This week we celebrated International Women's Day with an event outlining why mapping is particularly important for women in rural Tanzania. Janet outlined how maps are helping protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation, and how the Digital Champion programme set up with Hope for Girls and Women is contributing. You can see her slides here.
We next heard from Youthmapper Ambassador Laura Mugeha about mapping towards progress in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally Ezekiel Kassanga from Tumaini Open School for girls excluded from education by pregnancy explained how mapping helps their work. His slides are here.
We were delighted to be joined by many of our interns. We are hoping to repeat this programme helping to get young African women their first step on the GIS ladder once we have enough funds to support their data costs.
You can access the recording of the event here. We will be holding another on March 29th so please join us if you can. Link to register is here
On 7th November we celebrated our 6th birthday with an online event hearing from many of the community groups we have worked with or trained over the last 6 years.
We started with an overview of our work which you can see here and review the slides here. Next we heard about the school mapping and nutrition projects. This was followed by presentations about mapping maize mills to prevent stunting and poor nutrition, and training Youthmappers by the Reslience Academy and OMDTZ, and how mapping helps with progress towards the SDGs.
And Rhobi talked about how her Digital Champions programme is helping to protect girls in Serengeti, Tarime and Butiama districts, as well as teach them digital skills.
She will also be talking at our next event on Monday for GeoWeek - I hope you can join us to find out more.
Its been a very busy few months for Crowd2Map. We've spoken about our work in many different online events and conferences and welcomed many new mappers from all over the world.
The Digital Champion programme we started in Serengeti 2 years ago, whereby 1 woman per village trains others in her village in digital skills and mapping, has now been expanded into Butiama and Tarime, thanks to funding from UNFPA. We are very excited that 208 more women will be able to empower their communities and get online for the first time. You can read more about this project here.
Our mapping training to community groups in Tanzania is going strong, thanks to volunteer GIS specialist Herry Kassunga who has been delivering training via zoom every week, as well as in person. This has paid dividends in building up capacity across Tanzania. Last month we were delighted that 3 of the groups he trained were awarded microgrants from Open Map Development Tanzania. So now these groups will start mapping border points in Katavi to help with disease control with the Red Cross. In Mwanza they will be monitoring hotspots of gender based violence, and Hope for Girls and Women in Mara will be mapping access to health facitlities. More details to come later.
Also Herry and 2 girls from the FGM Safe House in Mugumu were picked to take part in drone training in Tanga, as part of an Open Skies Initiative. We are hoping in future they will be able to build their own drone to help map Mara.
Thank you for all your support that has made this possible.
It has been a difficult year for everyone, and we hope you are staying safe. In previous years we've managed to organise large scale events in Tanzania for Open Data Day on March 6th. In 2020 we had an event with Open Map for Development Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.
This year we had a virtual event with a focus on gender data for Tanzania. We had a great range of speakers from Tanzania, Kenya, Europe and the US on different aspects such as education, health, agriculture and access to finance and technology. This was followed by a discussion on the importance of such disagregated data to promote gender equality and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. You can see the presentations here and watch the recording here.
We also had a small training session in Matare village, Serengeti, where we are starting a project to monitor progress towards the SDGs at a village level.
We also talked about the project at various events such as this one for Tech(K)Now here, and the World Summit on the Information Forum where we talked about the Digital Divide and how the Digital Champions project we set up with Hope is addressing this.
Finally, for International Women's Day we held an online mapathon with American Red Cross, in which over 200 women helped map our projects..
This month we hope to extend the Digital Champions project to Butiama District. We are also arranging various online events for Innovation Week in Tanzania to help spread the word and recruit more volunteer mappers.
Thank you again for your generosity in supporting this project.
Crowd2Map was started five years ago this month. Since then over 15 thousand volunteers have added over 4.5 million buildings in Tanzania into OpenStreetMap.
These better maps have been crucial in helping FGM activists like Rhobi Samwelly from Hope and the local police she works with help protect and rescue girls from FGM. She estimates that these maps have saved over 3000 girls from being cut, as outlined in a recent article in The Independent newspaper.
There are currently 130 girls in the two safe houses, but Rhobi is expecting to rescue over 350 more before the end of the year, as a cutting season has just started. So the maps will have a lot of use.
Wednesday marks the beginning of the annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign. This runs between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
Rhobi will be organising various events as part of the campaign, and we will be having different mapathons, including with the local Red Cross that we have been training recently.
Thank you for your support during this difficult year, and best wishes for the festive season. I hope you are able to celebrate with your loved ones to some extent, and stay safe..
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