Tribal Networks is a group of people who are helping tribal people around the world to own their own means of high-tech communications.
Currently, many tribal people are having to trust outsiders to mediate their concerns and such dependencies are often abused. The remoteness and isolation of the areas inhabited by these peoples also attracts more overt abuses, crimes and even violence against them.
The existence of modern communications would in many cases hinder or even stop this kind of activity and would result in the perpetrators being caught. It would also allow these peoples to inform themselves of the clash of cultures they are facing and empower them to speak out for their rights as a tribe, as human beings.
Even in places where opression and violence are absent, people in remote areas are often unable to find help or advice for their problems. Internet access opens up the entire world to them, and they can find people who have successfully overcome similar difficulties.
Communications technology is a means, not an end in itself, and our projects will reflect that by incorporating the technology in the context of the community into which it's being introduced.
The cost for wireless technology is getting ever more affordable and even now internet type systems using email via radio are already widely used by many missionary, relief and development organizations. However unfortunately such organizations often have contrary objectives to those of the tribal peoples and they are reluctant to allow unfettered access to their equipment.
The purpose of Tribal Networks is to give tribal people equipment, training and maintenance in communications for free and with no conditions attached. Ultimately it is intended that the projects we set up become self-financing, but this will be done in a way that has minimum impact on the ways of life of the people involved.
Tribal Networks has no political or even humanitarian aims other than that we acknowledge these people's right to be tribal people, to keep their cultures and ways of living. We have no agenda or dogma which the people must fulfill in order to 'qualify' for our assistance.
See this short presentation (PDF) for more insight.
For more information about the current situation of tribal people around the world, go to Survival International
For an overview of our current activities see our Projects pages.