Technology is an enabler in the quest for social change.

You’ve probably heard or read this statement in my talks or blog posts in the recent past. Yes, technology is a crucial enabler, but we cannot rely on technology alone to push the needle to achieve social change. It is a fact that we recognized from the very beginning of Ushahidi’s journey. Some of the most successful initiatives using the Ushahidi platform have been the result of strong partnerships with buy-in from beneficiaries and duty bearers, adequate funding, and excellent communication campaigns.

We are Q. You’re 007

Our role as Ushahidi isn’t to save the world but to make sure that ordinary citizens have the tools they need to act and fight for social justice. This is why our strategy has evolved to not only include making our innovative tools and initiatives accessible but to pair that up with the support and expertise you need to leverage the tech to achieve maximum impact.

But, something is still missing, and we want to help.

Ordinary citizens and communities are increasingly more willing to actively pursue change, leading to the emergence of many grassroots organizations and initiatives reaching out to Ushahidi for support in deploying our software. COVID-19 was the most robust validation of this point, with over 2500 maps set up across 140 countries by these organizations and communities seeking to support each other during the pandemic.

However, my team and I have seen these organizations face challenges around partnerships and financial resources to make their interventions more effective. So we asked, what more can Ushahidi do to support grassroots organizations using our tools?

We’ve landed on two things that we’re going to keep testing over the coming months.

  1. Facilitating connections and knowledge sharing within our community. This remains core to our community engagement efforts moving forwards, and you can expect a few meetups coming soon.
  2. Providing access to financial support to our users. In September 2020, with support from the Interledger Foundation’s Grant for the Web team, we began building a web monetization feature, enabling our deployers to access modest injections of money seamlessly and directly to their deployments. This project served as a pilot to test our hypothesis on the provision of access to financial support bolstering Ushahidi deployers’ work further. We launched the feature in April 2021 and plan to continue collecting feedback and refining it to increase adoption. Now, we’d like to take this idea a notch further and higher.

How can YOU help?

This giving season, we’re doing things a little differently. Typically, we would ask you to donate to enable Ushahidi to continue developing innovative tools that support those creating impact in their communities with our tools.

Today, we’re launching a donation campaign to see funds collected go directly to Ushahidi deployers who could benefit from financial support to further their causes. Money raised during this donation campaign will be distributed amongst select deployers as microgrants. The Ushahidi team will work closely with these deployers throughout 2022 and share periodic updates on how these funds are helping to further our deployer’s cause.

To get us started, we, as Ushahidi, are putting in the first $5,000 to help us reach our $50,000 goal.

Starting tomorrow, November 25th, 2021, and for the next four weeks, we will be showcasing deployments across the globe and various sectors, how they’re using our platform for social change, and the impact they’re having.

Join us in supporting our selfless deployers to scale their impact by sharing this message and donating now. The flexible donation options allow you to choose among donating every time 1,000 reports are published on our platform, monthly or one-time.

Thank you for helping to raise the voices of the most vulnerable people, and make them heard.