Now that we have addressed the problem of poverty in third world countries and learned about some solutions that are being used, it is time to spend some time on how individuals can get involved in eradicating poverty through technology. The big ideas are the groundwork of solving this problem but there is also room for individuals to give their time or money in order to help this issue. There are many organizations that one can get involved with to create technological justice. I want to spend the next couple of posts highlighting the importance of getting involved in an organization to help those in poverty so they can help themselves.
Technological justice is the right of people to decide which technologies will assist them in leading the life they want to. This means that they need the options in order to make these decisions. In order to have these decisions they need donations of technology so they are able to pick what would be best for their community. The donations need to be one of the first steps in the process and that needs money to accomplish. All the organizations involved in wanting to bring technology to poverty stricken communities accept donations. Although money is not the only resource necessary, it is a key component and a way for individual people to get involved.
Time is the other resource one can donate. The technology is the first step but in order for the technology to be used they need to learn how to use it. Volunteers can be the way to close the gap between the technology they have and the lack of technological knowledge. Individuals can make a difference in the poverty gap. Organizations are not the only groups that can make a difference in poverty stricken communities. Single steps at a time need to be taken. This is a long term process that takes time, money, and most of all desire. Technological justice needs to be the focus so the other issues can be helped once technology portion is there.
“This is a story about two billion people living in poverty and what we can do to help change their lives forever.” (Practical Action-our story)
Today I want to focus on an organization that saw the same problem that I have mentioned in my last two posts. So few people take action once they find a problem but Practical Action is different, they are taking a vision and implementing it in 45 developing countries across the globe. They are a non-governmental organization (NGO) based out of the United Kingdom. Founded by Fritz Schumacher over 40 years ago, this organization is working towards helping people alter their lives. According to their website, they “have worked alongside people and partner agencies to come up with new solutions to old problems” with the help of technology.
Their main belief to developing a just world is technological justice. They have found that advances in technology increases income and productivity as well as improving the developing countries quality of life. Technology is aimed at citizens of developed countries and new technology is being developed with those consumers in mind. A change could make it so that technological advances can meet the basic needs to people in developing countries. Their vision is “a sustainable world free of poverty and injustice in which technology is used for the benefit of all” (Practical Action- Vision and Mission).
They fulfill this vision and mission they have created through a number of projects in the various countries they are involved in. They do that through working with the communities to find solutions that work for them. They have projects in four main areas including energy access, urban water and waste, food and agriculture, and disaster risk reduction (Practical Action- What We Do). Through these solutions, they help people, help themselves with some outside help from their organization.
This is a good example of taking the problem of poverty and using modern day technology to solve it. Technology has vast uses that can help the poorest people of the world. They just need to be empowered to use the technology that are given to them. This organization does more than just getting information out there about the need for technology in these countries. They are doing something instead of just talking about it.