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#246: ...Orientation Haiti Brings Creole to the Web... (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 10:17:21 -0400
To: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
Subject: ...Orientation Haiti Brings Creole to the Web...

Haitians Bid 'One Respe' to Creole Portal; Orientation Haiti Brings
Creole to the Web - With Solar Power, Too! 
9:35 a.m. Jul 29, 1999 Eastern 

 NEW YORK, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Orientation.com, in conjunction with
leading Haitian Internet company Mabouya,has launched the first-ever
Creole Web portal: Orientation Haiti (http://ht.orientation.com).
Although Creole is a language spoken by millions, it has yet to find a
foothold on the World Wide Web. To address that situation,
Orientation.com, the  world's first global network of local and regional
Internet   portals, is providing Haitian users with a centralized portal
 containing news and information both in English and in their own      
language. Orientation Haiti provides a gateway to the World Wide Web
for Internet users in Haiti, as well as Haitians throughout the       
world. At the same time, the portal gives global Internet users a
devoted source of Haitian information. The site offers news, web
browsing, user polls, discussions, chat rooms, and free email accounts.
By accessing Orientation Haiti, Internet users throughout the world can
find facts about the Haitian religion Vodun, a schedule of Haitian jazz
festivals and a virtual tour of Haitian art. "For Haitians on the Web, a
specialized portal from their point of view is invaluable," said Darren
Thake, chairman and CEO  of Orientation.com. "There are more than a
million Haitians living in the US and elsewhere who want to keep their
 connections with Haiti. We are giving them a portal based in
their home country and presented in their own language.Orientation is
continually launching similar, customized services for other countries
as we expand our global footprint."  Orientation Haiti is being launched
at a crucial turning point in the country's technological history. In
recent years, Haitians  have ingeniously overcome the challenges of
building an Internet infrastructure in their country. Unlike more
technologically advanced countries, Haiti has a very sparse wire-based
infrastructure, but the country has taken innovative steps to       
overcome this problem. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) in Haiti now
rely on RF (radio frequency) technology, bouncing wireless signals
across hilltops. Electricity can be unreliable in Haiti, so numerous
businesses, including Orientation's partner Mabouya, have begun to rely
on solar power and battery packs for backup. Without this backup, which
powers all of Mabouya's computers, Orientation Haiti would not exist. 

Le Mabouya has been proactive in the development and promotion of
Haitian art and handicrafts since it was formed in 1993. Mabouya's
commitment to positive, productive developmental change in Haiti has led
to a more pronounced role in sustainable development initiatives, and
the company now serves on the Administrative Council for the Sustainable
Development Network Foundation, a United Nations initiative.           
Orientation Haiti will provide not only the perfect vehicle for
Haiti to take its place in the virtual world, but for the world to     
connect to Haiti and learn more about what is happening here,"       
said Patrice Talleyrand, founder of Mabouya. 

About Orientation 

Orientation.com (http://www.orientation.com) is the world's first
global network of local and regional Internet portals.   
Orientation.com's multilingual portal sites provide the most
relevant country- and region-specific news, entertainment, and
information available on the World Wide Web. Orientation has
been instrumental in developing Internet communities in countries and
regions outside of Western Europe and the United States. Since its
inception in 1998, Orientation has launched regional portals in Asia,
Africa, Central/Eastern  Europe, Latin America/Caribbean (in English and
Spanish), the  Middle East, and Oceania. Additionally, the Orientation
network is made up of 16 country portal sites: Bulgaria, Chile,        
Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Haiti, Hungary, Kenya, the
Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania,Thailand, Uganda, and
United Arab Emirates. SOURCE Orientation.com