Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Hub look like?

As each Hub is built in consultation with its host community, no two are completely alike. We have learned a thing or two about what works in different contexts however. Where the Hub is build outside it fits into a geodesic dome, covered with a white canvas that can be easily cleaned, it looks a bit like half a golf ball (although obviously much bigger and full of people).

There is a metal both, about phone box size near by that houses the central electronics and and batteries and has two big solar panels on the top. In Nepal, people didn’t like the white tents, which brought back memories of earthquakes and emergency tents. Instead Hubs are housed indoors in a purpose build structure or a repurposed old one. They look like an ordinary building

Whats the point of the internet?
Why don't you work on clean water?

Internet is your human right, it was recognised as such by the UN in 2016. 

You probably use it 100s of times a day. But if you still cant understand why it might matter to a remote community then its probably not the best use of either of our time to try and persuade you.

We think clean water is really important, its just its not what we do. Other people do clean water, we do internet..

Can I volunteer at a Hub?

Nope. Each Hello Hub is built by the community for the community. The more work a community does on a Hub the more valued and cared for it will be. Volunteers who come, work and then leave take their energy and positivity with them when they go. By keeping everything local we encourage each community to see their Hub as their own, not something that has just been given to them.

How much does a Hub Cost?

This one is not so easy. The equipment needed to build a Hub costs around £8000. However, this doesn’t include transport, planning labour, expertise or ongoing costs. We find that the average cost of one completed Hub to Hello World is between 18 and 20 thousand pounds. Each Hub lasts for a minimum of 5 years (usually tablets are outdated by then) and serves around 1250 people

Don’t people just spend all their time watching cat videos?

Don’t you? The internet is there for people to use how they want and entertainment is a very important part of that. If someone wants to spend all their time on youtube, that really is up to them. However, this rarely happens. Each Hub is full of children and adults learning new skills and sharing new knowledge with each other. It’s quite hard to stay focussed on just cats, no matter how awesome they can be.

What about porn?

Safeguarding the children and adults at a Hub is something we take very seriously (here is our safeguarding and whistleblowing policy). We maintain a red list of sites that are blocked by our Internet Service Providers. This list can be added to by the community and is constantly updated. We also build Hubs in busy public places. What people do online is not easy to hide and the presence of others including Community Support Officers, teachers, parents, and people using the Hub to learn make misuse of the Hub very difficult.

Won't social media will corrupt remote communities?

Social media can be a useful communication tool and everyone has the right to be a part of the global conversation. However it is not without its problems. Mis-information and online bullying are not taken lightly. We empower Hub communities to learn about source checking and reliable information through journalism and life skills training courses.

Can you help me build a Hub?

Love to, we’ve made our methodology available to everyone through our how to build a Hello Hub guide that you can find on this site.

What educational software is loaded onto a Hub?

Each Hub tablet has key educational software: Khan Academy Kids, Masha and The Bear, You Tube Kids, Feed the Monster, Chimple and Play and Learn Science. These are all intuitive and fun apps designed to be easily accessible to early learners. We work with communities to select additional software, this could be coding software, musical or artistic programmes and so on. 

You can find out more in our journal article Improving the Software at a Hello Hub

Everyone has a smartphone these days so whats the point of the Hub?

Lots of the communities we work with have very few smart phones. Like many things, remote, rural and refugee populations are left behind by the rest of the world when it comes to phone ownership. While some communities may contain a good many smart phones, expensive data packages make them costly to use, particularly when people also need to pay to charge. People do not prioritise new skills when a tutorial cost so much to download and watch. Hubs provide everything needed (and much more) for free in a way that is respectful of underserved communities and doesn’t exclude people through hidden cost barriers.

Can I visit a Hub and look around?

Typically not. Hubs are open to everyone, and that includes you, but we won’t ask communities to show people around. This is out of respect for their time. It can quickly become a stressful and sometimes costly endeavour so we make a habit of turning down requests to visit.