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Hi Leigh,

This is ben. A development worker for the past 12 years with experience working with various donor and humanitarian organizations in the Island of Mindanao, Philippines. In most part I worked and stayed in the more culturally diverse, politically unstable conflicted affected areas of the island. While engaged in (independent) consultancy work to earn a living, at least during the last eight years, I was also involved in volunteer work, most specifically in helping develop the capacity of local-home grown NGOs and peoples organizations (POs) working with marginalized farmers, fisherfolks, IPs and Moro (local Muslim) communities in different parts of Mindanao.

This is a personal crusade that I intend to sustain, as I also intend to continue my journey and hand-holding with the organizations and communities I have been working with and working for in the past years. This volunteer work is mostly carried out through coaching and mentoring through leadership and membership development, setting up organizational systems and procedures, helping local organizations participate in local governance, project development, linking local organizations with regional and national service providers and to some extent assisting local organizations and communities mobilize resources.

“Facilitation of Online Communities” is a new concept to me. I still do not fully understand the concept and mechanics, but it seems (in may initial understanding) that this learning facility can help me provide and extend a more organized and programmatic capacity building interventions. While all of these NGOs and POs are in rural areas, most if not all have already access to the internet.

This is the social context and the situation that I am in – this is also the motivation why I intend to participate and avail of this course. I would appreciate receiving advice and guidance from you. THANK SO MUCH.

Beda (talk)21:25, 25 July 2008

Oh by the way, my email address is



Beda (talk)21:27, 25 July 2008

Hello Ben! Impressive, and you will bring a valuable perspective to this course relating to access and relavence to people in rural/regional, if not marginalised society. Here in NZ, connectivity is still a very big issue with as much as 67% of homes not connected to broadband Internet. 33% are not even connected to dial up Internet! My first response to your thinking about how this might be useful for the sort of work you do would be that an online community might be useful for other people that do the sorts of work you do. So less for the people you work for, but more for the people that do work like you. I wonder if you would benefit from being connected to an online community like this? We'll see hey :)

Leighblackall (talk)11:47, 28 July 2008