Web 2.0 = Knowledge - Connectivity - Organization - Empowerment (2013 VOF Week 1)
Knowledge. Connectivity. Organization. Empowerment. These are a few of the words that I think of when I think of Web 2.0. With a computer and an internet connection people from around the globe can become connected in a way most couldn’t even dream about 20 years ago. A person can be troubled by a problem in the morning and by the evening have used Web tools to reach out to others to setup an online group to brainstorm a solution. The problems that can be solved this way are limitless. These tools give a voice to the voiceless. These tools are powerful and hence exciting to some and feared by others.
Web 2.0 tools include language translators which makes it easier for the university professor, the business woman, the woman living in the Amazon in Peru, the woman refugee living in Uganda, the housewife in America, and the retired woman sitting in her home office to connect, share, problem solve, and organize. Women are extremely powerful but often do not realize this or have confidence in their abilities. Women are told by themselves, their families, and society what they “should” be doing and usually what they "should" be doing isn't advocating for better treatment and more rights. An individual woman's day is often used up doing what she "should" or needs to be doing leaving little precious time for anything else or leaving her just plain tired. Individual women are just starting to use the web to join large groups, which will give them the voice to make a significant impact locally and globally. I think women will use the web to encourage each other, organize and strengthen the global women's empowerment movement.
Personally it was through the web that I connected with a Congolese refugee living in a refugee settlement in Uganda. Through this friendship I have met many people living at the camp and eventually helped create a women’s group there. I’ve used YouTube to post videos of the people living at the camp, such as Angela, who picked up baby Ruth while fleeing the DR Congo and has since adopted her < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrZNSYR0blI&feature=share&list=PL7AE91E32... >. Via social networking sites I’ve connected with the The Girls Camaraderie Project in California, The Free Little Library in USA, and Janice Guzon of Eyesee. The Web 2.0 tools are allowing me to participate in World Pulse – Voices of Our Future.
As inspiring and powerful as Web 2.0 is it should be remembered that most do not have these tools, many still struggle with day-to-day survival, many live in isolated areas, many are not allowed basic human rights let alone an internet connection. These people are my inspiration and I hope to act as a bridge by bringing news of their lives to the world. I hope in a small way to be a teacher to them and in a larger way to be their student. Bridge, teacher, student – what could be better?