Le portable de pauvreté

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Guysanto
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Le portable de pauvreté

Post by Guysanto » Wed May 16, 2007 7:26 am

(Syfia International Haiti)

Symbole de modernité et quasiment seule distraction des paysans, le téléphone cellulaire récemment arrivé dans les campagnes haitiennes coûte cher. Certains, devenus accros au portable, ruinent même leur famille. D'autres y voient le moyen de gagner plus facilement des dollars.

Lucienne Félicien est mère de six enfants et habite une masure près de Morne Mingo, une localité isolée du département des Nippes, au sud-ouest d'Haiti. Malgré ses conditions de vie précaires, elle achète régulièrement une carte d'appel téléphonique de 115 gourdes – 3 dollars US, soit plus que le salaire quotidien moyen d'un paysan – pour bavarder avec ses connaissances des Cayes, chef-lieu du département du Sud. Pourtant, au moins deux de ses enfants n'ont pas mis les pieds à l'école depuis trois ans. Sa fille aînée, Jacqueline, pour qui le portable est l'affaire des gens aisés, ne la comprend pas : "Ma mère veut faire comme les autres, soupire-t-elle. Mais nous sommes trop pauvres pour cela."

Beaucoup de jeunes critiquent ainsi l'attitude de leurs parents, en dépit de leur propre passion pour le téléphone cellulaire récemment arrivé dans les campagnes haitiennes où il est paradoxalement en passe d'augmenter la misère déjà très grande. Ils leur reprochent de dépenser leurs maigres ressources en cartes d'appel plutôt qu'en nourriture. "Moi, je n'ai aucune responsabilité familiale, dit Mérité Ledan, un jeune paysan de 20 ans. Je peux donc flamber une carte d'appel si ça me chante. Mais pas mon père qui n'a souvent rien à nous offrir..."


Distraction et dépendance

Le portable, très rare ici il y a encore un an, est aujourd'hui d'usage courant. Dans ce monde sans électricité, sans télévision et sans cinéma, le portable représente en effet quasiment la seule distraction des paysans.

L'engouement qu'il suscite est tel que certains en sont désormais dépendants. "Je peux passer une journée sans manger mais pas sans une carte d'appel", confesse Jonel Alexandre, qui se vante d'être le premier à avoir possédé un téléphone portable dans la zone de Plaisance du Sud, où la communication, en raison du relief montagneux, est facile à établir. Dans cette région longtemps isolée, l'arrivée du portable a l'effet d'une drogue sur certains, littéralement accros au petit bidule. "Je n'ai rien à faire de la journée ; mon téléphone me fait oublier mes problèmes" avoue Maude, 28 ans. "Depuis trois mois, mon cellulaire fait partie intégrante de ma vie ; je me vois même en rêve en train de communiquer" , se vante Joséphine Pierre, une adolescente de 17 ans.

La nuit, des groupes de jeunes quittent les zones basses et grimpent les pentes jusqu'à ce qu'ils parviennent à capter le signal de la compagnie Comcel/Voilà qui, de minuit à six heures du matin, offre tous les appels gratuits. "Hier soir, je n'ai pu communiquer avec ma mère à cause de l'encombrement de la ligne", ronchonne Selhomme, un jeune cultivateur.

À Petite-Rivière- de-l'Artibonite, près de la chaîne des Cahos, les paysans accrochent leur téléphone aux arbres afin de pouvoir capter les appels. "À chaque fois que le portable du prêtre sonne, je dois grimper sur cet oranger", confesse Sorel Chérilus, sacristain de l'église catholique de la zone. Le curé tire profit de l'absence d'électricité pour recharger les batteries des portables grâce à ses panneaux solaires. "Je recharge les téléphones à 60 gourdes pour les paysans. Cet argent me permet d'acheter d'autres équipements", explique-t-il, l'œil malicieux.


Une marque de distinction sociale

Le portable est une marque de distinction sociale en milieu paysan, leurs propriétaires – encore minoritaires – ne se privant pas pour l'afficher ostensiblement, même dans les zones où il n'a pas grande utilité. Plusieurs préfèrent même se passer de nourriture plutôt que d'être privés de leur précieux joujou, quitte à acheter leurs cartes d'appel… à crédit. Une grande partie des plaintes jugées par les tribunaux de paix concerne des dettes contractées pour l'achat de cartes d'appel. "Certains vont jusqu'à vendre leur bétail pour pouvoir téléphoner chaque jour à leurs parents qui habitent Port-au-Prince ou à l'étranger et payer leurs dettes de téléphone", explique Moise Denard, juge de paix de la commune de Plaisance du Sud.

