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 3

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

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access convenient for blind people?

SW: The Guide Program from Software Express is really marvellous — and very reasonable.

However, it was designed for individuals, which made storing email addresses very difficult; as we entered one. the previous entry was cancelled.

This has been sorted by Software Express. which is releasing an Internet cafe-friendly version. The only other problems relate to saving and retrieving documents and the difficulty for blind people in navigating a file system.

We hope to overcome this by giving each student a personal USB flash memory stick.

RJ: How many people can you cater for at present and do you plan to expand?

SW: At present we have over 30 students aged between 14 and 38. the majority being 100% blind.

We work very closely with the school for the blind. where they have now started to teach keyboard skills. and we will co-ordinate a timetable because they have more people who would like to join. If we had the money. we could expand the cafe.

RJ: What has the experience of setting up the Internet café taught you about how such projects should be approached?

SW: With any project there are always unexpected problems. My house within the compound is ran on solar power and we were hoping that adding 50% more panels would give us enough for the Cafe.

Unfortunately it didn't, so we have now installed a generator to give extra power for about 4 hours a day. 1 am in the process of changing to LCD monitors. That will save an extra 80%.

RJ: What can IAP members do to help? SW. We need plenty of USB memory sticks! I expect a lot of our members will have old. small capacity devices in their drawers. Please send them to:

Kingfisher Trust, PO Box 110. Banjul, The Gambia. West Africa

Please indicate on the jiffy bag that they are articles for the blind. And, of course. donations are always welcome!

You can contact Simon The Kingfisher Web site is at