Last monthRhobi was invited to tell her story as an FGM survivor and activist at a high level panel as part of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. She spoke movingly about begging her parents not to cut her, as she feared dying and her body being thrown in the bush to be eaten by wild animals, as had happened to her friend Sabina. But her pleas were in vain and she was cut and nearly bled to death. She has since dedicated her life to saving other girls from a similar fate.
You can watch a recording of her testimony here.
The following day Rhobi participated in our mapathon at UNFPA where we explained how better maps can help activists like Rhobi quickly find girls at risk of FGM and showed people how they can help to create them. There were side events in over 60 countries as part of this global FGM event, including at the Ministry of Women in Somalia, and with FGM activists in Kenya, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Uganda, Djibouti and many more. Together they mapped over 49,000 buildings and almost 7000 km of roads to better protect girls at risk.
At UNFPA Tyler and Rebecca from HOT also explained how maps can be used for many humanitarian purposes. You can see the presentation here.
And then Rhobi came to London for the UK premiere of the film about her work, In the name of your daughter.
We are having another global mapathon in November for OSMGeoWeek - please join us online if you can, or at the London event. Further details here.
Many thanks, Janet
Thanks to your generosity and the hard work of our thousands of volunteers Crowd2Map has a busy ahead.
First we are working with people from Heidelberg University to try and incorporate machine learning techniques to develop the map of Tanzania.
We are also organising mapping and data collection training in many areas of Tanzania throughout August and starting with a session for the council in new area Babati, from funds kindly donated by Salesforce.
Then at the end of August we are running various workshops at the huge global FOSS4G/HOTOSM conference, where Neema the mapping leader and FGM activist from Mara will be delivering a keynote.
We are also launching a pilot FGM reporting system via Ushahidi with support from the UNFPA which we hope will save many girls in the major cutting season expected in December.
So thank you again for your generosity in supporting this project mapping Tanzania to help end FGM.
For Open Data on March 3rd we organised a free 3 day training conference on how Open Data and Mapping using OpenStreetMap can aid development in Tanzania. Over 90 people from across Tanzania attended the event at the Institute of Rural Development Planning in Mwanza, including community mapping groups from Kigoma, Kagera, Mara and other regions, students from IRDP Mwanza and Dodoma, as well as representatives from Tanzania Red Cross, Tanzania Wildlife Service, Uwezo and many other organisations.You can read more about it here.
We were delighted to attend the Data for Development Festival in Bristol in March where we spoke to many people about Crowd2Map, including members of the Tanzanian parliament, National Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Lands. We also met many people involved in machine learning for mapping, including someone from Gates Foundation who gave us the AI generated data for buildings in Tanzania which we hope will be extremely useful.
On May 10th and 11th we are participating in the Mozilla Global Sprint, which is held in over 60 cities around the world and online. We are hoping to get many people involved in mapping, validating and improving our project. There is more information here.
In July we are talking about Crowd2Map at the State of the Map conference in Milan, and in August we are at the HOT Summit in Dar es Salaam.
Thank you again for your generosity that allows us to continue mapping Tanzania to help protect girls from FGM and to aid development.
The first State of the Map Tanzania conference in December was a great success and had a huge impact on the mapping community in Tanzania. 177 people attended, travelling from all over Tanzania and 9 other countries for the 3 day conference. The first day was mostly around the impact of mapping for Tanzania and the subsequent two days for practical workshops to develop mapping skills, led by mappers from Ramani Huria and Heidleberg University, Germany. The conference was attended by government officials, NGOs, and health workers as well as community and youth mappers and was featured on two TV stations and the national newspaper. You can read more about it here.
Next Tuesday February 6th is International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM so we are attending an event to commemorate this at Canada House in London and have organised this online mapathon. Anyone with an internet connection can take part so please tell your friends!
On Saturday March 3rd it is Open Data Day so we have organised an online event and a training event in Mwanza, Tanzania.
For any supporters in London, UK, we are talking about Crowd2Map at OpenStreetMap London on Wednesday 7th March details here, and it would be great to see you there!
We now have this short film about Crowd2Map.
Many thanks for your support to get rural Tanzania on the map!
After being invited to participate in the first State of the Map Africa conference in Kampala in July, we are delighted we are now organising the first State of the Map Tanzania conference in Dar es Salaam in December.
This will bring together around 100 mappers from all over Tanzania for a 3 day training event with the aim of sharing good practice and developing mapping skills so that together we can get all of rural Tanzania on the map.
Thanks to sponorship from YouthMappers we will also be able to bring students from 5 other East African countries to the event to share their knowledge and forge greater links within the community. There will be speakers and training sessions by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, Ramani Huria who have mapped Dar es Salaam to help increase flood resilience, FGM activists and people involved in mapping to help in the fight against malaria and HIV. There is more information here and we hope to record all the speeches so that people who cannot attend in person can also learn from them.
The community mapping is going extremely well. We have now mapped almost 2 million buildings and involved over 3500 online mappers and 600 field mappers in Tanzania, all volunteers. We have just recruited mappers in 5 new areas of Tanzania.
But travelling in rural Tanzania to map is not easy, particularly for women. They have to travel on the back of motorbikes on very bumpy dirt roads, and often face harrassment and threats from local men. But they continue to do this because they believe it is important to stand up for their rights, fight against FGM and gender based violence and help develop their communities by putting them on the map. Rhobi, the founder of the FGM Safe House in Mugumu was due to talk about empowering female mappers at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap annual conference in Canada in September. Unfortunately her visa was refused so I gave the talk on her behalf.
We have now mapped around 6% of rural Tanzania. We are currently mapping here so if you have a spare half hour please help out! We are also having an online mapathon as part of Geo week here, and holding a mapathon at Imperial College London on 21st London, to which you are cordially invited!
Many thanks for your generosity in helping us map rural Tanzania to help prevent FGM and improve development!
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