HELLO AND WELCOME TO 'BOOTSTRAPPING THE PLANET,' I'M YOUR HOST TUCKER AND THIS IS A MONTHLY PODCAST WHERE I COVER TECHNOLOGIES BEING USED TO IMPROVE LIVES IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD. FOR LINKS TO THE STORIES MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST, YOU CAN GO TO http://bootstrappingtheplanet.blogspot.com/ IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, I WILL TRY TO HAVE LINKS ACCOMPANING EACH STORY THAT PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DO SOMETHING SIMILAR. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, CRITICISMS, OR IF YOU'RE SOMEONE WHO WORKS IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT YOUR WORK THERE, THE EMAIL FOR THE SHOW IS BOOTSTRAPPLANET@GMAIL.COM I'LL PUT THE EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE SHOWNOTES.
This is one of the long promised bonus episodes, I realize that for some of you, its already June, but here in the US its still May, so this counts as the bonus episode I promised to get out this month. Its a bit short as I'm low on storage space this month, but if all goes according to plan, the next episode will include an interview with the director and a student from The Exodus School in Kenya. http://www.erecs.org Its a school to educate children in a particularly impovereshed part of Kenya, where the prospects for children are rather bleak. I hope to make a monthly feature out of hearing from some of the children from the school to give people an idea what its like growing up in the developing world.
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This story comes from ipsnews.net: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/05/school-gardens-combat-hunger-in-argentina/
School Gardens Combat Hunger in Argentina
In Argentina, where millions of families have unmet dietary needs despite the country’s vast expanse of fertile land, the Huerta Niño project promotes organic gardens in rural primary schools, to teach children healthy eating habits and show them that they can grow their own food to fight hunger.
He described this as a “sad paradox” in a country “that produces so much food for millions of people around the world.”
According to the article, they combine working in the garden with other classes in the school, so its used not only to teach kids how to grow food, but things like math and science as well. The per school cost is about $4500, which isn't too bad, considering that it not only helps the kids eat better, but also teaches them many different things and in ways that they might not otherwise be exposed to.
It also seems to me that the kids will learn a great deal more, simply because they're DOING something, and not stuck in a classroom, learning by rote. As someone once said, “We learn by doing.”
This story also comes from ipsnews.net: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/05/kenyans-attack-food-insecurity-with-urban-farms-and-sack-gardens/
Kenyans Attack Food Insecurity with Urban Farms and Sack Gardens
If you'll remember, in the last episode, I covered a family in Los Angeles who was growing an impressive amount of food on a small city lot. Here's an example of folks doing something similar in the developing world. There's unfortunately no photographs with the article, so I can't say for certain how its done. This is an important project, since global warming and things like the recent ebola outbreak are making food supplies uncertain in many parts of Africa. The article says that several other African nations have started similar programs, but really, this needs to happen not only in every country in Africa, but in every nation on Earth. Far better for every person to have a surplus of food, than for one person to go hungry, I think, and the best way to ensure that everyone has enough to eat is to make sure that folks know how to grow their own food.
This story comes from ipsnews.net: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/05/when-kenyan-childrens-lives-hang-on-a-drip/
When Kenyan Children’s Lives Hang on a Drip
Acute watery diarrhoea is a major killer of young children but misunderstanding over the benefits of fluid treatment is preventing many Kenyan parents from resorting to this life-saving technique and threatening to reverse the strides that the country has made in child health.
The primary treatment for acute watery diarrhoea is rehydration, administered intravenously in the most severe cases of very young children suffering from shock after losing excessively high quantities of body fluids. A fluid bolus – or rapid liquid dose – delivered directly through an intravenous drip allows a much faster delivery than oral rehydration.
The article doesn't really give a clear explanation as to why parents refuse to allow their children to be given IV fluids, but it is an awfully inexpensive way to save a child's life. The cost of the bags of IV fluids is little more than a dollar, though in the US healthcare providers often charge an obscene amount of money for them. The Kenyan government is launching a new initiative to make sure that children suffering from diarrhea do get the fluids they need. Let's hope that its successful.
