Ming the Mechanic:
Help Wire Remote Laos Villages

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Help Wire Remote Laos Villages2003-01-02 16:45
picture by Flemming Funch

The Jhai Foundation is working on providing Internet access for remote villages in Laos. They've put together a system where sturdy low-wattage computers can be powered by a foot-crank, and a system in each village can be linked with the others, and with the net, through high-bandwidth wireless networking.
"Farmers in Ban Phon Kam and nearby villages are now able to grow surpluses of rice and other crops-thanks in part to organic farming techniques that Jhai helped introduce. To profit on their surplus, however, they need accurate and timely information about pricing in the market town of Phon Hong and the capital, Vientiane.

The expert women weavers in the villages have begun the use of natural dyes-again with assistance from Jhai-and would like to weave textiles for export. They hope to find partners among expatriate Lao who will help them market their weavings and receive reasonable returns."
Lee Felsenstein, veteran computer hero, is helping them. Right now they need some funds ($25,000) to get the basic system in place before the monsoon season.

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3 Jan 2003 @ 13:45 by sharie : access to info
I think this is so great because they're getting access to a wider range of info than if they just had TV and newspapers, they can search for whatever info they want, communicate freely, educate freely... It's a great solution.  

11 Sep 2005 @ 20:53 by Faye Hall @ : My neighbors village
I am looking for some information on the village my neighbor came from, called Ben-dun or something like that. Very tiny village, very poor.I want to help. Please e-mail me at drfaye@sbcglobal.net Thanks.  

3 Dec 2006 @ 11:07 by Tamara Koedoot @ : Naxan Village
Greetings! I would like more info on this as well. There is a village called Naxan Village in northern Laos that needs internet access. To get to the village you take a boat 6 hours up the Mekong from Luang Prabang, get off at Ban Hadtur and then hike in about 2 1/2 hours. My email address is tkoedoot@yahoo.com.


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