YOU Can Help!

There are plenty of ways to support the Tweet-A-Net campaign. To donate a mosquito net visit the TweetANet fundraising page here.

And if you feel motivated to help more, here are 10 easy things that you can do today!

1. Join the Tweet-A-Net Fan Page on Facebook to follow all the latest news and updates about our joint effort to raise funds for mosquito nets.

2. Tell your friends and share our posts on Facebook. Invite them to be a part of the event.

3. Join the Fundraising Project on Betterplace.org and rate the project.

4. Become an Advocate for our project – advocates write up a short recommendation to voice support for what we are doing. Advocates are very important to get a higher ranking on the website and thereby more visitors.

5. If you have visited any of the projects in Mawoito, Jinja Central or Wakitaka – become a Visitor . Visitors are very important to our fundraiser because they help to validate that these are real projects helping real people on the ground in Uganda.

6. Email your friends and help us spread the word about our project.

7. Share the link to the fundraising project in your email signature.

8. Donate your instant messenger status update and help us publicize a link to the fundraiser.

9. Add a fundraising widget to your blog – you can do that directly from the Betterplace.org site by clicking on "Spread the Word".

10. Are you on Twitter? Help tweet and retweet messages – follow @tweetanet, @nabuur, @behod, @emmanuelmenya to watch our progress via Twitter. http://twitter.com/TweetANet

Don't forget - a mosquito net costs less than a cappuchino. Mosquito nets truly can save lives. Join us April 1-25th and help us roll back malaria in Uganda!

Join Tweet-A-Net in The Fight Against Malaria

By Romina OliverioPosted on April 10, 2010Comments: (1)

The sobering statistic is by now well known: Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria. Yet, despite malaria being a preventable and treatable disease, it continues to ravage millions of people around the world, most of them situated in Africa. Local communities in developing countries are determined to eradicate the crippling threat of malaria, but making contact with large organizations that donate mosquito nets is challenging, and at times, entirely futile. This, however, hasn't deterred three Ugandan community based organizations from uniting their strengths and forging ahead with their fight to combat malaria. These communities have boldly launched an initiative from April 1 to 25 to roll back malaria in Uganda.

In the following text, NABUUR volunteer storyteller Kirsti Shields brings you the story of Zainah - a courageous young woman from Wakitaka whose story proves that mosquito nets save lives, and most importantly, hold the power to enable a future that may have earlier seemed bleak, if not entirely impossible.

"Eighteen year-old Zainah lies beside her young son listening to the whine of a mosquito.

Malaria runs rampant here, transmitted by mosquitoes that breed in Uganda’s wetlands. Pregnant women and young children are hit hardest - 85% of Uganda’s 350 daily deaths from malaria occur in children under 5. Malaria also takes a financial toll. Costly medical treatments drain family income. The sick miss school and work. Zainah´s father died from HIV/Aids and malaria treatment takes a considerable portion of the family’s income.

Fortunately for Zainah and her son, the mosquito’s bark is worse than its bite. Thanks to Tweet-a-Net, a fundraising collaborative of three Nabuur villages that provides free mosquito nets to vulnerable families in Wakitaka, Jinja Central and Mawoito villages, they now sleep easy.

Tweet-a-net harnesses the power of social networking-sites such as twitter to reach private donors. “Our goal is to reach 1000 families,” explains Nabuur facilitator and Tweet-A-Net organizer Maria Zandt. The repercussions for families like Zainah’s go beyond infection control, she adds. No longer impoverished by medical expenses, Zainah and her family can now invest precious funds in her youth-development group’s goat-rearing initiative that she started after dropping out of school together with the Wakitaka Youth Development Group. No longer too sick to walk to school, her son can join her friends at school and pursue his dream of studying medicine and perhaps, one day, eradicating malaria altogether. But until she succeeds, nets – and networks - work.

Just ask Zainah.”

For Zainah, her son, and the millions of people who fall victim to this preventable disease, we urge that you join the fight. There are plenty of ways to support the Tweet-A-Net campaign. To donate a mosquito net visit the TweetANet fundraising page here.

And if you feel motivated to help more, here are 10 easy things that you can do today!

1. Join the Tweet-A-Net Fan Page on Facebook to follow all the latest news and updates about our joint effort to raise funds for mosquito nets.

2. Tell your friends and share our posts on Facebook. Invite them to be a part of the event.

3. Join the Fundraising Project on Betterplace.org and rate the project.

4. Become an Advocate for our project – advocates write up a short recommendation to voice support for what we are doing. Advocates are very important to get a higher ranking on the website and thereby more visitors.

