The Free Internet Cafe for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the first in the whole of Africa, which opens the World Wide Web, making The Gambia a leading light in Africa, with this technology by allowing free and total access to surf the net send and receive emails and for students to enhace their studies with the aid of this pioneering software. No more do they need to rely on a third party to read to them newspapers, magazines, books, letters and world wide information. Kingfisher - FIAP 1

Gambian leader says thank-you to Kingfisher Trust. H.E the President says thank-you to Kingfisher Trust . 

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Article in IAP magazine.

(Institute of Analysts & Programmers)

Simon Wezel, FIAP set up the Kingfisher Trust more than a decade ago to provide a wide range of technical facilities and support in the Gambia.

Most recently, it has set up an Internet cafe for the blind and visually impaired - the first in Africa. Here he discusses his work in conversation with Robin Jones.

RJ: tell me something about what you were doing before founding the Kingfisher Trust.

SW. I started in horticulture. then went into import and export and that grew into an international transport company.

As a one-man business. 1 was lucky to get Koni Shock absorbers as my first customer. We were the first transport company to have radio telephone communication with Securicor.

This was also one of the reasons that I got Ford Motor Company as a regular customer. After a few years I formed a partnership with a family business of three brothers in Holland.

We offered overnight transport between the UK and Holland. In 1983 they bought my company but I stayed on as managing director until my retirement.

Our main business was motor car spares. but it changed to records and CDs. Having a very good record of being able to deliver all the goods without losing any of the content, our business was extended to the growing computer industry.

This sparked my personal interest in computers. starting with a Sinclair ZX81. In the years that followed I started to use computers in the business.

We were one of the first companies allowed to print our own Customs documents, enabling us to computerise the whole business, providing HM Customs with manifest details 12 hours before a consignment arrived. which helped both Customs and ourselves.

The program is still used over 10 years after I left the company to go to the Gambia.

RJ: What led you to set up the Trust?

SW: I visited the Gambia on holiday and was moved by the poverty I saw. I wanted to find a way to assist those who had no way to help themselves.

Starting with few resources. 1 encouraged organisations and friends in the UK to donate goods and distributed them to those in need. After travelling between the UK and the Gambia for 14 years.

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