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April 23, 2014

RM awardee, Internet Hall of Famer to talk with youth

In a mountainous village in Nepal, a teenager is huddled in front of a computer screen, busy surfing the Internet. Instead of playing DotA (Defense of the Ancients) or checking Facebook, this young person is sifting through an online library. In a rural town clinic, health workers are receiving live online trainings from Model Hospital in Kathmandu. In a remote farm, a man is transacting for a buffalo with another farmer miles away via the Internet.

These scenes are repeated every day in over 170 towns all over Nepal, thanks to the efforts of one man: Mahabir Pun, educator, Internet pioneer, and 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Community Leadership.
Mahabir Pun received the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the board of trustees recognizes his innovative application of wireless computer technology in Nepal, bringing progress to remote mountain areas by connecting his village to the global village.

Earlier this month, Pun was also inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. This recognizes his work in connecting rural Himalayan villages to free wireless Internet and the many benefits it is bringing to millions Nepalese rural villagers in many aspects, including health, education, and trade.

“ICT as a Tool for Education”

Fresh from this new international accolade, Pun will arrive in Manila on April 28. His first engagement upon arrival will be with the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF)--the organization that bestows Asia’s premier prize . He will be the guest speaker at a GOS (Greatness of Spirit) Ambassadors Kapihan Session titled “An Afternoon with Mahabir Pun: ICT as a Tool for Education” on April 28, starting at 2:00pm.

As the head and founder of the Nepal Wireless Networking Project (NWNP), Pun now shares with the world the story of his work, the development and evolution of information and communication technology (ICT) in Nepal. He also talks about how NWNP is helping provide internet access, electronic commerce, education, telemedicine, and environmental and agricultural services to remote villages in the country.

About 40 guests, consisting of guests from the World Bank, GOS Ambassadors, ICT Association of the Philippines, and the media, are expected to attend the session live.

The event can also be viewed live online at http://www.rmaf.org.ph/newrmaf/main/community/ustream

On April 29-30, Pun will also speak at the launch of the joint Asian Development Bank/International Telecommunication Union initiative on information and communication technology for the Asia Pacific region. The two-day event will be hosted by the Philippine government and its Department of Science and Technology.

For more information or inquiries, contact Social Media Manager Mr. Yuri Baral at ybaral@rmaf.org.ph or 521-3166 loc 128.

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