Earlier this afternoon, I read through an item on QRZ.Com that talks about the number of licensed amateurs in this country. This is quite an interesting item, and one that I’ll write more about later.
In reading through this item, Jim Haynie W5JBP, ARRL President, describes a recent visit to Nicaragua. He notes that they must make do with little or nothing in the way of equipment and materials. By comparison, we have an embarassment of riches here in the U.S.–oftentimes hams here have more equipment than they know what to do with.
One thought that came to mind was perhaps the ARRL could start a “brother clubs” program somewhat similar to the “Sister Cities” program. The program would pair clubs around the world with clubs in other countries. My original idea was that the program would pair clubs in developed countries with those in less-developed countries, with a a view to the richer clubs helping the poorer clubs.
Of course, the program need not be limited to that. Clubs in developed countries could also become “brother clubs,” and these could exchange information about club activities and other cultural information. In either case, both clubs stand to get quite a bit out of this type of program.
After posting a comment similar to this post on QRZ.Com, I got an e-mail and then a phone call from Jim Haynie, W5JBP, the ARRL president, on this topic. He sent me some two documents describing a program developed by the IARU, Region 2, called Partnership for Amateur Radio Societies (PARS). This program was developed by Rod Stafford, W6ROD, now president of IARU Region 2.
Unfortunately, there’s no publicly available information on this program, and it’s limited to Region 2. Also, the way that the documents I’ve seen are worded, it looks as though the program is geared to funneling equipment from “active societies” to “less active societies.” There’s not much consideration for cultural exchange, and it’s not clear whether the program is to work at the national society level or the local club level.
I’ve been in touch with W6ROD about this, and I hope to hear back from him shortly.