5. If you have visited any of the projects in Mawoito, Jinja Central or Wakitaka – become a Visitor . Visitors are very important to our fundraiser because they help to validate that these are real projects helping real people on the ground in Uganda.

6. Email your friends and help us spread the word about our project.

7. Share the link to the fundraising project in your email signature.

8. Donate your instant messenger status update and help us publicize a link to the fundraiser.

9. Add a fundraising widget to your blog – you can do that directly from the Betterplace.org site by clicking on "Spread the Word".

10. Are you on Twitter? Help tweet and retweet messages – follow @tweetanet, @nabuur, @behod, @emmanuelmenya to watch our progress via Twitter. http://twitter.com/TweetANet

Don't forget - a mosquito net costs less than a cappuchino. Mosquito nets truly can save lives. Join us April 1-25th and help us roll back malaria in Uganda!

TakingITGlobal and Nabuur Launch New Action Guide on Online Volunteering

By Romina OliverioPosted on January 25, 2010Comments: (5)

*A free digital guide for youth interested in becoming online volunteers and learning more about the rich world of online volunteering.*

TakingITGlobal (TIG), an organization that operates the world’s most popular online community for young leaders, and Nabuur, an online volunteering platform that links Neighbours (online volunteers) with Villages (local communities) in Africa, Asia and Latin America, announced today the release of a new Action Guide on Online Volunteering available for download on the TIG website.

Connect, Contribute, Collaborate, Change: Online Volunteering in Action is an impressive collection of tools, tips, and stories based on the organizations’ leadership in managing and working with large teams of international online volunteers. The guide is divided into four main chapters (Connect, Contribute, Collaborate, Change) and offers important resources to debunk myths about online volunteering while highlighting its many social benefits.

“Our hope is that this guide will help raise awareness on the potential of online volunteering as a tool for collaboration and change” says Chiara Camponeschi, TakingITGlobal’s Multilingual Program Manager. “Online volunteering can be a very powerful experience, especially given its potential to overcome many kinds of barriers.”

The Creative Commons-licensed guide is the culmination of the organizations’ three-month Awareness Campaign on Online Volunteering, a project which ended on December 5th, International Volunteer Day. The Campaign included the launch of a special issue of the multilingual online magazine Panorama by the tile “Meet the Volunteers”, and continued with a Live Chat that brought together international experts and global youth for a lively discussion on the role online volunteers can play as “agents of change”.

The publication of Connect, Contribute, Collaborate, Change: Online Volunteering in Action also coincides with the launch of TIG’s mini-portal for its Online Volunteering program and the world-wide release of its Pathway to Participation Model after which this Guide is inspired.

To download a free PDF copy of the guide, please visit: http://www.tigweb.org/resources/toolkits/view.html?ToolkitID=2655

TIG’s newly-launched Online Volunteering mini-portal can be found at: http://volunteers.tigweb.org

About TakingITGlobal

Established in 2000, TakingITGlobal serves youth worldwide through a multilingual online learning community and innovative education programs. TIG aims to help young people develop their potential as creative, technology-enabled and globally-aware citizens by strengthening their capacity as leaders and stakeholders, fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, and increasing awareness and involvement in global issues.

About Nabuur

NABUUR leverages the Internet to enable people around the world to connect and collaborate. Online volunteers are matched to and linked with Local Communities in developing countries through www.nabuur.com. The people living in the Villages formulate projects to address local issues. Together, the community and volunteers find solutions. For volunteers, the focus is not on donating money, but on sharing knowledge, ideas and contacts. This novel approach leaves the initiative in the hands of the Villages. NABUUR combines the best of the old (neighborly help) with the best of now (the internet).

For More Information, please contact:

TakingITGlobal
Chiara Camponeschi
Multilingual Programs Manager
chiara@takingitglobal.org
http://multilingual.tigweb.org

Nabuur
Romina Oliverio
Volunteer & Online Communities Manager
romina@nabuur.com
www.nabuur.com

Happy New Year from the Villages!

By Romina OliverioPosted on January 07, 2010Comments: (1)

Over the holidays, messages from the villages' facilitators and local representatives came in to wish the community a festive holiday season, and also to highlight the progresses made in the villages and projects.

Here are the messages - enjoy the read!

Yoshinkel

"We have all grown a lot this past year and have achieved a great lot together as Nabuur. Again it showed that we can benefit from all types of skills and ideas and that Nabuur is a great platform to bring together a wide variety of those.

I wish to thank you all who made it possible that we (almost) finished a professional catalogue for the products the women of Yoshinkhel produce, created a beautiful calendar for fundraising and supported Sabina in her endeavour to make a professional business by providing tips and tricks for small business development.

We have now embarked on another interesting part of our journey together, namely to create logos and websites for both SACDS as an organisation and the knitting business."

