always on, always in.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Help with the Peace Corps?

I have started a project that has been mildly successful and I see that there is huge potential for further collaboration and development.

I am approached all the time to develop websites for people in Guyana all the time. I would love to help everyone but that is not possible, there aren't enough hours in the day. I sent out a request for help to David Shea of and Mezzoblue. He responded by putting a link on his site to my plea.

This is what I originally wrote:

I am a Peace Corps volunteer working in South America. Currently I am working with conservation organizations to solve communications issues as my primary project but am doing similar work with small businesses. I am trying to build capacity and sustainability, it would be easy to just do the work myself but that would be, well, too easy. This is not the point of what I am doing here. My primary job is to act as a consultant, a problem solver and the net is the best tool to do this.

What I am trying to do is locate a web designer or designers that would be willing to donate some time to develop a CSS template for some organizations. These organizations have very little money to pay for designers themselves, and as I said, I will not do the work for them. We have the server space already donated to us and all the content is being developed, we just need the help designing the site. Is there anyone that would be willing to donate a little time to help on this project?

The great part about being in Peace Corps is the level or responsiveness. If everyone just gave a little, together we can do a lot. You can e-mail me at

What I want to do is take this a step further. I want to build site that will link up average joe web and graphic designer, database guy and anyone else that can help with Peace Corps volunteers around the world. We do some partnering in Peace Corps but we don't tap the huge potential that exists with folks at home. We need to do this. It will help get more done in the tiny timeframe that we are here in country.

Is there anyone that can help out on this project? We need server space, site design, a database, all can be done in php. Who's up for this? Pass this on to someone if you know of anyone that can help. You can e-mail me at to help or for further explanations.

Thanks, Scott


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Scott. I would highly recommend using existing community/communications software for such a site. Consider Drupal, PHPNuke, Zope, slash, Wiki, and so on.

What are you thinking of as the end product? One site per country/team or a megasite? Would the focus be on recruiting help to setup the sites or to implement the sites themselves? A forum, blog, mailing lists? What tools to the people in-country tend to have access to?

7/29/2004 03:21:00 PM

Blogger Del said...

being a former peace corps volunteer (lithuania 95-97), i think this is a great idea. it would have been great to have had access to talented people willing to donate their time and energy. good luck!

7/29/2004 03:33:00 PM

Blogger Gina Bianchini said...

Another supereasy Website creation tool is Squarespace.

7/29/2004 04:08:00 PM

Blogger George Hotelling said...

I agree with Josh, don't reinvent the wheel if you can avoid it. Something like SourceForge (or its GPLed fork Savane), Drupal or Plone would probably work out better and quicker for you.

7/29/2004 04:21:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'd be willing to do what I can to help.

7/29/2004 04:36:00 PM

Blogger Mark said...


I am the CEO of a software development company named Empowerosity. Our content management software powers several large organizations, including Lions Clubs and the Rotary Clubs. I would be happy to help with this project by possibly supplying the software. Let me know if you are interested. You can reach me at or dr_ml@yahoo

7/29/2004 05:04:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Scott.

We at the Campus for Peace try and work the same way, though we focus in e-learning and virtual communities ("virtual headquarters").

Feel free to visit our site and see if we could help in something.


7/30/2004 03:04:00 AM

Blogger Chris said...

dont forget or course.

7/30/2004 05:41:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about working through UNV Online volunteering?
I do this kind of jobs to organizations around the world through them

7/30/2004 09:32:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's an organization in Seattle that does this very thing already. It's called Interconnection. Here's their website:


7/30/2004 06:27:00 PM

Blogger Charles said...

Yep, we do this already and have provided websites to other Peace Corps volunteers.

The main hurdle is website materials. Many organizations want websites but they don't provide adequate photos and text for our volunteers. It would be worthwhile to have a program where Peace Corps volunteers work with non profits abroad and help them collect materials for their website.

(RPCV, Paraguay)

7/30/2004 07:26:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you looked at Open Source Web Design?

7/31/2004 10:41:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This starving college student/web designer would like to help in any way possible. Email: ian(at)

7/31/2004 06:35:00 PM

Blogger Ryan MacLeod said...

i am a student/web designer 13 years of age. although that may make me sound worthless, I have won a few competitions (History day etc.

I mostly work with CSS/design and i will be happy to help in any way i can.

8/01/2004 10:27:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name's Matt O'Dell. I'm fairly good with CSS design coding, PHP, and MySQL. If you'd like to add my contact info to the mix, my email is Hope it serves you well.

8/02/2004 10:05:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm interested in providing accessibility consulting pro-bono. Take a look at the portfolio and send me an e-mail. - Andrew(at)

8/02/2004 12:30:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While this is a laudable goal, I always wince at gender-specific language like this:
"I want to build site that will link up average joe web and graphic designer, database guy.."
As a female web app and server-side developer, this just makes me irritated and disinclined to become involved in an effort that describes itself in such a non-inclusive way. Just FYI.

8/06/2004 10:18:00 PM

Blogger Blog Deleted said...

I use blogspot, but I really like MSN with the clipart, smiles, etc. I'd be happy to help, although I am not a tech.

I plan on checking out the resources listed here!

As far as the gender thing, I think most people are above that type of offense.

8/06/2004 10:28:00 PM


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