En raison de la rareté et de l'inefficacité du téléphone fixe, l'arrivée en force du portable a néanmoins des avantages. Beaucoup l'appellent même "le pain de vie", parce qu'il leur permet de joindre rapidement un parent à l'étranger et de le convaincre d'envoyer les quelques dollars qui leur permettront de manger et de payer l'écolage des enfants. En 2006, les quelque deux millions d'Haitiens de la diaspora ont ainsi fait parvenir pas moins de 1,6 milliard de dollars US en Haiti. "Mon oncle qui vit aux USA fait souvent des transferts d'argent quand je lui téléphone, se réjouit Ephésien Jean Louis. Avec le cellulaire, c'est facile pour moi de trouver le dollar."

Michel Nau
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:38 pm

Yo pa sevi ak teledyol anko.

Post by Michel Nau » Wed May 16, 2007 9:34 am

Mwen kwe ke se pa yon lajan jete jan ote atik la di a le payzan ap pale nan telephone sitou le yo pran avantaj le sevis la gratis de minuit a 6 ze di matin.
Dan le zane 60 e 70 le radio transisto te a la mod, anpil moun te di ke se te yon lajan jete le payzan tap achte pil (battery). Yo te konn abiye ti radio transisto yo avek bel ti rob talatann e monte volim nan byen fo. Radyo a te sevi pou fe bal champet, kominyon, ak batem ti moun, mariaj e sitou fe lajan roule de min a min le tiraj bolet ap fet. Radyo transisto potab sa yo te avanse tout sistem sosyal, ekonomik, relijyez etc..

Mwen kwe ke telefonn potab se yon lot evolisyon anko e yon bel avansman nan domen kominikasyon ki fe evenman ekonomik, sosyal, politik, relijyez etc.. avanse pli rapidman.
Avek sevis telefonn potab sa ki pran pye nan peyi d'Haiti, nouvel yo kap gaye pli rapid e tout lot pot ouvri pou developman nan domen sante, edikasyon, agrikilti etc..
Mwen byen kontan ke teknoloji sa jwen fre e se nou yo e pa kite yo deye komm se toujou le ka.

Bravo Haiti!

Michel

Michel Nau
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:38 pm

Post by Michel Nau » Fri May 18, 2007 5:15 pm

The cellular phone system reached the deep core of the Haitian society as far is concerned technology. This is an instrument that is a nondiscriminatory service. It will reach and touch someone regardless if someone is poor or rich, black or white.
You can take it with you wherever you go, leave it at home or pass it on to a family member. It's a low cost maintenance necessity. The airtime costs a lot, but from midnight to 6 AM the service is free. Senou wrote: [quote]Let me take this one step further. Imagine that someone or a group puts in place a rest area with 6 automatic solar toilets system along the road that leads to his/her hometown.[/quote] Senou, in an emergency situation, there is no comparison between the benefit of a cellular phone and an automatic solar toilet system.
It will need water to flush; at least one and a half gallon of water per flush in a country where drinking water is rare, plus toilet paper (not newspaper or stones). In addition, due to sanitation issue, these toilets will require high cost and high class ( bayakou) manpower maintenance.
Who are the target markets to these automatic solar toilet systems?
You may be thinking tourists and local travelers.
Is there a user fee and how much would you charge?
If you build it, they will probably come.

My opinion is, we need to build public latrines every 5 miles. Yes, public latrines where everybody can have access and go as they need.
If someone doesn't want to go, he or she has no need, .at least not yet.
We need to build public water fountains and public showers every 5 miles.
If someone doesn't want to shower, he or she is not stinky.. at least not yet.
We need to have a system of education where tiDiedonnè from Port Salut, Haiti could have the same level of education as Gilbert from Montréal, Canada via live satellite communication, where our school teachers back home could use CDs and videos to follow the same pedagogic system for his or her continuing professional education.

We need to have a system where government employees wear uniform according to their department, at least some kind of hallmark so the common citizen could recognize who work for what department, health, education, agriculture, etc.
Why not?

Si nou pran tan nou shachè nan ti liv rouj neg je chirè a, nap kap jwen solisyon problem nou.

Michel

Michel Nau
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:38 pm

What If Every Child Had A Laptop? This is school in a box."

Post by Michel Nau » Sun May 20, 2007 10:55 pm

What If Every Child Had A Laptop?
May 20, 2007
________________________________________
(CBS) Nicholas Negroponte, a professor at MIT, had a dream. In it every child on the planet had his own computer. In that way, he figured, children from the most impoverished places – from deserts and jungles and slums could become educated and part of the modern world. Poor kids would have new possibilities.

As correspondent Lesley Stahl reports, it was a big dream.

