Ushahidi is a good example of using the power of an image to convey data. They are mapping citizen reports of violence. People can submit reports via mobile phones. They are also mapping reports of peacemaking activities, but alas, there are not many doves on the map and plenty of flames, indicating conflict. (see map below)
Here is a report from today:
My name is peter and I teach at Kisumu Day High School. I want to report that in Kisumu Thousands of students will not be able to attend school again this coming Monday. The violence and sheer police brutality that has rocked Kisumu in the last three days has rendered learning activities impossible.
Most Children and teachers are traumatized. The students and their teachers have either been displaced in the fighting or their schools are sheltering displaced people.
The schools were supposed to have opened on 14th January. This did not take place. We need guiding and counseling to be done for the kids in Kisumu who have seen dead bodies, heard gunshots and slept hungry for the last one week.
Roads in Kisumu still have huge rocks and boulders to block motorists.
Let the Ministry of education in Kenya come up with ways and means to jump start the education sector in this region.
Personally I am calling on to people who can offer counseling services to the kids to contact me on +254722612128.
Via Global Voices, Ndesanjo Macha’s also writes about Ushahidi.com Kenya: Cyberactivism in the aftermath of political violence. Ndesanjo writes about what went into the formation of the site and the value of a very simple idea put into practice.
There are a number of things at play worth noting. First in the technology community’s response – technologists primarily in Africa, but also across the world. People saw a need and responded. It is worth amplifying their work by blogging about it.
Second, it is useful amplifying positive actions. It is important to cover the news of the atrocities, but communities and individuals can also cover the things people are doing as a positive response. Acts of peace, reconciliation and relief to those cut off from food, water, jobs and family due to violence. This is something networks are good at.
What acts of peace or reconciliation are you amplifying on your blog? And what can we do to help Kenyans create and get more doves on the map?