Télécoms sans Frontières and “Etre Prêt”

26 June 2013 | Ros Irving

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Ros Irving

Blog Author | Capacity Media; Managing Director


Trudging up the mountains in the rain, and hail this weekend, I had plenty of time to reflect on the work that the charity we support here at Capacity does…

Trudging up the mountains in the rain, and hail this weekend, I had plenty of time to reflect on the work that the charity we support here at Capacity does…

Télécoms sans Frontières (TSF) champions a great idea -  which is simply to allow survivors of a crisis or a conflict to communicate with loved ones, and for first responders to be able to communicate to help with the distribution of aid. Positioned in three locations around the world, TSF responders are able to deploy very quickly and be at the site of an emergency usually within 24 hours. After a disaster they work to quickly set up a satellite-based telecoms centre offering broadband internet, telephone and fax lines.

Perhaps less well known is TSF’s work in training and development activities that offer sustainable communications solutions to local communities (programmes in health and education) and also building the capacity of other emergency response organisations in local communities. I was recently sent some information on one of these programmes that I wanted to share. Since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, TSF has been organising the training of adult Scout leaders working with the National Association of the Scouts of Haiti.  The local Scout leaders have been trained by TSF to become trainers themselves, teaching their colleagues to use ICT equipment, administer WiFi networks and create and manage frontline SMS automatic messaging networks.

The emergency response units from the Haiti scouts were tested when Hurricane Sandy passed by Haiti in October 2012. In most countries their Scout motto “Etre Prêt” (be prepared) wouldn’t be tested in such a real time situation.

Capacity Media financially supports the work of Télécoms sans Frontières and aims to raise awareness of this vital organisation through activities such as fun runs at events and most recently, the mountains mentioned at the beginning of this post!

This weekend, a small group from Capacity Media climbed the three highest peaks in the United Kingdom, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell in England and Snowdon in Wales. The climb was arduous enough, covering 42 kilometres (26 miles) and 3,000 metres ascent (9,800 ft.). The challenge is to complete it within 24 hours, including all travel (by road) between the mountains; challenging indeed when there is about 11 hours of road travel to consider as well as the three climbs. Thanks to the British summer, the team endured 100kph winds, hailstones, torrential rain and snow – adding an element of discomfort that the team definitely wasn’t prepared for!

If you would like to support the work of Télécoms sans Frontières and sponsor our Capacity team’s efforts this weekend, please visit the three peaks donation page at http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/capacity3peaks
 
Or for more information on Télécoms sans Frontières visit http://www.tsfi.org



Ros Irving, MD, Capacity Media,
at the summit of Ben Nevis