Negroponte thought he had a chance of actually seeing it happen if he could help invent a really inexpensive laptop.

So, two years ago he founded a non-profit organization called “One Laptop Per Child.” He recruited a cadre of geeks and viola! The hundred dollar laptop, designed specifically for poor children, was born.

But let's go back to the beginning when Negroponte first got his idea in Cambodia.

The idea came to him in a remote village called Reaksmy – a 4-hour drive on a dirt Road from the nearest town. It's as far from MIT as you can get. They don't even have running water.
Negroponte and his family founded a school here in 1999, putting in a satellite dish and generators. Then they gave the children laptops. Instantly, school became a lot more popular.

Kids who had never seen a computer before were now crossing the digital divide.

Nicholas Negroponte was knocked out.

"The first English word of every child in that village was 'Google'," he says. "The village has no electricity, no telephone, no television. And the children take laptops home that are connected broadband to the Internet."
When they take the laptops home, the kids often teach the whole family how to use it. Negroponte says the families loved the computers because, in a village with no electricity, it was the brightest light source in the house.

"Talk about a metaphor and a reality simultaneously," he says. "It just illuminated that household."

Once the computers were there, school attendance went way up.
Negroponte says that in Cambodia this year 50 percent more children showed up for the first grade because the kids who were in first grade last year told the other kids, “school is pretty cool.”

Negroponte wanted this for all children, everywhere, but he realized conventional computers were too expensive. And so his dream of a hundred-dollar laptop was born.

(And this is it!

A low-budget computer for children like second graders in a poor school in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Each child has been given his or her own machine – as part of a test for the Brazilian government to see if they should buy them for all their school children.

"It's very exciting," Negroponte says. "It's very gratifying. It's been two years in the making." The children seemed to especially like the built-in camera that takes stills and video. It also has Wi-Fi.

Negroponte's idea was that kids don't need teachers to learn the how to use the computer. They can pick it up by experimenting on their own – with help from a friend.

"That is what we are doing… is that that kid is showing this kid – that is key," he says.

"They get it instantly. It takes a 10-year-old child about three minutes."

When Stahl asks if he means children who have never used any computer before, Negroponte responds, "Children who've never, in some cases, seen electricity."

One Laptops are for sale in minimum lots of 250,000. Each costs $176, though Negroponte expects the price will go down to $100 within two years.

"You go into countries where there may not be enough food, where the children may not have good enough education to even teach them to read, why a laptop?" Stahl asks. "It almost sounds like a luxury for these people who need so much more than that."

"Let me take two countries, Pakistan and Nigeria. Fifty per cent of the children in both of those countries are not in school," Negroponte says. "At all. They have no schools, they don't even have trees under which a teacher might stand…"

"You're saying give them a laptop even if they don't go to school?" Stahl asks.

"Especially if they don't go to school. If they don't go to school, this is school in a box."

Negroponte took a leave of absence from MIT two years ago, and has done little else but work on this ever since.

He says it's purely humanitarian, and non-profit. With start up money from Google and other big companies, he assembled a team of engineers and programmers to come up something that would stand up to Third World conditions.

"You can pour water on the keyboard. You can dip into – you know, you can dip the base into a bathtub. You can carry it the rain," he says. "It's more robust than your normal laptop. It doesn't even have holes in the side of it. If you look at it: dirt, sand, I mean, there's no place or it to go into the machine."

Negroponte says it's designed for a child.

It looks like a toy – on purpose. But it's a serious computer with many innovations. For instance, it's the first laptop with a screen you can use outdoors, in full sunlight. Walter Bender, the president of software on the project, says there are loads of new features. You can draw on it...or compose music.

"It actually looks like an animal. These are meant to look like ears, right?" Stahl asks.

"Right. These ears are the way the laptop communicates with the rest of the world so the laptop listens with these ears," Bender says. "Those are radio antennas, sorta like the…"

"I don't have that on my computer," Stahl says.

"No. And one of the reasons why this computer has probably two or three times better Wi-Fi range than your computer is because you don't have that."

"It has 2 to 3 times better range?"

"Better range than your $3000 dollar laptop."

"How long does the battery work?"

"By the time we're done with all our tuning, the battery should last 10, 12 hours with heavy use."

If the battery does run out and you live in a thatch hut in the middle of nowhere, you can charge it up with a crank… or a salad spinner.

A minute or two of spinning, Bener says, and you get 10 or 20 minutes of reading.

Wayan Vota is director of Geekcorps, a type of Peace Corps that brings technology to developing countries.

"The One Laptop Per Child computer is a computing revolution," he says.

He's so fascinated by this computer he has a website devoted to it.

