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Free Software Foundation announces Award for Social Benefit Software

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announces the creation of a new annual award and is calling for nominations: 

<p> &quot;Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit&quot; </p>

Tools for Community: Mobile Phones, Speakeasy, Networks, and more..

Another story from MobileActive: Emily Gertz, our friend at WorldChanging and our prolific MobileActive blogger, profiles Tad Hirsch of txtmob fame and his Speakeasy project in Chinatown in Boston.  Using voice over IP telephony and mobile phones, Speakeasy is a "a software-enabled telephone call center staffed by multilingual community volunteers. Newcomers to Chinatown who are not fluent in English can call the service and connect with someone from the neighborhood who can provide immediate language interpretation, answer questions, and offer advice."

Cell Phones for Campaigns -- Stories from MobileActive

MobileActive is over but the work has just begun...Stories about the convergence and the use of cell phones and texting in avocacy and civic campaigns are coming in fast after the first-ever MobileActive.  The event brought together a group of activists from around the globe to explore the use of cell phones for social justice and citizen participation campaigns.

Patrick Burnett, a participant from Fahamu, puts it well: "In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) SMS is being used to monitor child rights violations.

Greenpeace Argentina campaign against forest destruction In Argentina indigenous communities are using SMS to halt the bulldozers that destroy their forest livelihoods.  And in the Philippines, angry activists have used SMS to hold government to account. The power of cellular technology is no longer up for debate; what remains to be discussed is how to maximize it for social good. Mobile Active Convergence, held recently in Canada, did just this... What came out of the three-day event...went far beyond this expectation, as a diverse group of people from around the world banged their heads together, mixed their ideas and thrashed out a vision for just how far cellular technology can go in creating a better world. The end result was new ideas, the formation of a lasting network and the production of a body of knowledge available to many beyond the confines of the conference."

Donation Tool Survey

Our colleague Laura Quinn over at the newly-created Idealware is conducting a survey about nonprofit experiences with online donation tools. The survey is at http://tinyurl.com/9tt74

Idealware (www.idealware.org) is conducting this survey to understand how online donation tools are working for people in the real world.  The survey results will be incorporated into an in-depth review of online donation tools that will be available for free towards the end of October.

First-ever MobileActive Convergence a huge success

MobileActive is over and all of the fabulous participants have gone home.  Together with Green Media Toolshed and Marty's great vision, we brought activists from around the globe together.  All are using mobile phones in their campaigns in new and innovative ways -- in the Congo, Philippines, Argentina, US, South Africa, and the UK, among other places. 

Here are a few excerpts and stories from people who attended: 

MobileActive Conference gets underway - I just arrived about an hour ago in Toronto for the MobileActive conference....From what I have heard, it is going to be a cool crowd from all around the world. For example, I took a cab from the airport to the hotel with Bukeni, a documentary film maker from Congo who was just in New York presenting his films on child soldiers. [Aspiration Aggregation]

Ungana-Afrika is the 2005 Dirk Award Winner!

We here at Aspiration and all of the previous recipients of the Dirk Award are happy to announce the 2005 winner of the award:  Ungana-Afrika.  Here is the official announcement. Congratulations!

Dirk AwardThe Dirk Award Committee is honored to announce Ungana-Afrika as this year's winner of the Dirk Award.

The Dirk Award is given annually to those circuit or eRiders who have shown extraordinary contributions to the nonprofit and international NGO technology communities while paying tribute to the principles of social justice and the role technology can play in empowering other
communities and individuals.

Ungana-Afrika provides innovative technology support to NGOs in Southern Africa. Ungana-Afrika believes that information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer new opportunities for African community-based and development organizations to do what they do better.

With its emphasis on technology, social justice, and community empowerment, the small staff of Ungana-Afrika has taken the principles of eRiding to innovative new levels with its trainings and capacity-building workshops and innovative projects such as those focusing on community radio and free and open source software within an African context.

Ungana-Afrika further works tirelessly to assure that the eRiding model takes hold in the Southern Africa region by working with other organizations in the region on developing their own eRiding projects. It makes its learnings and materials widely available under Creative Commons license and its staff are active community participants in the
international eRider Network. The organisation is supported by the Soros Foundations Network and the Government of Finland.

eRiders are one of the largest global resources of ICT capacity building for development organizations and work in a world-wide movement with growing representation in more than 20 countries.

The Committee of previous Dirk Award recipients and the global eRider and nonprofit technology support community congratulate Ungana-Afrika and its staff Toni Eliasz, Ryan Jacobs, Angel Kgokolo, Tshepo Thlaku, and Rudi von Staden for visionary and exemplary work!

For more information about Ungana-Afrika, please visit
www.ungana-afrika.org. More information about the Dirk Award for eRiders is at www.dirkaward.org.

 

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