Zack Matere, a farmer Change Maker from Kenya, uses Internet to save his crops and help rural communitiesTalk, Uncategorized — By Irena Efremovska on 03/07/2012 13:28
Is it possible to use simple notice boards to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people in the rural areas?
There is always a way out for those brave enough to find it.
Zack Matere, a self employed Farmer and Change Maker from Kenya, featured on BBC, uses Internet to save his crops and starts an innovative project that enables the farmers in the rural communities to access information and knowledge that is necessary for finding solutions for the everyday challenges they face .
Zack tells his story.
The ‘pain statement’ in a nutshell
It is not right that as knowledge gets more and more to be online that good, hardworking, intelligent people in rural parts of Africa and the developing world are left behind as while solutions to thier problems are avliable in the ‘air’.
‘Leo pamoja’, which means ‘Together Today’ in Swahili, is my attempt to enable rural communities in the developing world access information from the internet and other sources right there at the village Market Square. A simple wooden or Metal Information Board is put up at the Square and posted on with printed out information and Pictures that are updated on a daily basis.
Men, women, the youth and children are able to communicate to other villages through an S.M.S Blackboard.
My pilot project in Likuyani District Western Kenya, I intend to put up twenty-six noticeboards in twenty villages and six primary schools and be able to reach seventy thousand people with regular digital content.
What inspired Zack to start taking change making actions?
I was amazed, constantly amazed at how vital the internet was to my farming and enviromental activities and how I was able to change my world just with a phone in my hand.
Yet my neigbours who are small scale farmers like me and were more intelligent, more focused and had more responsibilities than me could not use this invaluable asset.
The idea of ‘creating an internet’ that a could be understood by anyone in the village was born from this frustration. Being able to be the provider of a ‘secret password’ to the opportunities available on the internet to a whole community will be a wonderful thing for me. Providing a way for people to-own their own- access to information they like is an enlifting experience.
The biggest success and the biggest challenge
I have been named as one of the top 40 men under 40 in Kenya by a National daily. It was a great honour to be recognised among such a distinguised group mostly consisting of C.E.O’s of major Companies in Kenya.
I was feutured in a YouTube video that now has 1.6 million Views.
I have set up the orgarnisation ‘leo Pamoja’ which means ‘together today’ in Swahili.
The biggest challange has been finaly transforming the dream to reality by getting a team and insiring them to share your dream and lead them towards your goal.
I have learnt to take my time in choosing a team to work with.
Tips for people who want to start a change-making business/project…
If you believe in it then that’s the biggest untapped energy you have.
Build on your believe in your idea by learning as much you can and asking many ‘stupid ‘questions.
Share the raw version of your idea or innovation with others and look forward to critics as they are the best testers of your idea
Thanks for coming and reading us!
If you or someone you know is making a positive impact in the world, direct them to GroAction to do it more efficiently.