"It's an entire change in the way you use computers," Vota says. "It's waterproof… I can't wait to type outside without worrying about dust or heat. So the One Laptop Per Child technology is cutting edge. It's clock-stopping hot."

But he doesn't buy Negroponte's contention that kids can figure it out without a teacher.

"If you hand a child a violin or a piano they can make noise with it, right? But will they be able to make music?" Vota says. "And if you give a child a computer they'll be able to operate the computer// but will they really be able to learn without having a teacher, whether it's formal, informal, to help them along that learning path?"

He says there are other problems. For poor countries like Cambodia, there are costs beyond the price of the computer like satellites to connect to the Internet. And what about theft?

"What says an older kid isn't just going to swipe this thing?" Stahl asks. "It seems like it's inevitable."

"Well we spent a lot of time on security," Negroponte says. "If this is stolen from a child, within 24 hours it stops working. It will not be useable."

But lately One Laptop has had to contend with a new challenge: competition. This lab in Sao Paulo is testing two other laptops the Brazilian government is thinking of buying for school children, including one made in India and Negroponte's biggest competitor: the Classmate by Intel, the giant chip maker.

If Negroponte's program is purely humanitarian and only to benefit children, why would for-profit companies pursue the same goal?

"Because the numbers are so large," Negroponte says. "They look at those numbers and they say, 'if we're not in those, we're toast'."

In Brazil there are 55 million schoolchildren, most of them poor, many live in favelas, or shanty towns. In China there are 200 million children. Worldwide Nicholas Negroponte says the potential number of kids who could get laptops is over a billion, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by Intel and other hi-tech companies.

Intel gave every student in this class in Mexico a Classmate – which Negroponte believes is part of an effort to kill him off.

At a recent lecture at MIT he accused Intel of dumping, of going to the same governments he's trying to sell to and offering the Classmate below cost.

"Intel should be ashamed of itself," Negroponte says. "It's just – it's just shameless."

"Negroponte believes that you're trying to drive him out," Stahl told Craig Barrett, Intel's Chairman of the Board.

"We're not trying to drive him out of business. We're trying to bring capability to young people," Barrett responds. "And it's more than just Intel. It's going to take the whole industry to do this."

Barrett flies around the world bringing computers to schools in places like Malinalco, Mexico.

He says that like Negroponte, Intel just wants to help kids get affordable computers. And that they would be willing to reach an accommodation with One Laptop.

"There are lots of opportunities for us to work together," Barrett says. "That's why when you say this is competition, we're tying to drive him out of business: this is crazy."

Not to Negroponte who says the rivalry goes back to when he first introduced the One Laptop and Barrett dismissed it as “a gadget.” That infuriated Negroponte, who says the heart of it is that the One Laptop uses chips made by AMD, Intel's biggest competitor.

"Intel and AMD fight viciously," Negroponte says." And we're just sort of caught in the middle."

To prove that Intel has targeted his machine, Negroponte gave us some documents Intel sent to the government of Nigeria.

When Stahl shows those documents to Barrett, he says, "This is an Intel marketing document – there's no question about that."

One document outlines the “shortcomings of the One Laptop Per Child approach” and lists the supposedly stronger points of the Classmate.

"So somebody at Intel sees this as direct competition, clearly," Stahl says to the Intel chairman.
"Well, someone at Intel was comparing the Classmate pc with another device being offered in the marketplace," Barrett responds. "That's the way our business works."

For Nicholas Negroponte it's not just business – it's personal. It's about his dream, his baby.

"Has Intel hurt you and the mission?" Stahl asks.

"Yes, Intel has hurt the mission enormously," Negroponte says.

These laptops are prototypes. To get them into mass production, Negroponte needs at least 3 million orders which he thought he'd have by now. But so far he has lots of promises but no definite orders.

And he blames Intel. He spends almost all his time – about 330 days a year he says – lobbying government officials, going from one country to the next.

He says he's confident he'll get his orders, even though he's about to face even more competition as other companies are working on low-cost laptops.

That will result in more kids getting them – which is, after all, what Negroponte said he wanted in the first place.

"You call your project 'One Laptop Per Child,' and you mean that every kid in the entire world is going to have a laptop. Is that realistic?" Stahl asks.

"If I was realistic I wouldn't have started this project, okay?" Negroponte responds.

"Okay." "So it's not realistic," Negroponte continues. "But we'll come close."

If you're wondering if the One Laptop will be available in the U.S., right now Negroponte's in talks with some states and school districts. He says it will be sold commercially in the future, but you'll have to buy two: one for your child and one for a child in a poor country.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/ ... 0058.shtml

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