03-21-2012 06:52 AM - edited 03-28-2012 12:35 PM
In the days following the 2010 Haiti earthquake I made the crazy decision to get a group of volunteers together raise the necessary equipment and fly to Haiti to build wifi networks helping NGO's, disaster response teams and local organisations to communicate better and to coordinate their work. This was a huge challenge to undertake for someone with lots of technical experience but who had never worked in a disaster relief scenario.
After I blogged & tweeted about the idea the volunteers came hard & fast from all across the globe. However the big challenge was securing the equipment needed to build these networks. Many calls were made and letters and emails were sent.
We received lots of small-ish donations (which were very much appreciated) but for QoS purposes we preferred to build a homogeneous network backbone.
Enter Aruba Networks!
A few emails back and forth and within no time Aruba had shipped a large amount of equipment our staging area in Florida.
It was a godsend and allowed us to deploy our first team to Haiti in the 2nd half of March 2010.
More than 2 years later we are still running projects in Haiti having provided connectivity to hospitals, schools, community organisations and more. Our work has shifted from disaster response to rebuilding focused work. And while there is lots of work still to do in Haiti we were able to make a small contribution.
None of this would have happened without the generous help of Aruba Networks!
We are now planning to take down some of the initial networks that were put up as these were connecting temporary locations and are now no longer needed. Because of this we are considering redeployment options for the equipment.
In addition we are also building a dedicated IT & Telecoms rapid response unit for deployment to disaster areas worldwide and hope to use Aruba equipment for that also.
Attending Airheads would give me the opportunity to bring my knowledge of Aruba Networks products up to date as well as learns some new tricks of the trade that I am sure will come in very handy during a future deployment.
So please click on "kudos" at the bottom right and send me to Nice!
03-21-2012 07:14 AM
Thanks for entering the contest Evert!
--Give Kudos: found something helpful, important, or cool? Click Kudos Star in a post.
--Problem Solved? Click "Accepted Solution" in a post.
03-29-2012 06:54 AM - edited 03-29-2012 07:00 AM
Some of the equipment donated very generously by Aruba Networks. Ready for shipment to Haiti.
For more details see: www.haiti-connect.org
More pics of the equipment being configured for use. What you don't see is that the work is done inside a metal container out in the blistering sun ;-)
03-30-2012 03:57 AM
Got your back Evert. You definitely need to get this contest because the benefit to struggling tech in Haiti is really important. Wish I could go with you on your next trip there and help.
03-30-2012 05:36 AM
Just chiming in to validate that we spent hours and hours on the phone working on getting some of this equipment up. +1 to you
Sr. Techical Marketing Engineer
03-30-2012 06:14 AM
Not only should you go for all the reasons you mentioned, but also to share your story so that others know what can be done when disaster strikes. Good luck. and thank you Aruba networks for supporting such a great cause!!