Recognizing access to information a basic human right, ALIN is committed to the concept of free access to information and knowledge.
All members of the community, many who live in remote arid lands in East Africa, receive information from ALIN’s Maarifa (knowledge) centres freely without discrimination. ALIN’s Maarifa centres are managed by full time field officers who repackage needed information as necessary. In addition, each Maarifa centre has a Community Knowledge Facilitator (CKF) who is a volunteer from the local community. This ensures that barriers to information among them illiteracy, language and lack of basic ICT skills are removed.Measures are put in place to ensure that all community members: women, men, young women, young men, children and persons with disabilities access the information and technologies that they need.
Upon visiting Maarifa centre, community members who are not familiar with use of ICT equipment (computers, podcasting equipment, cameras and camcorders) are given basic skills on their use. The field officer with the support of the CKF, routinely repackages and translates information on behalf of illiterate and semi-literate community members as and when it becomes necessary.Maarifa centre users are encouraged to identify information that they need but which might not be available at the Maarifa centre. This ensures that the centres provide relevant demand-driven information to empower community members to use ICT to improve their circumstances.
All Maarifa centres are connected to broadband internet either through GSM routers or VSAT. Connectivity to the internet is offered free of charge to community members