Nokia Developer Champions are rightly celebrated for their developer skills. But they are also extraordinary people.
Take Simon Botes, a Nokia Developer Champion based in South Africa. Simon recently undertook an epic road trip of more than 5,000 km. He travelled to a farm outside Lyndenburg, in the South African province of Mpumalanga. There, Simon provided seven days of training on mobile phones to nearly a dozen quadriplegics living in a home run by Ama Wheelies, a non-profit organisation that helps people with spinal-cord injuries. The 32 Nokia C5-03 devices he trained them on were donated by Nokia Connects. ‘Helping these disabled people really is a life-changing feeling’, Simon says. ‘I’m glad to be able to help.’
Such was Simon’s commitment and pride at being a Nokia Developer Champion that he had his Nokia Developer Champion t-shirt couriered to the next stop on his driving route when he realised he hadn’t packed it. The next day, T-shirt in hand, Simon set off for the Ama Wheelies farm. When he finally arrived in Lyndenburg, he trained several of the residents and their caretakers to use their new Nokia C5-03 device.
Moses Mlombo is one of the Ama Wheelies residents now using a Nokia phone. Paralyzed from the neck down after being shot in the chest six years ago, Moses uses a specially adapted Nokia C5-03 phone, both to communicate with others and run a small business that recycles printer cartridges. He uses a prosthetic on his wrist to hold the phone and taps on the phone’s keys with a mouthstick. In this way, Moses says, ‘I can still have a meaningful life.’
As for Simon, after his seven-day training session at Ama Wheelies, he visited nearby Kruger National Park to document wildlife species for a new mobile app he’s working on – and to take some vacation time. ‘This was one of the most awesome outreach programs I have helped on’, Simon says. ‘A HUGE thank-you to Nokia Connects…you guys rock!’ We think Simon rocks, too.
Simon Botes, standing in black t-shirt, training Ama Wheelies residents Amos Nkosi (on left) and Bethuel Manyika.