Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Have Skillz, Will Travel?

We read about other people going off to work for charity in poorer countries but geeks have by and large been overlooked due to most posts requiring people skills ie actually requiring you to be friendly to people rather than snotty and strange stuff like that. Now geeks can get in on the act with techy placements to places like Mali, Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya. You can now tell a whole village "It works fine on mine. Sorry.".

via boingboing


OMIH said...

I could really do with a techy here.

My laptops buggered. Local guy turns up - switches it on and off for an hour then informs me: "It's broken".

Get yerselves signed up to VSO. www.vso.org.uk

I reckon there's plenty of jobs for techy types around the world.

mmChronic said...

I'm a software geek rather than hardware. And software geeks can write software anywhere in the world for anywhere else in the world without leaving home.

The likes of VSO should have volunteer from home placements.

Merg said...


I can hold me own with hardware as I'm sure mC will testify, but I'm afraid you're a better man than I am -- I've no desire to go to work for charity in these poorer countries. (it's the countries rather than the poor bit).

Selfish? Probably. I've done plenty of stuff for various charities without leaving home, though, so I guess that's more than many. (and I don't mean dropping loose change in the box beside the till in the local supermarket).

OMIH said...

It's not about being worthy. I don't know anyone here whose here because they want to save the world.

But it does make it easier to get up in the morning when you know that you're not just making some arsehole rich.

But it's just as much about living in another country. I only earn $8 a day here but I eat out every meal, I go out three or four times a week rather than the once at home.

Here I make no sacrifice - give or take losing a few TV channels. I can eat western food every day if I want to (and I do at least half the time).

Then again a lovely bowl of Pho Bo (beef noodle soup) is fantastic - right lads, no more work for me. I'm off to slurp noodles.

Catch yer later.

Merg said...

I quite like some of the Viet food I've tried -- tho it was all in a small cafe place near San Francisco.

I genuinely respect what you're doing by going out there.

(tho' trust me, I'm making no-one rich right now!).

Merg said...

I was talking to my Ma this afternoon and happened to mention the VSO thang.

Apparently, she knows someone whose daughter joined it and went to Tanzania to teach the kids over there, and apparently she loved it, loved teaching the kids, etc.

She was - and this isn't a joke - eaten by a crocodile.

There's a foundation thingy been set up in her memory, apparently...

mmChronic said...


How recently was this? Just I remember within the last few years a charity worker being eaten by a croc. Don't know which country or owt else - I just remember it was fairly big news.

Merg said...

Not sure -- I believe the lady in question was Scots though.

I'll ask my Ma.

Anonymous said...

VSO sounds similar to the US Peace Corps. Both are very broad & require two years.

Geekcorps is much more focused - we want techies, hardware or software, from UK or any other tech-leading country, for four months max. Oh and did we say we're much cooler than VSO too?

We're Geekcorps and we eat Linux kernels for breakfast!

PS: thanks for the shout-out!

Geekcorps staff

mmChronic said...

No problem on the link. :)

It does sound pretty cool - we'll have to get Dogs signed up for it and he can blog about it for us.