What if you could get both a series of TED-type videos about solving real life challenges, and a comprehensive Do It Yourself (DIY) explanation of how to implement what you’d seen?
TOP (Technology Of Peace) is a digital and offline platform for sharing challenges and sustainable solutions to poverty and hunger in a network connecting individuals and communities of doers and proven leaders across the globe.
TOP is designed to address basic human needs and to improve the quality of life of people wherever they live. It offers sustainable solutions based on simple and available materials, tools, and techniques. TOP solutions are easily duplicated and require minimum maintenance costs.
In October 2016, a group of six organizations in Kenya (Elimu TV, Qwen, RODI, Shofar, SCOPE, and Yard) decided to join forces and establish TOP Kenya. Their initial action was to create the first TOP Connectedness and Leadership course, which was successfully launched in February 2017 at RODI Center, Kenya and 13 participants received their certificates during a ceremony that took place in July 2017 after a 3 day workshop. Since then more courses, workshops and initiatives were launched.
The TOP platform provides:
Holistic solutions encompassing economic, social and environmental dynamics
Explanations of how to solve problems, comprising multimedia illustrations (photos, clips), text, and open source software
A roster of inventors and designers involved in the creation of the solutions with whom users can communicate directly
The opportunity to learn, contribute, apply and/or modify existing solutions, and unearth new challenges
The training mainly focused on changing the mindset of the youth, from consumer to prosumer(from the word producer and consumer combined) mindset, by creating turning points from the experiences we got from the learning process. This was achieved by the organizations that merged together to form TOP, sharing their stories about how their identified gaps in their communities and how they were able to provide solutions. This was very inspiring to the youth and created many turning points. By this, the youth were encouraged to be creative and innovative enough by providing solutions to the communities facing a particular problem. This encouraged the youth to be leaders by their own means and instead of complaining about having no jobs, they use their mind as a resource and help the community. Farming and technology were introduced and ways of merging the two were provided by the use of a technology called raspberry pi 3. Since the youth like playing around with technology, they were able to adopt the raspberry pi 3 and were able to incorporate it to farming to come up with more efficient systems. The training basically was about encouraging the youth to be creative enough to come up with innovations that would fill the gaps that are present in the community. In the process of helping the community they are able to develop themselves.
Have you ever wondered how it would feel when all the years you spent in school were reduced to one week and the hard things now were more than possible but now a reality? That is the definition of the TOP week training where school is redone to fit the needs of our daily lives. The TOP week was divided in to segments with each segment having a facilitator who in his own way would introduce a new way of thinking and build a new resolve in the participants to re-evaluate and redesign there thinking towards their environment society and to develop a new socio-economic concept. Each facilitator that gave a lecture emphasized the need of rethinking our ways in dealing with our consumer mind set this was the core issue, since the consumer mind set only depends on the solutions provided for them by the producer hence one cannot advance or even engage actively in the basic problem solving aspect of life. TOP week introduced the aspect of the prosumer mindset, this is where one identifies a problem or a need in his or her nitch then develops a solution to the problem using locally available resources at the lowest price possible. There were other new concepts introduced, the raspberry pie computer a small computer that revolutionized the computer use since it was an open computer while fully functional and programmable by any one with basic knowledge in computer. Each participant was assigned one open computer and we all wrote our first code and made it work. The simplicity of the concept and its implementation made the concept of prosumer mindset something to spread to the society. The TOP week training has given me the basic tools I need to better my ideas and to bring them to life that was the main essence of TOP week that each one may have the ability to bring to life their ideas and to better their lives solving the society’s problems.
Abner Michael Otieno
How can TOP serve my community and Kenya? TOP will enable me to teach my community effective ways to utilize the available resources such as using available resources such as waste and walls to grow food and grow healthy food and have food security. TOP will also change the attitude and mind sets of people to be positive and communal rather than lose hope and be selfish as TOP teaches people to work together and share knowledge and resources. TOP will help the country be peaceful as there are a lot of conflicts brought about by lack of food and arable land leading people to kill each other over food,livestock and farm land. Implementing the technology introduced by TOP will ensure that the food produced is enough for everyone and people will live together in peace. TOP will improve the countries economy as when its ideology is implemented the country will be able to produce enough food to feed itself and will not need to buy food from other countries. It may even have enough to export comfortably. TOP will greatly improve the health of the Kenyan citizens,practicing organic farming will mean that less of the harmful products and chemicals such as pesticides and GMO foods will be produced ,people will not have to consume them and as a result will be more healthy and the countries life expectancy will be higher.
Am Christopher Ondigi from Kisii, TOP participant .I had an educative, inspirational, busy and happy week at TOP. I realized that observation and listening skills are ideal to one’s daily life after which he/she is expected to apply. I am now equipped with agricultural skills (which I disliked at first but later enjoyed it), passion for creativity, self-driven culture and socialization skills. The coolest part is about the raspberry pi3 open, portable and simple computer which makes me the master in operating it rather than a slave to it. I feel transformed like those who have received Jesus Christ their lives. I have shifted from “I cannot do it” to “I can, I am and am done”. With too many gaps in Kenya and the whole world at large, I am destined to fill as much as I can with the knowledge I have acquired at TOP-utilizing my brains to maximum potential. Moreover, the teachers were very organized, Mr. Phillipe and Mr. Eyal . I thought we wouldn’t make it due to short period but surprisingly, the week’s program was well observed to the last minute. I give them credit together with the other founders of TOP who have inspired TOP participants through their moving stories of how they came around. I appreciate the teamwork with my teachers, TOP founders and my colleagues. TOP is the center of expanding knowledge, understanding and reasoning. It has enabled me to see things in different dimensions: to own a problem and also own its solution, give more than I receive, to be a prosumer and not the consumer and also fill gaps. The community can benefit abundantly with the knowledge TOP offers as knowledge is richer than cash and resources. Food insecurity in Kenya would not be a problem anymore with the green wall idea. I would like to tutor about the installation of noobs in the raspberry pi 3 on the online course. God bless
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