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Archive for December, 2008

Last week I had an inspiring meeting with Pam Minett and Adele Barlow, founders of Ymedia Group. They had been brainstorming ideas around how they could support the Seuang River Communities and proposed helping to organise a three day games development challenge linking industry professionals with young developers. Teams develop games based around the economy, society and environment of the Seuang River . The winning team gets a sponsored trip to the Mekong. Fantastic!

Pam and Adele - Founders of Ymedia

Below is a screenshot of the original brain storm prior to meeting. The ideas are now being developed in consultation with others. All feedback welcome!

ythailand

MESSAGE FROM PAM

I hope you are all well – I know this is an Uber busy time RIGHT before Christmas, but I’d like to share an exciting new project that yMedia are involved with for 2009 and get your feedback/ideas/support.

The attached below sheet has the project in a bit more detail… In a nutshell, we are facilitating a 3 day competition (think full-code-press styles or social innovation camp styles), to bring together gaming and developer professionals with students and young people (who are studying in this area) to develop online games or new/interactive media.

Why?
Our friends at the EON Foundation are supporting/partnering on an initiative with North by North East Travel Services to raise 20k to build an education centre in the Seuang River Communities along the Mekong River in Laos.

The idea of the games/online new media is to support this education centre by creating awareness and providing education for secondary school students in developed nations and to drive traffic to relevant sites where people can volunteer, donate and contribute to different initiatives.

Grand prize idea? Funded flights to the Seuang River village (education centre) for the winning team, as well as some sponsored products, their games in schools, exposure, experience for the students, insight to top talent for the gaming companies etc.

How you can help now –
Ideas and feedback – How can we make this better? What do you like about it? What would you need to see in order for you to get involved?
Support – Endorse it, share it, blog about it, talk about it
Contacts – pass on the details of anyone who you may think could help us out/get involved. People we want to talk to include people at:
Air NZ, House of Travel, STA Travel
Canon, Sony
Nokia
Tertiary Institutes, HODs in gaming/computer science

The Mekong Game - Rough Ideas

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PROJECT DATA

Name of organisation: Seuang River Community-Based Tourism

Public / Private Partnership comprising 12 villages in Seuang River Valley and North by North East Travel Services Co. Ltd. / SK Travel Luang Prabang. This cooperative partnership is under the auspices of Luang Prabang Provincial Tourism Authority and Pak Xeng District Authority.

Country: Lao PDR

Location: Luang Prabang, Pak Xeng District

Number of communities/households in project: 12 villages / approximately 600 households

seuang-river-map

SUMMARY

Despite rapid progress over the past decade up to 80% of the project area population live in poverty. Poverty, combined with rapid population growth and unequal distribution of economic development are dramatically increasing demands on remaining forest cover and wildlife.

This project will create capacity and build infrastructure necessary to develop a sustainable community-based, eco-tourism site for use by international high school, university and community-service groups.

The most important and urgently needed portion of the project is an education centre to act as a base-camp and accommodation for international school groups visiting the area. this will allow the 12 villages to benefit directly from the educational tourism activities.

Project partners are committed to the Seuang River Valley communities to achieve such sustainable development. Unfortunately, financial capacity is limited. Support of like-minded individual and organizations internationally is urgently needed.

For some first hand views of the international students in action please visit the following youtube videos:


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