Rhobi with girls at Mugumu Safe House
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..
Police speaking at an FGM awareness event