Bringing Worlds Together Over Cisco TelePresence

UPDATE: Molly’s story was on CNN today (3/8/12). Take a look!

Today Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team had the unique privilege of bringing together two seemingly different groups of people: children who live in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya and their “video pen pals” in Rome. Cisco hosted the event using its TelePresence technology to support the World Food Programme’s video series “Molly’s World: A Girl Films Her Life in a Nairobi Slum.” (Learn more about the Molly’s World video series in my previous blog post.)

We multiplied the impact of this event by broadcasting it live to a worldwide audience via CiscoTV’s Ustream channel on the World Food Programme’s Facebook page. Children in classrooms from London to Brazil to Australia submitted questions through Facebook and Twitter, and Molly and her friends answered them live via Ustream.

The students in Rome and Nairobi discovered their similarities (they like school but dislike homework) and differences (the Kenyan children had never seen snow).

View the recording of the live event on the Cisco YouTube channel (

Molly has received school meals from WFP for four years. The small video camera she used to record her life was one of 2,500 provided to the World Food Programme by Cisco.

You can help children like Molly and her classmates by contributing to the World Food Programme’s school meals program.

Thank you to my colleagues Gerry Genna, Hital Muraj and Antonio Costa in New York, Nairobi and Rome for hosting the amazing people from WFP.

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  1. I think- telepresence is the right technology.

  2. Goes to show people are people no matter where they are from or what walks of life they came from. Also you never know where someone can end up in ten years. How many people have gone from rags ro riches or visa versa? Great blog with finally some really intelligent posts. thanks…Regards R.Trip

  3. the anecdote about the snow and homework makes me smile – the world’s children are all agreed on the same point.
    A great contribution ! thanks !

  4. It’s amazing the contributions you guys are making. Go Cisco!

  5. The magic of technology! I love reading about how Cisco is using its telecommunication devices to bring different groups of kids together. I think that more and more of our children will be learning in this way–whether it be this type of discussion or being taught by an instructor who may be in a different location.

    • Thanks Alex. I would do this every day if possible. Connecting kids like this could change an entire generation and how nations interact with each other.