Freedom Fone to end sexual violence against women

The Freedom Fone application allows users to build their own interactive voice response (IVR) menus. When a Freedom Fone server is connected to telephone it is possible to make the IVR audio menus accessible to the public who in turn can use any form of telephony (mobile phone, landline, VoIP phone, soft phone) to call the service. Recognizing the incredible reach of the Freedom Fone application, this project focused on a 3-day workshop for women’s rights defenders allowing them the opportunity to share their stories and information with the Freedom Fone users.

Project Goals

Because the Freedom Fone application was still in development during the project’s time-line, the workshop provided the opportunity to demonstrate the prototype to interested organizations. The goals of the workshop were to bring together potential Freedom Fone users to:

  • Discuss the issues facing their communities or target audiences
  • Discuss the public's access to telephony
  • Discuss the merits of deploying a dial up information service to address some of these needs
  • Train participants in the production of audio materials for Freedom Fone
  • Create Freedom Fone IVR menus using the materials produced at the workshop

Project Participants and Activities

A 2-day strategic planning workshop was held in Kinshasha with 25 Congolese partners composed of organizations from the women’s movement, human rights groups, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for development projects, private sector and delegates of the Ministries of Gender, Justice, Human Rights and Tele-communications.The 25 participants were organized into working groups that contributed to the content production for the ICT. These participants will also take part in the running test management and evaluation of the first phase of the Fone.

The project proposal had intended that the workshop be more technical in nature, however, after discussion with Si Jeunesse Savait’s Zimbabwean partner, Kubatana, it was decided to focus the workshop’s activities on sharing basic information about the Fone, strategising with interested participants, determining why the Fone is an important movement building tool and discussing the impact the application could have on Congolese survivors of violence. The workshop also allowed for Si Jeunesse Savait to fundraise more money to allow for the Fone’s implementation at a later date. An Award from the Internet Society acknowledged the important use of ICT particularly the mobile application voice over Internet protocol also known as VOIP for change.

Project Outputs

  • 2-day Workshop on the Freedom Fone
  • Participant-created blog on the workshop. The blog was also shared with the Feminist Tech Exchange
  • Report and pictures available on Si Jeunesse Savait’s Facebook page and website.