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.
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.
The purpose of our trip this week is to evaluate projects using Freedom Fone in Nairobi, specifically to understand their challenges and constraints and to celebrate their successes.
Freedom Fone trainers have been in Nairobi this month to assist with the first deployment of the platform for a reproductive health hotline.
As part of the Quality Assurance testing of Freedom Fone's new Dialer version, Kubatana engaged citizens in Zimbabwe around the thorny issue of billing by the country's sole energy supplier - the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).
Following a recent article in the The Standard newspaper (Zimbabwe) we thought it appropriate to put the record straight regarding the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and their attempt to censor the use of Freedom Fone in Zimbabwe.
Democratic governance and political accountability are defined by the very nature of information and communication. Transparency in any organisation, state or enterprise, is often obscured by bureaucracies that still rely on hierarchical structures to control the access and delivery of information.
Despite huge advances in new communication technologies and the widening reach of the internet, few mediums have survived the tectonic shifts in current media landscapes the way radio has. Not only has radio remained culturally significant in the developed world, it continues to transform the way information is shared with remote and marginalised communities on the other side of the digital divide.
This is why, on the 13th of February, we celebrate for the first time World Radio Day.
Old hopes are still alive in some quarters that Information Technologies (IT) are the magic bullet for development and social change. This sentiment has been most obvious amongst commentators who suggest that the successes of the 2011 Arab Spring were built upon new media in the form of Twitter and Facebook. Hard working grassroots activists in Egypt and Tunisia have been quick to challenge these assumptions.