Monday, July 18, 2011

Seeds of Change - How Cell Phones Can Shake a Nation

This post marks the first entry for the current Roots of Hope blog theme: Seeds of Change. To read more about the purpose and goals of this series, see here.

According to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, Cuba - a country of 11 million inhabitants - has a total telephone density of less than 20 percent, the lowest in Latin America. We've sought to change that statistic.

Cell Phones For Cuba is a Roots of Hope project committed to providing young people in Cuba with technology, helping them to become more connected and unified. Our organization seeks to find creative outlets both in Cuba and abroad to further our mission of empowering the Cuban youth to become the authors of their own futures.

Cell phones in Cuba help guarantee a technological infrastructure for effective connectivity within the island, and certainly between Cuba and the rest of the world. Cell phones are of great advantage for the Cuban people to communicate, in both cities and remote rural areas. They are key to organizing and promoting social gatherings and events, a hundred percent independent from the government. Cell phones help the extensively separated Cuban families become more unified because they are the most efficient and accessible way, if not the only one, for the Cuban people to reconnect with their loved ones.

What are Cuban youth saying about the Cell Phones 4 Cuba Project? "El cell está de maravillas. Ya lo estoy usando, al igual que muchos otros; incluso otros se han abierto la línea gracias a eso. Un millón de gracias…”
- 22 year old Civil Engineering student in Camagüey

These bridges between families and friends allow the exchange and flow of information, eventually helping the Cubans on the island become more aware of their own reality, and the rest of the world’s. For an isolated country like Cuba to have social development and address the paradigms of information and knowledge, it must have a modern and efficient communication infrastructure, making it possible to access any information quickly and safely.

Thanks to all our donors and supporters, Roots of Hope has been able to send more than 450 cell phones to Cuba this year, each phone having a cost of $40.00. Our goal is to send a total of 10 000 phones or more to the island. Our organization is committed to help the Cuban youth, bringing relief, friendship, love, and hope into the lives of many Cubans on the island.

The young people who benefit from our services appreciate, from the bottom of their heart, the generosity of all the members of the Roots of Hope family, and all the people that collaborate with us.

What are Cuban youth saying about the Cell Phones 4 Cuba Project?“Realmente conozco personas a quienes les vendrían muy bien esos teléfonos, porque los necesitan, y no pueden comprarlos…”
- 25 year old Industrial Design student in Havana

The youth in Cuba live within an atmosphere of constant pessimism, and their only hope of having a future is leaving the country. Cubans on the island need to know that there are people out there who care about them, and want to give them the support that they need to be able to make the changes that they want in their society. It is empowering to witness and hear of the excitement and gratitude they feel from the support and assistance that we can offer.

What are Cuban youth saying about the Cell Phones 4 Cuba Project?“…es muy noble en realidad esa labor de ustedes. Acá hay mucha gente que necesitan ayuda, y ver que todavía hay personas que ayudan a los otros sin importar nada, es muy gratificante…”
- 23 year old Visual Design student in Havana

Want to impact someone’s life? Join us! We invite you to take a tour of our website and the Roots of Hope and Cells4Cuba Facebook pages.

Our crew is always available to set up a visit for you, or to answer any questions you may have. Don't hesitate to call our office at 305.397.8604, or email us at We would love to keep you updated on the Cuban youth and our campaign through our newsletter and monthly emails.

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