Rob, as an IEEE member (for many years), this is the type of philanthrophy that I think is best. It not only involves giving money, but it involves the incredible resivoir of skills that the membership has.
I know someone who has also been involved in projects in Haiti through a religious organization. Haiti is a difficult place to get things done. Having people on the ground and following up should make for a better success rate.
I agree naperlou - not only money but resources and expertise are needed to fight world poverty and after reviewing the Sirona Cares web site - this is a great initiative by the IEEE to partner with them to provide affordable electricity. We too have friends that served in Haiti - as missionaries. They spoke often of the difficulties that you referred to in getting things done. It is amazing what has been accomplished by this project thus far and of the plans they have to continue. What a great pilot model for taking engineering expertise both around the world and in our own communities to help give people a hand out of poverty!
Charles, am completely supporting you. Other than our routine works, we have to offer our knowledge and other skills to the public for their wellbeing and welfare. In my office we have such a community known as “C-Smile”, through which we will undertake some charity works for the public benefit. Recently we had developed a portal for adaptive learning for autism affected students and distributed to public schools where such students are accommodate.
Rob, that's a good initiative. IEEE and CS (Computer society) has a large pool of well experience and eminent members, who are able to contribute to the community. I personally feel that such organizations have to take initiatives for addressing some of the common/public problems, which is benefiting to a large mass. In my country CSI is taking such responsibilities, especially for health care domains.
Rob, am from India and one among the CSI contribution is for OSSD (Open Source Drug Discovery). The IT support for Bio-Informatics community is extending by CSI. Another initiative is the public accounting software for rural health mission, where all the rural hospitals are interconnecting through a network.
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.