The History of Internet for Humanity

Start

▪ Internet for Humanity (formerly Radio-E-Mail Connections Unlimited – REMCU) began as a dream of Nzolantima Swasisa (Nzola), when he was working for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in his native land of Democratic Republic of Congo (then called Zaire).  Nzola shared his dream with Robert Porter (Rob) in Luanda, Angola in 1996, where they were both associated with MAF.  When Nzola came to Victoria in 1998 to study electronics, they renewed their friendship and the dream to extend e-mail communications to the farthest reaches of undeveloped Africa.

2003/2004

▪ Rob & Nzola were sponsored by Rotary Club of Calgary South for installation of a demonstration HF-Radio-E-Mail system for remote medical clinics operated by Zambia Flying Doctor Service (ZFDS). The HF-Radio system worked well, but the connection to internet proved difficult.

2006/2008

▪ Internet for Humanity operated an HF-Radio-E-Mail system with base at ZFDS, and remote sites throughout Zambia and Mozambique. Several lives were directly saved during a major flood on the Zambezi River at the town of Sena, Mozambique.

2009

▪ Cell-phone networks had become common throughout Africa. Internet data via cell-phone modem was 10 times faster than HF-Radio, and the modems were 20 times cheaper. This combination rendered HF-Radio-E-Mail obsolete.

▪ Internet for Humanity entered an agreement with Global Marine Networks (GMN) to distribute GMN’s highly compressed/optimized e-mail and web-browsing programs (XGate and XWeb) to humanitarian beneficiaries. XGate/XWeb were designed to work over satellite modems, but they also work with either HF Radio or Cell-modem. Nzola wished to continue working with HF Radio; thus Nzola left Internet for Humanity, and Rob took Internet for Humanity in the direction of cell-modems.

2011

▪ William Ashe, of LifeWater International, approached Internet for Humanity to install a demonstration e-mail system at schools and a farmers’ co-op in Uganda. At the first School, Rob met Robert Tabula, the computer instructor, who became the life-blood of Internet for Humanity Uganda.

2015

▪ Internet for Humanity has installed more than 15 mini-computer labs at schools and farmer co-ops. These internet cafes offer both e-mail and web browsing.
At the schools, Robert Tabula institutes research progects between groups of students at partner schools.
At the farmer co-ops, he trains local administrators to operate the systems, by doing 3 things:
– effectively market the farmers’ produce
– diagnose and treat crop diseases
– train farmers to become computer literate

2016

▪ Recognizing that the name REMCU was no longer appropriate, we changed our name to Internet For Humanity Society