About WiRED


To provide information and communication resources that benefit disadvantaged people around the world.

View Annual Report - 2002


WiRED began as a small effort by Dr. Gary Selnow while he was serving as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. During that time he witnessed the devastation the war inflicted on the region's children, who were both without educational supplies and cut off from the experience of observing people work together in harmony. Their fascination with the technology he was using gave him the idea that the Internet could help end their isolation, enhance their education, teach them about cooperation, and diffuse ethnic tensions in their communities. With funding from USAID, his first effort provided Internet access to Vukovar, a devastated town along the Danube River in eastern Croatia.

Since then, WiRED has received funding from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Addison Branding and Communication, Unicomp Laboratories, Inc., Dekker and Associates, Medtronic Foundation, family foundations such as Tatjana Grgich Foundation, Firelight Foundation, Gordon and Pat Sabine Foundation, Stanley Heckman Eductional Fund, Saul Hamond Foundation, and many concerned and generous individuals.

From 1997-2000 WiRED expanded from Croatia to the rest of the Balkans (Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo). In 2000, the U.S. Department of State asked WiRED to run the educational and research features of the Kosovo Internet Access Initiative (KIAI). The U.S. involvement in that project has now ended, but in the period of operation, the Centers brought the Internet to hundreds of thousands of people throughout Kosovo. In 2001, under a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, WiRED began work on a network of Community Health Information Centers in Kenya; the first nine Centers are now in full operation. Also in 2001, working with the Massachusetts-based Polus Center, WiRED installed the first non-profit Internet Center in Leon, Nicaragua. During 2001, WiRED supplied seven Internet Centers to schools in Montenegro and six Internet Centers in schools and orphanages in Bosnia. It was thus the first NGO to bring technology equipment to that Yugoslavian country. In addition to managing the many centers now in operation, WiRED is currently unfolding additional projects in the Balkans, Africa and Latin America.
"To bring information technology to the grassroots to help local communities solve local problems"
"We at WiRED have learned that assistance programs are like ropes: you cannot push them, the people must pull them for themselves. Give the people the tools, the training, the ongoing help when and where they need it, and they will take the programs to places you could not have imagined for them."
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