What is 'Urban - Rural divide' ?
Rural parts of developing countries lack proper housing, basic sanitation, affordable healthcare, quality education, potable water, steady energy supply, low-cost transportation, dependable infrastructure, access to markets, current technology, etc. Seeking such amenities and jobs, villagers migrate to urban areas. This further undermines the rural economy while straining the limited urban resources, leading to over-crowding, pollution, homelessness, crime, etc.
What are the URBAN Amenities that you talk about ?
Most rural areas in developing countries urgently need several basic amenities which are taken for granted in urban settings.
How is 'We Serve' planning to make a difference ?
Unlike most poverty alleviation programs, the whole concept of 'We Serve' is to use modern technology and deserving and less fortunate citizens (rural or urban) in educating themselves and improving their skills to become self-supportive and self-sufficient in whatever they want to improve. The Beneficiaries learn how to maximize their core competence, develop entrepreneurial skills, handle their own affairs and as a result, enjoy sustained economic progress.
Is modern technology up to the task ?
A few practical applications: Web access and broadband connectivity enable distance learning about matters critical to any community - such as water conservation, water purification, energy independence, sanitary practices, bio-mass use, eco-friendly farming, etc.
Ability to interact with markets near and far, to conduct trade and business using online tools opens up the world for better economic opportunities for the participants.
Tele-medicine has been shown to save lives, improve the quality of care and reduce the cost - without any major risk. Bringing critical medical data to the rural primary care giver and the consultant in a far-off location, via video / audio / internet technology, facilitates instant access to modern healthcare at an affordable and effective manner to any one even in remote areas.
Is there any fee to join ?
Of course not. This is a free service each of you are generous to offer and there is no need to pay any fee to become a volunteer. But each participant needs to have adequate motivation, skills and knowledge to undertake this responsibility. The Foundation shall ensure the quality of the help offered meets the expectations of the Foundation constituents at all times.
Will everyone who applies be accepted or retained ?
Important to understand that not every one who applies to volunteer may be accepted without required qualifications to provide the help they claim to offer. Those registered may also be delisted, if the recipients find them difficult to work with or inaccessible or abuse the system for any personal gain. The Application Review Committees (one for each sector - i.e.: Education, Healthcare, Financial, etc.) are ultimately responsible to ensure this program works the way intended - to help people in need.
How do I select the project to collaborate with ?
Each Beneficiary provides a list of their requirements and priorities and updates them on an ongoing basis. The Foundation shall provide secure access to these for the registered Volunteers and Institutional Partners suitable for mutual collaboration with that particular Recipient. The Foundation provides the liaison between the various entities and helps out in effective communication, etc.
Can I donate funds:
There are a number of basic expenses to set up and maintain each Nodal Center - with Tele-Ed, Tele-Med, Tele-Conference, hardware and ongoing maintenance. Once the Recipient centers develop their own economic prosperity, they shall cover such expenses on their own. Till such time, they may need help to cover these costs. Any help / support / donation is quite welcome and will be put to the best use.
For Example: A branch of the Lion's Club has underwritten the cost and maintenance of the Mobile Emergency Medical Dialysis Van in the 'Meenakshi Mission PURA' in South India covering all the villages in three adjacent districts.
Each cluster design calls for five to six mobile medical vans with adequate equipments and fitted with a satellite dish to link up with the base station. Civic minded organizations may adopt any of these projects and raise targeted funds to fund them adequately.
The Beneficiary Members shall provide their requirements and update them periodically. Based on these, the Foundation may seek donations for specific projects and programs. Often the Foundation will link up the donor with the recipient for direct interaction among themselves and will not handle any donated funds.