Though the power of technology and social media has taken quite a foothold in most parts of our civilization today, in developing countries as well as rural areas, the lack of connectivity to this vast enterprise limits the growing community’s ability to interact with our globalized world. Without the technology to participate in this worldwide dialog and dynamic knowledge pool, these isolated communities have limited options to tell their stories and generate awareness of the problems in their daily lives. The aim of the “Last Mile” initiative is to close this technological gap and provide these communities with the means and knowledge to effectively share their stories with the outside world.
As a part of our expedition to the Hinku Valley, Chris Rainier, a National Geographic fellow, is bringing new technology to the remote Himalaya. Chris is actively involved in the Last Mile undertaking and is making strides here in Nepal to aid communities and organizations through technology education seminars to help publish the stories of remote communities. Earlier this week, the staff of The Mountain Institute (TMI) participated in one of the Last Mile seminars to learn methods of photography, videography, media editing, and social media production. The vision is that the local TMI Nepal staff will disseminate the knowledge and technology to associated communities around Nepal to facilitate story telling. After a day of training and field work, three full-service multimedia packages were donated to TMI so that they can be taken out into the field and stories from the community can be gathered and broadcast. With other similar projects underway, the access that remote communities have to the outside world is slowly increasing and the “Last Mile” of the technological deficit is ever shortening.