ACT NOW reaching remote villages via USB sticks

A simple Flash Drive can be an effective education and awareness tool

Sia village in the Sohe District of Oro Province is a difficult place to reach from the outside.

With no road linking the community to the outside world, the only options are three hour dingy ride along the coast from the Provincial capital, Popondetta, and up the Mamba river, or a three to four day walk.

Yet, thanks to the hard work and dedication of rural teachers and a humble USB Flash Drive, ACT NOW is able to access such remote communities with its messages about the importance of customary land, the dehibilitating impacts of corruption on service delivery and failure of large-scale resource extraction to deliver sustainable development.

Ms Ida Giriba and Ms Mildred Gaima, are the two teachers at Sia Primary School. They recently began showing awareness videos provided by ACT NOW on a USB stick, to their classes.

As Ms Gaima explains, “we are trying to help the next generation to know how unique our environment and resources are so that they won’t give our land cheaply to foreigners”.

But it is not only the children of Sia who the teachers have been working with. Word about the videos soon reached the students parents. Suddenly the videos had a new audience as the whole community wanted to watch the films.

With only a small laptop and no projector, the parents had to be divided into small groups to watch the videos, but the ensuing discussions have engaged the whole community.

The Sohe District has previously been heavily impacted by logging, but the people of Sia say they are now more informed and will be able to make better decisions when it comes to development options in the future.

ACT NOW has already distributed more than 1,000 USB Flash Drives loaded with awareness videos to teachers and other rural leaders and delivered hard copies of education materials to the libraries of tertiary institutions across the country.

This week ACT NOW is in Lae, visting both UNITECH and Balob Teachers College to deliver education and awareness materials in both hard and soft copy.