The Internet has proved to be one of the greatest partners along this journey. Besides providing instant communication with family, friends and the entire world community, it has permitted the dispersion of this project’s ideals. Indeed, if such communication medium had not existed, most of the information obtained through this journey would remain archived in videotapes, pictures and journals; and a worldwide exposure of their contents would practically be unachievable.
In fact, most of the people accessing this website probably take Internet and its great capability as a communication tool for granted. On different grounds, consider how much you depend on it nowadays. Disconnect yourself from the web (or even from a computer) for a certain period and you become partially detached from the entire world.
Or even think about current events such as the most recent presidential elections in Iran. Several people who opposed the current government utilized their phones and the Internet to share their reality with the rest of the world. Heartbreaking videos were uploaded and the entire world community shared their grief. And although an estimated 74% of the entire world population has no access to this communication medium, the Internet has already changed the culture of the other (more fortunate) 26%.
And as new technologies evolve and further connectivity pierces through other parts of the globe, their benefits remain mostly overseen by capital profit. Nevertheless, Fundacion Cibervoluntarios recognized the great power behind this communication tool and incorporated the ideas of a fully connected society into their social projects. Yolanda Ruenda, founder and director of the foundation, has been ahead of the project for over 5 years and her initiatives are signs of true devotion to this social communication medium.
Among the several ideals of the Fundacion, the Cibervoluntarios (Cibervolunteers) are the most prolific. The foundation promotes technical workshops to instruct volunteers, who eventually become representatives of the foundation. Indeed, the Cibervoluntarios, as these volunteers are called, teach and further help countless individuals not familiarized with these new technologies.
In all its 6 years of social projects, Fundacion Cibervoluntarios has already trained over 1,800 volunteers, most of whom continued the work of the foundation in different areas around Spain – areas that truly needed the instruction and connectivity of these people of change.
The Spanish government provides technological centers (with the all needed infrastructure), free of any charge, for the use of the entire population. However, most of these centers do not provide instructors; and the portion of the population that mostly depends on these centers is likely to not have any technical knowledge. Hence, the Cibervoluntarios utilize their knowledge to create a physical web of technologically connected citizens.
The Foundation also has additional projects, like the innovative idea to bring parents and children together through the use of public school’s infrastructures; thus, the Cibervoluntarios transform computer labs originally created for children and teenagers into classrooms aimed for their parents. Some other projects even focus on another essential new technology: cell phones. Part of the project is the distribution of free manuals in Spanish cities, instructing the population about the full potential (and possible dangers) of this communication tool.
The important concept that the foundation diffuses is the empowerment of the population through the use of new technologies. In such day and age, the social benefits of connectivity cannot be overseen. And although there are other issues around the globe that present local challenges, Fundacion Cibervoluntarios is already paving the way for a fully integrated world community – a community that hopefully can be helped with a simple click of change.
More information to be posted soon.