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This story comes from fastcoexisat.com: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3046247/hows-that-working-out-for-you/solar-sisters-how-this-avon-lady-model-of-solar-distribution-h
Solar Sisters: How This "Avon Lady" Model Of Solar Distribution Has Taken Off
Solar Sister is a social business that uses an "Avon Lady"-type model to distribute solar equipment in Africa. It's been operating for more than five years and now works with about 1,500 women entrepreneurs in three countries. The women buy solar lamps, solar phone chargers, and solar panels at cost, then mark up the items at retail, pocketing the difference. Solar Sister provides training and support, helping the saleswomen reach their goals.
As part of our new series checking in on projects we've written about in the past, we spoke with CEO Katherine Lucey. She talked about the challenges the company has faced in that time and how Solar Sister hopes to continue to grow.
According to the article, its not a perfect system. The women who sell the lights don't make enough money to have this be their full time job and the company itself relies more on the generosity of donors than it does on profits from sales. Still, providing such things can be a big aid in places like Uganda. They also hope to expand the program to two more countries in the next five years. I'll have a link to the organization's website in the show notes. http://www.solarsister.org
This story comes from Fastcodesign.com: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3046725/why-this-clunky-zack-morris-phone-is-taking-over-ghana
Why This Clunky Zack Morris Phone Is Taking Over Ghana
It’s easy to think of something like the iPhone as the epitome of industrial design: a thin bit of beauty with alien curves equally capable of pinpointing your location in space or firing an email across the globe. And this intoxication with poetic industrial design leads to a dangerous bit of thinking—that if iPhones were cheap enough, they’d take over emerging markets like India and Africa.
But as Emmanuel Quartey—head of product at the African tech school MEST—explains on Medium, he’s spotted a new phone that’s taking over Ghana. It’s a brandless, unadvertised, brick of a handset that can barely run Facebook and Whatsapp; and yet, his tech-savvy friends who own smartphones are being wooed to it.
The secret of the black brick phone, he reasons, is that it includes a huge battery which also functions as a powerbank. Five and a half times larger than the battery in an iPhone 6, it can charge people’s devices in a region where frequent blackouts have left people without power for upwards of 36 hours. To sweeten the deal, it also includes an FM radio and an LED flashlight.
It is one ugly phone, but it does have a big battery in it. 10,000 milliamp hours. He doesn't say how long the phone lasts between charges, but I have long complained about the obsession with making phones as thin and light as possible. I'd much rather have a slightly thicker and heavier phone, if it meant that I was able to get significantly longer battery life out of the device. This appears to not only have a long battery life, but is powerful enough to charge other devices as well. One hopes that the success of this device in Africa convinces smartphone manufacturers to give up on the thinner is better mantra they've been obsessed with, and start making phones with bigger batteries.
This story comes from core77.com: http://www.core77.com/posts/37237/Modular-Cargo-Bikes-with-Unusual-Steering-Mechanisms
Modular Cargo Bikes With Unusual Steering Mechanisms
As their name implies, XYZ Cargo cycles are built on a Cartesian grid. They're intended to be easy to put together, easy to repair and easy to customize. Unlike traditional three-wheeled cargo cycles, the XYZ CARGO features a so called Ackermann-steering, which is usually only to be found in cars. This makes the XYZ CARGO easy to control even at high speeds and the maneuverability under heavy loads stays smooth.
The designs are made with square-tubing, but I think they could be easily adapted to round tubing, wood, or bamboo. There's no mention of how much the bikes cost, nor are there any detailed plans on their site, but they are looking for partners to help produce the bikes, and these would be a huge help in the developing world, since bicycles are often the most common form of transportation, and these are better adapted to carrying things than are conventional bicycle designs. I'll have links in the show notes to the group's website, along with a link to the article talking about the bikes. http://www.n55.dk/MANUALS/SPACEFRAMEVEHICLES/spaceframevehicles.html
THAT'S IT FOR THIS EPISODE OF BOOTSTRAPPING THE PLANET. FOR LINKS TO THE STORIES COVERED IN THIS, OR ANY OTHER EPISODE, ALONG WITH A LINK TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS, YOU CAN GO TO http://bootstrappingtheplanet.blogspot.com/ THE EMAIL FOR THE SHOW IS BOOTSTRAPPLANET@GMAIL.COM THE ITUNES COVER ART FOR THE PODCAST IS BY STEVE AT HUDSON MEDIA IN COLUMBUS, OH. NOW, LET'S ALL GO MAKE THIS PLANET A BETTER PLACE.