A Haitian ICT Success Story: Jerry Joseph
Jerry Joseph is pursuing a dream – he wants to be an expert in information and communication technology (ICT). Thanks to Inveneo, he’s working toward that goal with Multilink, a Haitian ISP, by bringing broadband Internet to rural Haiti and changing the lives of people in his community.
But a year ago, Jerry’s future wasn’t so clear.
Even though he studied ICT and even took classes at the prestigious Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, he was doing odd jobs to support himself and his family and his hopes for an ICT career were dim.
I wanted to be focused on technology. I don’t want to be doing something that doesn’t improve my ICT skills. Yet, it’s hard to find a job in Haiti – I worked where I could but I was not challenged. I wasn’t using my skills.”
Then, on January 12, 2010, the earthquake hit.
Jerry was in Port-au-Prince at the time, and like many others, his house was damaged and Jerry was rendered homeless, and was forced to live at a friend’s. He was still taking whatever jobs he could find, and one of those positions – as a driver with Save the Children – led him to Inveneo.
Working with us to deploy long-distance WiFi, Jerry gained valuable practical skills and the attention of Multilink. Now Jerry is managing bandwidth and tech support as an independent contractor for Multilink in Léogâne, in the process, he is gaining real expertise in ICT and making an impact in his homeland.
“I believe children in rural communities want to be ICT experts too, but they don’t find anyone to inspire them. I need to be the boost for them. I can’t wait for them to say, ‘Jerry is teaching us ICT!'”
For Inveneo, Jerry is the first of what we believe will be many Haitian success stories. He’s now employed in his chosen profession, and the technologies he’s helping deploy are expanding opportunity throughout the country, beyond Port-au-Prince.
Our 2011 Commitment
Inveneo is committed to bringing real opportunity to Haiti in 2011 through the rural broadband connectivity program Inveneo is deploying in partnership with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Haitian entrepreneurs.
This program is supported by an innovative collective of organizations whose focus is ICT entrepreneurial capacity building, rural economic development, and education through ICTs, including the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Craigslist Charitable Fund , The EKTA Foundation, Google, Microsoft, NetHope and the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance.
Together, we will build a connectivity model that will reach and serve clients (schools, NGOs, enterprises and others) cost effectively, through:
- accelerated deployment of a high speed, broadband wireless network in rural population centers
- training and certification of Haitian IT entrepreneurs (like Jerry) to deploy, operate and support this network
- a sustainable business model of local network ownership and operations for the broadband wireless network,
- deploying new, appropriate technology in education to increase ICT knowledge and usage
The net effect of our efforts will be broadband Internet connectivity that stimulates economic growth and supports decentralization of the Haitian economy. In the process, we are confident that we will see the formation of many Jerrys!