Haiti’s terrible earthquake in January 2010 left an estimated 300,000 dead and more than a million homeless and, at one point, around 1,000 displaced persons were heading to the capital every day. It was to address their needs, especially their lack of access to news and information, that Gotson Pierre created a mobile Télécentre last June.
With support from Reporters Without Borders and funding from various donors including UNESCO, this combination of mobile Internet café and mini-studio tours the capital’s camps for displaced persons, providing and gathering information. In this interview, Pierre discusses what the Télécentre has achieved during the past nine months and the possibility of keeping it going.
Video subtitled in English
A journalist and PR consultant, Pierre created the Groupe Médialternatif in Port-au-Prince in December 2001 and its offshoot, the Alterpresse news agency, which he continues to coordinate. An advocate of media democratization and access to the Internet for everyone, he went on to set up the Télécentre des Jeunes (www.telecentre-haiti.org) in 2003 to help young Haitians acquire information and communication technologies. This unit functioned without interruption until the January 2010 earthquake, which destroyed the Groupe Médialternatif premises.
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