Thursday, October 06, 2005

NABUUR : Fostering True Global Villages

Today I got "my socks blown off" by a really great organization and a tremendous web site. The organization is and it is a type of global village that describes itself as a "Global Neighbour Network".

The concept is that communities that want assistance come to this web site and state what their problem happens to be. Volunteers come to this site as well and select communities that they would like to help solve their problem. The volunteers that select a community become a "Neighbor."

The communities are called "Villages" whether they are rural or urban. And there are villages from all over the world. I spent a greater part of the day visiting villages and reading about their problems. I became a neighbor is several villages and began trying to help them solve their problems.

I am so excited about this, because this is one of the things that I had hoped the All African (Self Help) Bazaar could do for non-profit organizations and communities. And while people come here to find assistance, it is nowhere near the scale of NABUUR. In Africa alone, there are 6 communities from Kenya, 5 from Uganda, 2 from Zambia and one each from Burundi, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal.

Some of the communities are looking for help with building a school or a health clinic. Others want to start a childcare center so mothers can go to work and earn an income, still others have other dreams and goals. I spent a lot of time posting messages about the various organizations that offer the assistance the communities are seeking. And I am hopeful that there will be some wonderful partnerships that come out of this.

Another thing that astounded me was that NABUUR has been around for a few years and I never heard about it before. is run by Stichting NABUUR, a Netherlands based not-for-profit- registered foundation and is an independent NGO that does not adhere to any political ideology or religious creed. The organization started on 30 October 2001 as the NABUUR Foundation.

NABUUR says that its dream is to give "tens of thousands of local communities ('Villages') in developing countries access to the resources they need to solve their problems." And they are trying to do that by bringing "'Villages' all over the world into direct contact with people who live elsewhere and who want to help them. These people ('Virtual neighbors') can help by finding the resources needed by the local community."

At the NABUUR web site is the following information:

NABUUR's ambition is to create a mechanism that will enable the problems of local communities to be solved on a scale that really matters. NABUUR aims to provide a mechanism that will be able to help a large number of communities all over the world.

The mission of NABUUR is to give local communities access to their global Neighbors via the Internet. And through these Neighbors to the huge reservoir of resources (knowledge, solutions, energy and money) that is available elsewhere.

NABUUR has selected a number of local communities were the mechanism is being tried out. In 2004 and 2005 we aim to connect hundreds of local communities to NABUUR. After 2006 NABUUR should be able to serve an unlimited number of communities wordlwide."

I'd say that that is a pretty good Ambition and Mission.

A BIG cheer for NABUUR and all of the Neighbors who are working to help solve problems in the developing world. And my wish for today is that all of you will visit their web site, become a Neighbor of one or more villages and begin to work with them to MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.


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