Global Nomads Group (GNG), an organization dedicated to fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding among youth, and Polycom, Inc. , the world’s leading provider of unified collaborative solutions, today announced the launch of Project Uganda.
This project is a 10-part video conferencing series connecting more than 25 schools throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to interact with students in Uganda over video conferencing to increase awareness and understanding of Ugandan culture and examine the challenges youth face living in a conflict zone. Project Uganda is made possible through a challenge grant from Polycom, a new campaign to challenge corporations, individuals and foundations to match Polycom’s commitment to the program. (For more information on Polycom’s Challenge Grant see today’s companion announcement titled, Polycom Expands Commitment to Distance Learning with $25,000 Challenge Grant to Global Nomads Group for Uganda Project)
Taking place May 21-25, the Project Uganda interactive sessions will include cultural overviews on a number of topics including African village life; child rights and issues; Acholi tribe women; and the story of the night commuters, thousands of children who, for generations, have at times been forced to walk for miles each evening from their villages to the city of Gulu to seek refuge and protection from abductions by the rebel LRA guerillas.
Beyond simply learning of the Uganda lifestyle, Project Uganda will actually provide the opportunity for U.S., UK and Canadian students to impact the lives of Ugandan youth through a new “Agents of Change” initiative. Introduced to participating classes prior to the video conferences, the Agents of Change initiative, also supported by GuluWalk, a global one-day event focused on raising awareness and funds for education, rehabilitation and youth support programs for the terrorized children of northern Uganda, will give students the opportunity to send goods and donate money to their counterparts in Uganda through a fundraising campaign to support community projects and funds to leading nongovernmental organizations like GuluWalk working to support relief efforts in the region.
The Agents of Change initiative will offer various new projects to benefit the youth in Gulu and Padibe. These projects include a new soccer field and school fence all made possible through the generosity of their fellow, more fortunate students participating in the program.
“This program provides the unique opportunity for students to learn about the culture of one of Eastern Africa’s most beautiful countries while exploring the conflict that has taken place in Northern Uganda for 20 years,” said Chris Plutte, co-founder of Global Nomads Group. “However, the awareness from this project is just the beginning. With Polycom’s help, we will encourage students to take action and discover new ways to support their counterparts through our ‘Agents of Change’ initiative.”
The interactive connection of these video conferencing sessions is made possible with the Polycom Mobile Responder(TM), a rugged and compact video conferencing system with a built-in display, camera, microphone and speaker, and the Polycom PVX(TM), a secure PC application developed to enable video communications through a PC and USB Web camera. Both Polycom video conferencing solutions enable collaboration and conferencing through satellite transmission that enables GNG to connect with students around the world across rural geographic barriers. In addition, all Uganda Project sessions will be recorded and stored using the Polycom Readi Streaming Server (RSS(TM)) 2000, a network server that enables the content to be easily recorded, streamed and archived for future distribution.
“The power of video conferencing has enabled Polycom and the Global Nomads Group to cultivate learning and enrich the lives of students around the world,” said Bob Hagerty, chairman and CEO of Polycom. “The Agents of Change initiative encourages students to become active members of the global society by giving back and implementing positive change for those who need it most. Polycom has supported Global Nomads for many years. The Challenge Grant for this project supports our unremitting commitment to GNG and we hope Project Uganda and the Agents of Change initiative will inspire other corporations, individuals and foundations to become involved in Global Nomads Group’s international education programs.”
About Global Nomads Group
Global Nomads Group ( http://www.gng.org ) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding among youth. Using videoconferencing and satellite communications technology, GNG moderates conferences between K-12 classes in different countries, organizes virtual lectures, and conducts remote broadcasts from the world’s historical and cultural sites.
GuluWalk, a global one-day event focused on raising awareness and funds for education, rehabilitation and youth support programs for the terrorized children of northern Uganda is set for Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007. The grassroots worldwide initiative is expected to take place in over 100 cities this year, including such notable sites as Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, London, Rome, Beijing and many more. Last year GuluWalk was staged in 82 cities in 15 different countries, and featured more than 30,000 participants, each one providing a voice for the children of northern Uganda. The 2006 campaign raised over $500,000 for children’s programs for a generation being left behind.
With the fragile peace talks between the Ugandan Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army are ongoing, and your voice matters more than ever. Getting involved in GuluWalk is an excellent way to be heard and to make a real difference in the lives of these abandoned children. Find out more and get involved today at www.guluwalk.com .
Polycom, Inc. is the worldwide leader in unified collaborative communications (UCC) that maximize the efficiency and productivity of people and organizations by integrating the broadest array of high definition video, wired and wireless voice, and content solutions to deliver the ultimate collaborative experience. Polycom’s high quality, standards-based conferencing and collaboration solutions are easy to deploy and manage, as well as intuitive to use. Supported by an open architecture, they integrate seamlessly with leading telephony, workplace wireless telephony, and presence-based networks. With its market-driving technologies, best-in-class products, alliance partnerships, and world-class service, Polycom is the smart choice for organizations seeking proven solutions and a competitive advantage from on-demand communications and collaboration. For additional information, call 800-POLYCOM or visit the Polycom Web site at www.polycom.com .
NOTE: Polycom, and the Polycom logo are registered trademarks of Polycom in the U.S. and various countries.
CONTACT: Nicole Hegg of Visitech PR, +1-303-752-3552, ext. 230, Nicole@VisiTechPR.com, for Polycom
Web site: http://www.polycom.com// http://www.gng.org//