Friday, July 30, 2010

Living Outside The Box Sustainable Lifestyles

It's been three weeks away from my desk so this week I was backto my desk job...  main task responding to I  had two newsletters to prepare - the first was ou internal staff newsletter Transformations Biweekly and the second the Collective Action News which is circulated to all CG centres.

They have both come laong well and I will circulate them on Monday...

In between all the editing and proof reading I got to watch an interesting film which shows why "stuff" doesn't make us happy but a sustainable life probably can,

It's style of presentation is simple yet it captures one's attention and keeps you listening to the message.

Hope you enjoy watching as much as I did...

Do have an "out of the box" weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My experience @ the source of the Nile....

As promised in the last blog, here are some amazing photos of the source of the Nile river taken in Jinja Uganda during the filming of Landcare docucmentray .

In simple terms ,the word Landcare is derived from two words - Land and Care and so means taking care of  the Landscapes in sustainable well as caring for each other.

The evolution of Landcare began in Australia in 1986 when landholder groups initiated community-based activities to protect and regenerate the country’s land resources. Since then, various government programs have been developed and implemented to support local actions.

This innovation is of interest to many other countries address environmental challenges on sustainable land use. It has been long expanded from Australia to New Zealand and the Philippines, and continues to spread out in countries such as the United States, South Africa and Uganda and Tanzania among others. In changing landscapes and lifescapes, Landcare has become an important key driver in promoting sustainable management of environment and natural resources.

You can read more on Landcare here, for now I will let the pictures do the most of talking....and hope you enjoy I work on a multimedia presentation on "A day with Olive and Joseph." (Two impressive Landcare farmers)


You are welcome to take a glimpse of my Nile experience....
As far as our eyes could see it was all water...

Enjoying the scenery as we take the boat ride to the source....

Time to get out the boat ...

Not too many fishermen in this area. Most are small scale fisherman using canoes

This tiny little Island is about 10 metre's away from the source

Yep! Right about where you see the wave is a hole that pumps over 18,000 litres of water per day and claimed to be the source of the Nile....

Here is the view from a short distance away

Yours truly capturing the moment

And here we are...indescribable!
Dan Imani, part of the camera crew @ work
For bird lovers,this site also has an amazing bird watching site

As we head back to shore, its all quite as we take in the beauty of the Nile river.

Bye bye people ...more photos on Sipi falls coming up soon...thanks for sharing my experiemce..!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Feature on Tanzania Landcare

After a week of the Web 2.0 training, its off to Kapchorua, the highest point of Mt. Elgon at the boarder of Uganda and Kenya for the production of a documentary on Landcare in East Africa. Filming of  Landcare in Tanzania was done in June and Kenya Television Network( KTN ) did the above feature on the project. (Sorry its in Swahili)

Yesterday we interviewed the chairman of the District Council who is an elected leader of Kapchorua and today will visit two projects -  one on Kitchen gardens and the second a reflective cycle meeting by the community. A reflective cycle meeting is a household level meeting where the community meets and discusses implementation of projects , challenges and success stories based on what was recommended from a Farmers group meeting.

On Saturday we get to spend the day with a farmer ( Olive ) who is part of the Landcare project and will
also film a farmers meeting that Olive will be attending.

The Landcare innovative platform is unique as it shows how communities can work together with the local authorities in preventing environmental degradation as well as coming  up with bylaws that promote Sustainable Land Management.

Landcare in Uganda s run by the African Highland Initiative (AHI) which is part of World Agroforestry Centre ( ICRAF ) East African region programme.

You are welcome to send  questions or suggestions on what you would like to see featured in the documentary.

Look out photos on the trip to Kapchorua. We got some good establishment shots at the source of the river Nile. You don't want to miss that !

Thursday, July 8, 2010

WEb 2.0 for Dev day 4!

Today was all about social networking sites and their benefits ...

Linked in was the site of choice during the morning session while facebook took up the afternoon session.

One of the concerns raised by participants on the third day was the lack of time to manage or posts updates with all the networking sites , we got teh solution!

First solution

The “share it” application- found by clicking “More…” on the menu the search for it under the Applications directory. To have your Twitter update appear on Linked in you have to type the in (#in) then tweet and taraaa your post should appear on twitter and Linked In

Another useful application is that can help link your facebook, twitter, gmail and linked in account is Digsby. Thanks for the tip Grace!

Today I learned how to make and share professional presentations on Linked in! Still working on my presentation which will be up right after I upload my photos on flickr!

Here are some comments from the democracy wall from different participants

“I learned how to use “Serious” applications on facebook!”

“I discovered that there are over two million people in my network who share my profession and passion!”

“I learned to b every afraid, the web is not my private playground!”

“I feel like I have been converted to Linked in! Before I didn’t see the point, but now I can see how it can be very useful for professional life.”…

But hey can’t leave before I mention that Day 3 photos are up on Panoramia. Still working out how to write the title, every time I save the title and click save, I get the message authorization declined. Any ideas why? Giacomo any useful tips?

And Nick, thanks for teaching me how to reduce the size of a photo on PC. For those interested the magic is in GIMP!

Day 5 - Social Networking & Its good bye!!!

Today's lesson was all about Social Networking.

