Archive for August 2009

Rural Youth at BarCamp Swaziland

August 27th, 2009 — 8:00am

Katrina Heppler of and I pose with the amazing young people from rural areas who helped with BarCamp Swaziland. They were sponsored by, who empowers youth in Southern Africa through technology, especially those heading households. YouthAssets sent this group airtime via SMS on their mobile phones, which they received in their villages and then sold to pay bus fare to the conference. The youth ran the conference registration, and helped us document it with Flip video cameras. The 12-year-old, Msimisi, who helped me, was chosen to attend BarCamp Swaziland and learn more about technology because he has hooked up a solar panel to the thatch roof of his family’s hut – to power a radio. At the end of BarCamp Swaziland, we asked him what he wants to be when he grows up, and he said — an engineer.

Note: What an honor to work with to document BarCamp Swaziland and SOCAP ’09!

38 comments » | Africa, Swaziland

VIDEO: Gcina Dube on HIV/AIDS in Swaziland

August 27th, 2009 — 7:27am

“It was AIDS that killed her, not the witchcraft stuff they were talking about.”

We went to Hluti to visit Phindile, an 18-yr-old head-of-household who advises YouthAssets. As we were hanging out in front of the school, Gcina, a Swazi man in his twenties who works for YouthAssets and was accompanying us to the rural areas, told the story of a local family where the husband went to work in the mines in South Africa, came back and infected his wife with HIV, and then died. The wife was still healthy. As custom requires, the brother of the husband married his late brother’s wife. He then became infected and died, and then a third brother married the wife, and eventually died as well. The family thought the men were dying from witchcraft, due to the achievements of the family. Finally the wife died as well.

Gcina says: “A lot of people in Swaziland know AIDS is there, but they just pretend as if it’s not there, even though it’s killing us.”

2 comments » | Africa, Swaziland

VIDEO: BarCamp Swaziland – Social Media Session

August 27th, 2009 — 5:07am

BarCamp Swaziland – Social Media Session from Shara Karasic on Vimeo.

Tibusiso Mbisi, an 18-year-old student whose single mother of five children read about BarCamp Swaziland in the newspaper and encouraged her to go, describes her favorite social network, Facebook, which is hot in Swaziland, and used to organize Facebook parties of hundreds of people and promote local music.

83 comments » | Uncategorized

Back to top