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Nairobi

How can smart phones make a social impact in East Africa?

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How can smart phones make a social impact in East Africa?

The Mobile Impact Ventures Program, created by M:lab East Africa in partnership with iHub, is a technology incubator and accelerator that mentors start up companies that have mobile applications with a social impact focus, meaning agriculture, education, or health. M:lab East Africa has a free testing facility in Nairobi, Kenya with over 200 phones so that those companies creating the social impact applications are able to test them on hundreds of devices. Once accepted to the program, startups are provided with business and technical classes as well as coaching for up to 6 months, thus giving them the tools to succeed. 

On December 9th, 2014, the Mobile Impact Ventures Program hosted a Demo Day that showcased 4 of their highest impact ventures from the accelerator program in order to present their products to investors, possible partners, and the like. One such application, Tumukaro, provides an “online service that enables parents and well wishers living in the diaspora to easily pay school fees for their dependents in Kenya in a fast, secure and convenient way.” Find out more about the MIV Program and the innovative social impact ventures it supports here.

Listen to an interview with Sheilah Birgen, the Community Leader at M:lab East Africa, as she delves further into the different programs M:lab offers.

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Photo-Activism

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Photo-Activism

Boniface Mwangi gave us some great insight on citizen journalism in Kenya when we visited his office, Pawa254, a creative coworking space not far from Central Nairobi. A self-described “photo-activist,” Boniface gets how the power of a citizen’s perspective has the potential to make waves. 

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       Our latest group of students were trained last week at Strathmore University’s iLab Africa in Nairobi. Their contributions to   Navvi.com   so far include posts on everything from undernourishment in Kenya to the effects of domestic tourism to flamingos fleeing Lake Naivasha due to high water levels. And their feedback on Navvi beta has been extremely helpful. Keep up the great work!

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Our latest group of students were trained last week at Strathmore University’s iLab Africa in Nairobi. Their contributions to Navvi.com so far include posts on everything from undernourishment in Kenya to the effects of domestic tourism to flamingos fleeing Lake Naivasha due to high water levels. And their feedback on Navvi beta has been extremely helpful. Keep up the great work!

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1 Cell Phone Connects Maasai Village to the World

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1 Cell Phone Connects Maasai Village to the World

The people of Lemongo Village in southeastern Kenya live in earthen huts made of branches, sticks, grass and mud. They live off the land as pastoralists in the Rift Valley and create fire by rubbing sticks together. But at least one mobile phone — and persistent 3G data service — connects this Maasai village to the rest of the world. This is how the Lemongo Maasai will bring their perspective to Navvi.com.

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Kibera, Nairobi

We spent the day filming in Kibera - the largest urban ‘slum’ in Africa. The sense of community and connectedness was beautiful. Unlike the car-centric streets outside, Kibera feels like an interconnected city where people call each other by name, know thy neighbor and simply put, care. Slum is such an interesting word - often associated with crime, raw sewage, poverty, rape, need, etc, the unidyllic implications graffiti an image most wish to avoid.

Having spent years in the urban slums of South Asia, I’ve come to the following conclusions: people in-touch with their basic human needs (ie. food, energy, water, shelter) are connected with their surrounding environment by necessity. The resulting community is always refreshing. In an age of broken single families, ambition, and ‘modernity’, I ask what can we learn from communities like Kibera?

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