February 2013

Freedom Fone takes off in Nairobi

Today Tina and I were scheduled to fly back to Harare from Nairobi. We’d had a busy, productive few days: interviewed staff at 3 organisations currently deploying Freedom Fone, visited communities in the field and installed v2.S.4 with a Huawei dongle for a user whose service had gone down due to a damaged MobiGater.

Things started well enough this morning, getting up in good time to catch our 6.15am taxi to the airport. Only it didn’t arrive as expected…

Kilimo chapaa - farming for money

We dived into Nairobi morning traffic once more, this time to meet Evans and James of FIT Resources. FIT are building a business model around Freedom Fone to complement their work providing capacity building skills to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's). The idea is to use Freedom Fone to provide audio content in the vernacular and to use it as a feedback channel to evaluate products or services via the Leave-a-Message function (LAM).

Successful hotline plans to extend reach in Kenya

The second of the 2 partners hosting the Aunty Jane hotline in Nairobi made time to answer some of our questions this morning. Their publicity of the service has been widespread and includes Mombasa, Eastern and Nakuru in addition to Nairobi. Their callers include men but the service is predominantly used by young women.

Although without their own IT department, the retention of key, trained personnel has ensured that the service has been sustained and reliable since it went live over 6 months ago.

Shoulder to shoulder

Akeyo has been a community health worker for 7 years. Fathiya is also a community health worker, living positively with HIV for the last 15 years and grandmother to 4 kids. Gathoni is both a community health worker and a sex worker and mother of 2.

We were privileged to meet and talk with these 3, who are helping the women of their community, each using their own experiences to break down barriers and empower women facing the same hardships and issues in Korogocho.