And the execution of the lesson was done in a most interesting way - IMARK

Ii mark stands for - Information Management Resource Kit!

And what a useful tool it is. It has two lessons divided into modules.

The first Lesson is on Social Media development and has four modules. This is a very enlightening tool that also gives examples of how different social networking sites have been used to push causes.

The second ;lesson is on Social Media tools and services and has seven modules.

Generally the whole lesson revolves around the benefits of social media and the creative ways you can use social connecting with other people via social networks;

For example through through tagging and social book marking

Key Definitions

Social networking is the practice of individuals connecting and communicating
around a common interest using online tools and social networking sites.

Tagging lets you categorize information online your way. So it has value to YOU. But it also can have value to others.

Social book marking is the use of a web-based site that stores and shares your tags and the tags of people you know, so you can benefit from their bookmarks as well as your own.

Why need I say more when you can take the lesson RIGHT HERE

Today was also the last day of training and it was interesting to hear what everyone thought was useful. Interesting how each of the topics learned was somewhat mentioned by different people,to some it was all about wikis and google docs while others learned that facebook and linked in are not just for jokers...while the more sporty participants they plan to use googlemaps to mark their jogging routes while taking the marathon.

All in all I think the training was a great success, the challenge is upon us to apply what w have learned.

It has was great meeting you all and I hope will all SKYPE in touch!

Here are some photos!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Web2forDev as it unfolds @ ICRAF!

Monday a group of twenty five eager students from different organizations were gathered at the Ludgren auditorium at the World Agroforesty Centre.

The session begun introductions then...the facilitator announced that the 25 were the chosen few from a list of over 200 applicants... ( You see the pride in all participants for being granted such a privilege ) ...and then, it was down to serious learning!

First lesson: better use of google search function - Who knew the four letter wordR could save one hours spent in search..."NEAR' or that a * could cut off search results? and that you could minus time wasting with the sign ( - ).Oh well maybe you did but to most of this group , it was a welcome discovery! together with the lesson on narrowing your search to either a blog, photo or video and be location specific? searching for content in different languages and getting it served in ones preferred language was also welcome discovery on day one!

" I have learned how to save time ! " reads a comment from the democracy wall

Next came the "google session " as one participant called it . Yep! The afternoon session was all about google alerts, RSS feeds and Igoogle! Igoogle - the home to all google wonders! Definitely a useful tool...What with the world clock available? need I say more ? Asante!Erokamano, Nick!

The second day was all about Remote collaboration or the "wonders of Google" as Brain our designated time keeper calls them. What of google docs , google forms...( useful and simple survey tool )and ... WIKI's.

So, participants are all busy sprucing up their wiki pages when our time keeper (Brian)announces its tea time so off we go for tea and dash back to make our pages prettier....but our facilitator Nick, has something else in mind, 'Share your user name with a neighbour." Is the first part of the instruction. Then comes the second part- "vandalize your colleagues wiki!". Ouch! At first everybody is shy then shortly participants hidden personalities comes out ( Louisa you still my buddy even after your shopping posts on my wiki) and they go all creative with each others wikis! After few minutes we all learn how to correct the injustice and start up a discussions...Phew!

Ok so its lunch time and the democracy well filling up with positive comments its clear that people are learning, discovering, noticing and obviously want to " Dance" after learning about the Wiki Educator ...Giacomo has to plead with us to leave the hall for the group photo

Come afternoon its all things Skype and VOIP buster and all went well...cant find a word to describe it yet.... Participants were all excited upon learning about the group chat application on skype that it was a challenge for the facilitator to moderate the group discussion..." This is the most dis-organized group ii have had to teach.' He said and to be met with laughter from the team! What with cows,dancers and tea break featuring in the discussion...? Yep eventually we did learn how to exchange documents and photos plus chat on video...Note to self , get a webcam!

" Its only the third day and we have already learned so much, " Agatha Kabugu one of the participants as we settled in , on Wednesday morning.

I couldn't agree more...Today we learned all about google maps and giving directions to locations. Areas of interest were "How to add photos and adding google maps to different websites and blogs. Now we know how and about it we can also upload video's on the map! What a great way to publicize institutional projects. Something I will definitely try...

Micro blogging and blogging took up the afternoon session and here we are!

The democracy wall has less but more powerful comments which is very encouraging.

" The democracy wall is now in twitter!" Grace Mwaura says ....

All in all this training was timely and it was great to see out time keeper and forget about lunch9 ok not totally) as participants took time to help each other out

Look out for updates and photos from days 3, 4 and 5 tomorrow!

How will we use all this info? Reagan ( a colleague also attending the training) and I plan to make a presentation to our communications unit on how to use the tools.This will be done during the annual communications retreat which will have communication staff from all our six regions ( Nick , thanks for the presentations). On a personal level I hope to keep up the momentum and start by having my profile on google maps!


View Where I work in a larger map

Inauguration of ICRAF offices in Rwanda

This video was presented to give guests at the launch of the ICRAF offices in Rwanda a brief of the Centre's work in Rwanda.

The filming and editing in two days!

Your comments are welcome!

Changing faces of communication ....

Web 2.0 Why say more when pictures can tell it all ? Awesome!