By Kevin MacRitchie
I spend much of my time in the field, whether I'm implementing connectivity projects around the world as NetHope’s Director of Global Programs for Connectivity and Infrastructure or I'm back home herding the buffalo on my Michigan ranch. Either way, I love working in tight-knit teams that make good things happen in challenging environments.
I started working with NetHope 6 years ago as an executive on loan from Cisco, where I was Vice President of the Global Government Solutions Group. Ultimately, I decided to join the NetHope team full-time to help the humanitarian sector better use technology during crises. I have led teams working in Jamaica, Vanuatu, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Japan and Pakistan and, since last October, in the Al-Azraq refugee camp in Jordan.
Most recently, I led the team implementing connectivity projects for refugees across Greece. Days began with an early morning team briefing over pastries at our favorite village cafe. Then we’d hit the road, traveling between camps to install power sources, set up internet connections and extend access. Late in the evening, we would grab dinner while we debriefed and discussed our strategy for the next day. Finally, I would finish the night with calls and emails to our fantastic NetHope staff, who support us from afar. One day I would love to use my skills as a certified UAV pilot on one of our deployments.
One of the best parts of this most recent project was working alongside hardworking and compassionate Greek people from communities nearby. None of our work would have been possible without support from local translators, electricians, law enforcement, volunteers and camp management. They were, and are, dedicated to making these camps better places to live, and all of us at NetHope believe that together we can accomplish that goal.
This post is part of an ongoing series of stories from NetHope's work in Greece to provide connectivity to refugees.