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David commented on Navajo Water Project

Hi George,
I like your idea specifically for the Navajo Nation. I know that you love who you server as I love the Navajo people. Most people don't even know where the Navajo Nation is or how many people live there. (27,000 square miles in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, over 300,000 Navajos live there). I spent 10 years there as an advisor to 2 Navajo Presidents and worked at every one of the 110 Chapter Houses (Community Centers). The original project was to bring Internet Connectivity and Computers to all 110 Chapter Houses under a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. It took the Navajo Tribal Council over 18 months to accept the grant. As you know the Navajo's work by consensus, so if one member doesn't agree then the the other 50 wont move forward. I believe your adoption program is exactly what is needed in rural and poorer communities. Most NGO's have an idea and bring it to a community. That ends up being a problem looking for a solution. We try to solve the problem from the birds eye view but if we really are going to solve the problem we should look at it from the worms eye view. So you are on the right path.

I suggest you take a look at the attached video that is now over 12 years old. It speaks to how we connected. We engaged the people of Navajo to build their own Internet Network. In this video you will see a great Navajo man - Ernest Franklin (my real life blood brother). Listen to his words about the Warrior Twins. If you would like, I will introduce him to you and he can help with adoption in other areas of Navajo. Work with the Chapter Leaders, not the Tribal Council in Window Rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D1H4Sbo54I
These same adoption issues exist in Appalachia and in rural Mexico where we are also working. We would love to see how we might be able to partner with you in Appalachia.
One of the other issues you may want to consider is payments. I think carrying cash is not a good idea however, 85% of the Navajos don't have bank accounts. There are solutions for that and we can discuss that too.
Thanks for your efforts to help my brothers and sisters in Navajo.
Dave

Hi Kate,
I know the team at PCN and have already reached out. By the way, another partner that will be included in this and other projects is Skoolbo. You should take a look at their website. Its a worldwide gamified learning program with over 1.5 billion answers from kids all over the world from pre-k to 12 years old and its FREE. See: http://skoolbo.com/
Dave

Hi Juan,
I see you have seen what happens when people are in poverty. That kind of experience only comes from trying to help people who are experiencing the problem this Challenge is trying to solve. Good on you. Have you thought about how you will sustain this program? Let's say you get a truck and equip it with computers and a satellite dish. Will the driver/teacher have the technical skill to align the satellite antenna at every stop. Have you thought how you are going to pay for the satellite service and the driver, fuel, repair, materials and teacher after grant funds run out? Have you thought about what you will teach? How will you be able to discern what needs to be taught? Will you have both a driver and a teacher? How will they be protected? Where will they sleep, bathe, eat, etc? What will the vehicle look like? Will it be 4 wheel drive? Will you be able to get permission to go into a troubled or disaster area?
Perhaps you have spoken to other organizations you will partner with?
Feel free to contact me at dave@poverty-museum.org
Thanks
David Stephens