About one year ago the Ubuntu NGO project interviewed Luigi Pertici a Catholical Permanet Deacon from Siena, Italy. He worked at Monte dei Paschi Bank’s Datacenter for long time until he switched to work as IT Engineer in the Bank’s Training Center doing end-to-end support, system administration and so on.
In 1998 he knew a togolese priest who talked to him about his country and then, in 2005, Luigi went for his first time to Togo. From 2005 Luigi visited Togo regularly to help the Aneho’s Diocese and in particular the village called Adbodrafò which has almost 4000/6000 inhabitants. Since 2007, when Luigi retired from his work at the bank, he has spent 4/- months a year in Adbodrafò. He started a project called Porto Seguro (this is the ancient portuguese name of Adbodrafò) which aims to bring media information to the village of Adbodrafò. At the time of the interview the newspaper was the only media available and it’s very rare.
The basic idea was to set up an Internet Point available for everybody but mainly focused towards the high school’s students. Adbodrafò’s high school counts for about 200 students. With the help of volunteers from the Siena Linux User Group they gather old computers from friends and acquaintances. Lug’s volunteers built fully functioning computers getting spare parts from partialy working computers and installing Ubuntu on them. At the end of the work they made a shipment with a lot of material: 36 fully functioning computers with a lot of extra spare parts like monitors, mice, cables, hard disks, keyboards, etc.
Last week Luigi wrote an email in the Siena LUG Mailing list updating about the progress of his project. He arrived in Togo few days before and he found that his project with the public computer lab made an effect.
A few smart young guys, lead by the one in the photo called Elias, started their own activity installing and providing services with Ubuntu. Luigi wrote “do not think about him like an hardcore hacker” 😉
He just started and for real progress they are waiting for a decent Internet connection in the town (the only one available at moment is really slow and it cost a fortune so they can use it few hours at week) but things are starting to move and people realized that with free software they can build their own business based on their own knownledge.
In this place, this is already a victory.