Who in this community never heard of Hackers for Charity ? If you're one of the few out there and by chance found your way to this post, please take a moment to check out HFC's website .
I will not linger about Johnny Long's accomplishments with creating HFC nor all the good he's done for the community over the years, but let me just say that I have been a fan, a supporter and am honored to call myself a friend of this amazing hacker and human being.
For a while now I have been wanting to go to Uganda and see with my own eyes all the amazing things that HFC has done since the Longs started calling it their home. The first time the idea came to my mind I was sitting in a hallway at BSides Las Vegas with Johnny and Dave Kennedy (another awesome person that I call brother) and we were just talking about how we could make things better for HFC and how it would be great to have people from the community visit and help out.
Dave, Johnny & I @ BSidesLV
The community has really been very supportive of HFC over the years, and recently at the last edition of DerbyCon we were able to raise enough for HFC's new HackerSpace in Jinja, Uganda as well as to sustain the whole operation for another year. On that note I would like to give props to Dave Kennedy and Erin Kennedy for the amazing work they do every year to make this gathering feel like family, as well as to all the organisers, security teams and staff who volunteer to help make it run smoothly.
The DerbyCon Family
I was also lucky enough to be able to buy the Black Badge put up for auction and donate the money to HFC. Now I do not believe a Black Badge should be bought, but that it should be earned. And having not done anything to earn it I decided to donate it to a dear friend and brother who does so much for the Community and who was always there for me when I needed him: Jayson E. Street !
Jayson & I
For more about Jayson, please check out PaunchySec's website :).
But I digress.
So after coming back from DerbyCon, I really felt closer than ever to the HFC cause and to Johnny as I spent much time with him there, and was starting to wrap my head around the fact that it was time for me to do more than just donations (don't get me wrong, donations are what keeps HFC going and it's awesome to be able to do it, and every penny counts so whatever you can spare please donate here).
Right as those ideas were twirling in my head, Johnny put online his latest post on his blog talking about "Hackerspace Uganda: Now What ?" Blog Post
After reading it I decided that I wanted to be part of the 'village' he was talking about, and that it was time for me to get more involved. So I booked a flight, called him up to let him know I was coming, and voila !
I plan to take the time there to see what is happening on the ground, see what they need, what is yet to be done, and most importantly determine what I can do to help out. I would also like to start a movement of hackers actually going there and giving some of their time and knowledge on the grounds. But I could never make such a call for action without having been there first, which is another of the reasons that made me take this trip.
So expect this blog to be continuously updated throughout my trip, and hopefully you'll get to know more about Uganda, HFC, the Longs and the amazing work that is being done there.
On a side note, I also plan to do a little bit of the touristy stuff because hey, after all, this is Africa ! So expect some posts about Safari's and beautiful animals in the wild as we visit the great Paraa Lodge. And if this can help make it more attractive for future HFC volunteers well, so be it !