FOSS Based Wealth Generation Serving a Cause

Yolynne N. Medina, 30, carries a degree in Computer Engineering from the Universidad De Zamboanga formerly Zamboanga Arturo Eustaquio Colleges, Philippines.

"In 1998, I started working on System Administration jobs for Internet cafes for 3 years, and got a job as a it instructor in a public school for three years and then a job as a junior IT specialist and Instructor teaching software. Since May 2006, I have held a position as an Academy IT instructor for E-Learning Center at a Cisco Networking Academy teaching basic networking programmes."

Learning Linux, " My husband tried introducing me to Linux back in 1999 but couldn't grip it even though my husband was a real geek. Only two weeks prior to the Linux World 2005 I attempted learning Ubuntu Linux and also met the Philipines Ubuntu Group. With the regained inspiration, right after three months, I organized the a two day event titled FOSS@Zamboanga from March 13-14, 2006 aiming to introduce FOSS in her region, Western Mindanao."

FOSS@Zamboanga, "The event received participation from more than 500 attendees ranging from students to professionals and the event itself was funded by the Local Government. We also distributed Ubuntu T-Shirts, Bags and 1000 CDs sponsored by Ubuntu." CDs 1000 sponsored from Ubuntu."

"I joined a small organization with my friend called Mindanao Open Source Society to network together FOSS enthusiasts, advocate the use of FOSS for students and officially held the first online meeting in January 2006. I am also part of the Ubuntu Women Programme since December 2006 but the programme still yet being finalized formerly whereas I am regularly attending online meetings on Free node IRC".

Reaching local community, "After our FOSS@Zamboanga event in October, i was able to motivate 4 people from my region including my husband to attend the IOSN Train the Trainer activity and 2 of the participants including my husband got Linux Professional Institute certified. Also the same school I am teaching at is now being migrated by us to FOSS."

Setting the target, "My idea is to target education and my vision is that about 5 years from now young people in my community will have good FOSS knowledge since it is part of their curriculum now. FOSS exploits the curiosity of youth, makes them feel that FOSS is cool and makes them see the fascinating stuff. By the way, today, being a FOSS guy or girl is really a cool kind of topic for them. They are already into using VOIP, SIP, Gizmos etc."

FOSS business, "Only three months ago, me and my husband created an Internet Shop for public school students residing nearby and offered Internet access for only 10 Pesos per hour. We have invested in 9 refurbished computers carrying Web Cams. At the moment we are running FOSS on Windows to create the attraction. We are also also promoting FOSS within core groups serving and supporting the community. i have the money already to sell FOSS souvenirs. We got official permission from Ubuntu for printing some shirts and selling them for fundraising purposes.

"I want to get investors to explore the revenue making opportunities available with FOSS. We are also looking forward to setting up a foundation titled "Geek Kids Foundation" for disabled children that will receive FOSS training developing Information Technology skills thus will become more productive for their communities and seek jobs in the Philippine IT industry as programmers or Desktop Technical Support providers. My perception has always been to make money serving a cause so that I can reinvest into growing my business and serving more people and larger communities with ICTs, especially the children. I have planned to create living examples of making wealth out of FOSS"!

author: Fouad Bajwa

* Article is also available at: "http://wiki.asiasource2.iosn.net/index.php/Interviews:Yolynne_N._Medina"