Connectivity improves everyone’s lives. There is no better proof needed than to see the joy and excitement of learning once children are connected. One of Cambium Networks’ core values is to serve our communities, give back, pay it forward and celebrate our communities.
Last year, my friend Al King, a systems architect at MultiTech Systems Inc., shared how he had helped a group of children. The kids, who were either abandoned or orphaned, had found a home at El Oasis, which is located in a remote area off the Sea of Cortez in Valle de la Trinidad, Baja, Mexico. Not privately owned or government funded, El Oasis depends on volunteers and donations from individuals and businesses to provide shelter, food, clothing, education, spiritual fellowship, love and hope for these children.
Al went on to tell me that connecting this particular area of the Baja Peninsula has been challenging to say the least. Technology could not efficiently reach the remote location of the facility, and they nobly made the best of what they had. For years, the facility only had one 56 kbps radio telephone to communicate with the nearest village.
“El Oasis currently has 38 children in residence, ranging in age from 2 to 24. Kindergarten through Junior High are taught by El Oasis Staff,” says Daniel Ixcot, Director of Development, International Children’s Care- Mexico. “High school and University class utilize on-line learning. Once the University students have learned the basics, they move to the University campuses.”
While they are well cared for and loved, the children needed access to information that would best prepare them for their futures. With a lifetime of experience in enterprise and industrial communications, I felt a personal call to action. I also knew that I was not alone in making a difference. With the support of Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO of Cambium Networks, we created a collaborative team with Al King and Chris Fikert of TidalWave Wireless, Inc consulting. Chris Fikert quickly designed a point-to-multipoint distribution network and Wi-Fi access solution.
We identified numerous challenges for mounting and power, and we put a plan into place to solve these problems. People rose to the occasion to pitch in their time, resources and knowledge. The equipment list was finalized from the design exercise, we ordered equipment, and it was delivered for installation. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and winds in our sails were seemingly non-existent. Our hope was met with despair and disappointment as we waited.
Now, life has changed for the better for the children at El Oasis. We are happy to report that this new wireless broadband access network is up and operational as designed. They are now connected kids. The children can do their homework outside of school in their homes, lesson plans can be shared electronically, a host of applications have been enabled, and life at El Oasis has improved dramatically. The wireless network just works, and the children and staff are enjoying the newly found freedoms and information enrichment that connectivity provides. Circuits are being upgraded to add more capacity for more life-enriching applications.
I expected this project to change the lives of the El Oasis children. However, I have humbly experienced the great joy of seeing a project through which provides these children equal access to information. I am honored to work with amazing industry colleagues who have sacrificed and done so much to make a difference in the lives of others. I invite you to take a few minutes to see our story. You, too, can make a difference.
To contribute to El Oasis, contact Daniel Ixcot at Danny@ForHisKids.org.