Ability to create positive impact is one of the qualities that gives technology power. Harnessing this power can lead to great impact within a society. Find out how one young woman set out to do exactly this. Below, Rachel shares her story:
Armed with a research idea and a passion for community, Rachel Brown saw an opportunity to use technology in supporting peace building in grass root communities in Kenya. Sisi ni Amani Kenya (SNA-K) was founded to address the conflicts over land that were occurring in communities.
I moved to Kenya in July 2010, with the idea to do a small research about different grassroots peace initiatives that existed in Kenyan communities. We got started in Baba Dogo, which is located up Thika Road. Together with a team of members from different peace intiaitives and youth groups, we launched the project. We set up FrontlineSMS and had a big community event where we asked people to text in information about peace initiatives in the area. While people were excited about the project, we saw very few results. I started talking to the groups we had worked with, trying to find out what excited them so much.
SNA-K has already been using SMS to respond to tensions and conflict at the local level, through its local chapters creating and vetting messages. We have several positive stories of conflict in Narok that seems to have been mitigated by the sending of a message.