Peggy Johnson with Ubirana Silva Matos, a leader in the Pataxo community
Recently, I traveled to the rural fishing village of Santa Cruz Cabralia, in the state of Bahia, Brazil where I represented Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative at the launch of the Fishing with 3G Nets project. Santa Cruz Cabralia is beautiful. However, the community has faced many hardships, including over-fishing, lack of infrastructure, and the emigration of people to urban areas in search of work.
With this in mind, Qualcomm has been working with organizations in Brazil to explore how wireless technology can enable and create conditions for sustainable environmental and socio-economic development. Fishing with 3G Nets is a project that utilizes Qualcomm’s 3G technology to create a system that integrates mobile and web-based applications and hand-held devices to support business operations and deliver real-time safety information to fishermen and mariculturists (oyster cultivators).
I saw, first hand, the potential of this capability. This project is designed to not only increase families’ incomes, but also to teach people computer literacy skills and environmentally-sustainable fishing techniques. I found the women to be particularly inspiring. They have been very keen to be involved in this project and were thankful to be given a chance to help their families. Many women from the community were taught how to manage their own oyster cultures which is work they can do and still take care of their children.
Fishing with 3G Nets is the product of many partners who all have the same goal: to improve the quality of life in this community. During my short trip to the area, I heard first-hand accounts from the people regarding how they felt their lives can be changed for the better. Nothing could be more rewarding for me to hear and I am so proud to have been a part of a project that demonstrates the ways 3G wireless technology can promote social and economic growth in under-served communities like Santa Cruz Cabralia.