Conference Targets Twin Pillars of Education & Technology
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 28, 2010) – Food For The Poor will join the InfoPoverty Institute and The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (FunGlode) in presenting a conference on May 4 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to raise awareness of the need for technology in fighting poverty, and to make commitments to improve education by providing computers for children in developing countries.
“The Future of Technology & Education in Haiti and the Dominican Republic” will bring together experts from several sectors to update the situation and propose solutions. Confirmed speakers include The Honorable Dona Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez, First Lady of the Dominican Republic, as well as United Nations Deputy Ambassador Francis Lorenzo; Dr. Paul Jihn, Director of the Information and Technology Corps at the U.N.; and Sarbuland Khan, Executive Advisor, U.N. Global Alliance for ICT in Development (UNGAID). President Clinton will deliver a special video message from The Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation.
Food For The Poor has an ambitious goal of distributing 40,000 computers to poverty-stricken nations in the Caribbean and Latin America. This initiative will be at the heart of the conference, which will explore integrated technology villages, improved connectivity and plans for broader distribution of hardware that will put computers in front of more schoolchildren.
“Giving a child access to a computer changes his or her life,” said Executive Director of Food For The Poor, Angel Aloma, who will open the conference. “In our quest to end poverty, education might very well be our best tool. Imagine the world we open up for children when we can connect them, through computers, to learning that has no boundaries.”
The First Lady of the Dominican Republic has demonstrated her commitment to education and literacy, especially in encouraging the use of technology to bridge the digital gap that exists in developing countries such as Haiti and the D.R. Others scheduled to speak also have worked to inform participants of both the challenge of closing that gap, and what can be done to move forward.
“The challenge to all world and local leaders is how,” said Dr. John Steffens, Director of the InfoPoverty Institute. “How can we promote, embrace and support the goal of universal Internet access for the purpose of eradicating proverty through sustainable development? For, if we achieve in universal connectivity and fail in development, we fail. Ultimately, success must be measured by the outcomes of sustainable development: Are lives changed at the community level?”
With that goal in mind, Food For The Poor in 2009 and early 2010 has installed more than 700 sets of computers using Ncomputing X550 technology that allows the sharing of one PC with up to six users. That adds up to more than 4,000 workstations. One of the additional benefits of using this system in developing countries is that it lowers electrical consumption by 90 percent. In 2009, the charity also sent more than 27,000 used computers to the 17 countries it serves.
Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.foodforthepoor.org.
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