…and we’re back!

Dar es Salaam Sunset

Some really neat new things are [again] taking place due to the summer happenings in Dar es Salaam and what is growing now after them. Also other interesting things are happening in Tampere because of some re-organizing of things. More about these all when there’s something more concrete to tell.

Some interesting events related to Africa are also taking place during this Fall, links to a couple of those below to all interested in the topic.


Afrikka – mahdollisuuksien maanosa – Helsinki, September 1st

Mobile Brain Bank Africa – Helsinki, September_30th


First Trip to Africa – Tanzania, Here I Come

Next Sunday I’m off to Tanzania to participate in a collaborative ICT support project with the students and teachers of University of Dar es Salaam.

We have a team of five people going there, skills ranging from e-Learning development to entrepreneurship and content management.

I’m working with web design and usability training, but hopefully I also have time to participate in our entrepreneurship training as we also have a sub project concerning entrepreneurship and incubator.

Another Finnish team from the project went to Dar in last March and I heard from them that there are many passionate and skillful students in the University. Hope to see you guys soon!

I’m writing this post sitting on my couch, the temperature is something like 12 degrees Celsius and it’s raining. This should be summer, even in Finland. Somehow I’m not feeling too sorry of going to someplace sunny and warm. 😉

The Meaning of Help

Image by urbangarden

When I started to think about establishing my company, Digital_Alpaca, I started it from the values; from how my company could also for its part make this ball called Earth a little more decent place.

Back then I just had a glimpse of the idea, a feeling that there should be something more than just making money, cool mobile apps or web sites. I wanted to put my professional skills to a better use and offer my view and professionalism to the use for other people.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

I’ve always liked this quote from Muhammad Ali. I believe that if you want to be good in something, you should be egoistic because the true learning process is from the inside out. Otherwise if you do too much of the things that other people tell you to or expect you to do, you may get lost in the way or spend your time doing the wrong things. But one shouldn’t be selfish to the end. I don’t feel that real success can be achieved by only trying to get more to yourself – of course there are some who do, but are they truly happy is another question. I think one should share their selves to others in order to achieve a genuine and lasting fulfillment and self-development.

But back to my idea of wanting to do good. It came sooner than I thought, almost like dropped to my lap, and I’m really, really happy about it. Like I’ve tweeted the last two weeks, I’ve been taking part in hosting guests from the University of Dar es Salaam and Butimba Teachers’ College of Mwanza. The goal of the program that is going to be established is to improve the accessibility to high quality education in Tanzania through e-Learning programs.

My role is to give support in usability, visual design and designing to the web, and this week I gave the first basic presentation about these subjects to our guests. The actual workshops of these parts of the project take place next June in Dar es Salaam and after these past two weeks I’m really anxiously waiting for the next summer! The people who visited Tampere, were really great and I believe we will have lots of fun and of course a lot to do too.

I believe that the two weeks our guest were here, they learned a lot, but so did we who spent more time with them. In situations like these you start to understand better why you want to help and how.

For me it is more meaningful to help with ‘Me’ instead of just putting a coin to a box and never see where it’s going to help, or if it’s going to help. I’m not saying  fund-raising is useless and it should be stopped, but I myself believe in the longer sustainability of helping like this and I can see where the support is going.

Next summer is going to be something really different, I understand it now. It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of Marko comes out of it. I’m really thankful to be able to participate in a project like this and would like to give a “thumbs up” to those people who have originally started this and are managing it now and in the future. Something great has to come out from this all.