Wakitaka

"I would like to wish all a very happy new year 2010, and thank you for your support to Wakitaka. It has been one year that Emmanuel came up with the project of income generation activities for the youths of Wakitaka. Since then a lot has been achieved. For 2010, lets start with new forces and ensure that the progress is maintained and that more youths can engage in the project."

Machillipatnam

"On New Year's Day i.e., on 1st January of every year, most of us enjoy with our family not thinking of the less fortunate for whom every day is a struggle. So, we distributed dressed Chicken to 6 rickshaw pullers of our locality. We did not give them money to buy the chicken lest they buy alcohol with that money. Neither did we ask them to eat in our premises because we wanted not only the rickshaw pullers but also their families to have a proper meal on New Year's occasion. The rickshaw pullers were very happy with our thoughtful gesture."

Buchanan

"I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to Buchanan village this year! I very much hope that you will continue to work with us during 2010.

If you are not a neighbour of Buchanan and would like to assist a primary school in Liberia, you would be very welcome to join us.
You can see our open tasks at
http://www.nabuur.com/en/village/buchanan/project

Happy 2010 to everyone at Nabuur!"

Kizhakkhumedu
Happy New Year and the best wishes for everyone......looking forward to working together with our members for more great results in 2010!

Happy Holidays from NABUUR!

By Romina OliverioPosted on December 23, 2009Comments: (0)

With 2009 coming to a close, the entire NABUUR community would like to wish you and your loved ones a very peaceful and festive holiday season.

Much appreciation goes out to each one of you for all that you have contributed to this past year; here is looking towards a promising new year filled with continuing collaboration!

Happy Holidays!

NABUUR Community

Join the Community Call on Friday, December 18

By Romina OliverioPosted on December 16, 2009Comments: (2)

You're invited to join the next community call as it takes place this Friday, December 18, at 10AM ET. (To check the hour in your local time zone, please click here.)

Agenda

- General Q&A
- Ways that you can help with the NABUUR transition, including participating in online groups such as orientation; processes; governance; villages, and more! (catch up with all the latest news on the transition here.)
- NABUURCamp

How to Join the Call

- On the day of the call, call in to the following conference dial-in number: + 1 712-775-7300 (Note that long distance charges will apply.)


- When prompted, enter the assigned access code: 270745#

If you have any questions, or to RSVP for Friday's call, please contact us at info@nabuur.com

Looking forward to speaking with you on Friday!

NABUUR Team

Vote for International Development Cooperation 2.0 in the Knight News Challenge

By Romina OliverioPosted on December 16, 2009Comments: (1)

NABUUR, in partnership with other Dutch 2.0 organizations, has entered the Knight News Challenge with an idea for an international development hub. The Knight News Challenge is a contest that awards innovative ideas that develop platforms, tools and services to inform and transform community news, conversations and information distribution and visualization. As part of the process, Knight News invites people to vote and offer feedback on the ideas submitted - and we'll get to that in just one minute, but first, please read a brief excerpt of the idea submitted...

Developing an International Development Hub

Exclusion is a cause for poverty. Access to knowledge, resources and finance options puts people in the position to take their development in their own hands. The internet brings inclusion within reach of everyone – via an internet connection via PC or mobile. The internet enables direct connections between people anywhere in the world: to get to know each other, to share interests or to work together on a joint cause. There are lots of successful internet sites and services that provide a ‘piece of the puzzle’, but the picture remains scattered. This project aims to interconnect these services by developing standards for sharing information across platforms.

Everywhere in the world there are projects that aim to improve the lives of people. Most of these projects are not connected (because they are run or funded by different organizations), while they could learn a lot from each other. Most web platforms still operate in relative isolation: users, project, news, knowledge, contacts, fundraising. Standards are emerging, we need to interconnect the platforms. The partnership is currently setting up an international development hub aggregating news, as proof of concept how combining information provides a service to all platforms involved.

Partners Involved

Taking part in the Knight News Challenge alongside NABUUR are the following Dutch international development organizations:

  • Akvo.org is partnering with IT companies and is technology partner for LiveEarth in 2010.
  • Text2change is a top-level mobile service provider in mHealth throughout Africa, recognised by the UN.
  • 1%CLUB is crowd sourcing projects, fundraising as well as their own development.
  • Global Village Media has started up and runs Oneworld.nl as part of the Oneworld International network.
  • AfricaInteractive trains journalists in producing professional video reports for media and business.

To read the full application, and offer your vote, comment, and overall rating, please click here.

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact us at info@nabuur.com

Thank you very much for your vote and support!

The NABUUR Team,
on behalf of the 2.0 collaboration.