On the final day of our 2014 fundraising campaign, we interview our amazing long-time volunteer and soon to be three-time AdaCamp alumna, Netha Hussain! Netha is a Wikipedian, writer, and medical student, living in the state of Kerala, India. She attended AdaCamp DC in 2012 on an international travel scholarship from Google. She described her experience this way: “Yes, AdaCamp literally changed my life.” Now, two years later, she is helping the Ada Initiative bring AdaCamp to Bangalore!
AdaCamp Bangalore will be the first ever AdaCamp in Asia, and we hope it will be as transformational for others as it was for Netha! We talked to Netha about her initial experiences at AdaCamp and her hopes for AdaCamp Bangalore. To support future AdaCamps, donate now and help us continue to scale up our work!
Ada Initiative: How has AdaCamp changed your life?Netha: AdaCamp changed my life by giving me opportunities to network with the right people to begin new projects on Wikimedia. I attended AdaCamp in 2012 when I was exploring ideas which I would not have managed to execute on my own. While at AdaCamp, I got to meet many wonderful people who were thinking along the same lines as I was.
Tell us about AdaCamp Bangalore. What are you most excited about? What are your hopes for the event? What new possibilities do you see in holding an AdaCamp in Bangalore?
While at AdaCamp 2012, I expressed interest in bringing AdaCamp to India. Two years later, my dream came true! I am very excited that many South Asian women will benefit from AdaCamp. I am also excited about learning new perspectives and best practices in working with women in open tech from an Indian context, a unique takeaway which only AdaCamp can offer. I hope to see new projects shaping up and women’s communities getting more active in South Asia as a result of this camp.
How did you first become involved with the Ada Initiative and what is most important to you about this work?
I first got involved with the Ada Initiative when I received an invitation to participate in AdaCamp DC with a full scholarship. AdaCamp DC had many participants from Wikimedia, the organization I volunteer with. It would not have been possible to develop a lasting partnership with these people without the AdaCamp experience because of cultural communication problems involving communicating solely online.
How has your experience in medical school changed as a result of your involvement with the Ada Initiative?After AdaCamp, I became more sensitive about privacy and medical ethics, which are integral for any medical practitioner. I gained contacts with participants who were working in the healthcare sector elsewhere in the world and learned about their work culture. The fun thing is that the kids at the pediatrics ward loved the Ada Initiative stickers I took back home after AdaCamp. :-)
What is the best thing about AdaCamp?
The “unconference” format! I thoroughly enjoyed that I could propose any number of sessions of my choice. The knowledge that I am welcome at any of the parallel unconference sessions and that my perspectives are valued by the attendees is an incredible feeling!
We are grateful for Netha’s vision, commitment and support in bringing AdaCamp to Bangalore! Because of our strong commitment to keeping AdaCamp accessible to all, the Ada Initiative loses money with each AdaCamp that we hold – corporate sponsorships are harder to get for many small AdaCamps around the world, but more we reach the women who need it most that way. Donate now to the Ada Initiative and help us continue to grow the reach of AdaCamp!