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Cyber Space Arrives in De Nippe, Haiti

Hello World! MOM has arrived in Cyber Space in rural Haiti with Satellite Internet. And, we did it with human power! With the use of the Pedal Watts System, electricity is being generated by pedaling a bicycle! Yep! You heard me…pedaling a bicycle that’s attached to a generator and a power pack! It works!

On January 21, 2011, MOM’s Satellite Internet was launched in the rural village of Petite Riviere De Nippes, Haiti. The internet opens a whole new world in that the system is part of a long-distance education program that will provide first class academic instruction by one of Haiti’s top universities, the GOC University! Now in its rebuilding stage, the university will offer long-distances courses for teachers, pastors, at-risk-youth. All of MOM’s development projects have training modules where locals are trained in a wide variety of skill sets that equip them to gain employment with the projects.

The system is powered by the Pedal Watts System. Energy is generated by pedaling a stationary bike and the electricity produced is stored in a deep-cell battery. Seven hours of pedaling will take care of the system’s power needs for about 4 hours. A Power Team of strong young adults have volunteered to pedal for 1 ours per day to power the system. Phone calls can be made over the internet to the U.S. and Canada. The computer is set up with Skype so that we can communicate with the solar bakery’s manager and other personnel in De Nippes.

Our goal is to build a sustainable urban village (SUV) where the latest sustainable and alternative technologies are at work! We have a good start…We have two of the world’s largest solar ovens that are baking hundreds of loaves of bread daily with the sun. And, when solar energy is not available due to rainy weather, the ovens are equipped to use propane gas. This means that they can cook 24/7 if necessary. We are hoping that business will pick up to the point that we might have to operate around the clock. With internet access, the market will expand as word of internet capability and the availability of fresh baked bread spreads.

The internet will provide hours of education and entertainment for the villagers of all ages via internet and DVD media. Our projector system turns the laptop computer’s screen into a “movie” screen which is projected onto the wall! A small amphitheater constructed of alternative materials and construction is planned for the village (SUV) in the future.

The internet will also provide much needed linkage to medical services, too. This is crucial in this age of digital communication with a vast array of human and social service resources on- line.

One of our biggest challenge is the education of the community about the value and need for alternative and sustainable technology. Their reluctance is the result of wanting “quick” solutions to expensive major problems such as the lack of infrastructure. The concept of pedaling for energy to run the internet is not particularly embraced. A generator that burns fossil fuel and “money” is the preferred source of energy! However, education and patience will result in acceptance eventually. A generator will not be used to run the system!

The internet opens up communication between the villagers and their families in other parts of Haiti and the world! Just imagine the joy of being able to communicate with family members living abroad and who may have been separated for long periods of time….even years! In Haiti, I am told that the Internet is mainly used for “making friends” on the social websites! Well, this aspect will be greatly limited unless volunteers agree to pedal around the clock!

We are researching the use of a flywheel system to increase the efficiency of our alternative and sustainable system. Flywheels are presently being used in several South American countries successfully for many tasks such as grinding grains, shelling nuts, powering tools, pumping water and all without the use of batteries.

This is an exciting time for MOM as the organization partners with universities to experiment with these sustainable technologies for use in De Nippes at our SUV. (Sustainable Urban Village) Project.

Computer literacy is a project that we wish to continue in rural areas. The desktop systems that were set up back in 2003 in Anse-a-veau have all “expired”. They had been used many years before they were donated to MOM and so we are thankful for the time that they worked! Eventually, the systems were cannibalized for parts until they all had become inoperable as well as obsolete. We plan to establish a new computer lab in De Nippes order to start a computer literacy project.

This is why MOM is asking you to support our people to people efforts in Haiti. With your support, we will be able to successfully execute economic development projects that lead to self-sufficiency. It is about “teaching the people how to fish” rather than giving them a fish. Economic independence, education and self sufficiency is the way out of poverty. While the task is huge, we can solve the problem the same way one eats an elephant…. ONE BITE AT A TIME!!!
Here’s a SmileBox of the Satellite System! Sit back and enjoy learning about how we are using human power to pedal our way to cyberspace. The use of human power is gaining popularity across the world. One can find many websites extolling the virtues of human muscle power to drive various technologies! Very interesting and educational, too.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

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