Saturday, August 25, 2007

Liberians get much needed tools of the trade

My time is quickly coming to an end, and one of my most rewarding experiences has been working with the "The Vision," the newspaper at the Liberian refugee camp outside Accra. They're great friends and journalists working under very difficult conditions.

They seldom have electricity, and just recently got a generator so they can power computers, lights, et cetera. They've had to operate with a short supply of basic things like paper and pens.

In addition, they've had to get by without easy access to things that Canadian journalists take for granted - cameras, tape recorders and up-to-date computer equipment.

To help them out, I asked some people back home to send much needed electronic equipment, and I want to thank them for their generous gifts. Judith Mackin, Peter Smit, and Patrick Sohy donated digital recorders so the reporters could tape interviews; Mike Tilley donated a camera because they've had to borrow one in the past to take pictures; and David Alston donated a laptop with a processor powerful enough to operate a page-buidling program so they could layout the paper themselves, rather than pay someone to do it for them.

In the picture above, a few of the guys are learning to build news pages on David's laptop, which we've attached to a monitor with a bigger screen size. If they learn this skill, it will help the paper save money and also make them more employable when they eventually return to Liberia.

The guys really appreciated these gifts. Thank you David, Mike, Judith, Peter and Patrick. Thank you, too, Katie Wallace, who brought the equipment with her when she visited Ghana in April.

- Mark


Anonymous said...

Hurray!!! I`m SO SO SO excited for all our people at The Vision! They deserve these tools so much. Good work Mark, I`m proud of your initiative. Can`t wait to see you soon. Angelique.

Janet & Mark in Ghana said...

Hi Angelique! Good to hear from you. I'm heading to the camp now for an overnight visit. I leave here Tuesday and I wanted to spend at least one night there. I'll say hi to everyone for you. See you soon! Mark

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Sebago,

Mom, Dad and I have just read your blog. It's great that you have had such wonderful support from your friends back home. I am sure they were very happy to help out. Looking forward to having you home. Give our best to all those who have become your dear friends. I am sure they will miss you as much as we have over the last 8 months.

Love Becky, Mummy, and Daddy