Absolutely incredible and beautifully filmed documentary on the crisis of land takings and human rights in Zimbabwe under the Mugabe regime.
I just read a National Geographic story by Ken Banks about Bev Clark, program director of Freedom Fone, and a founder of Kubatana, a Zimbabwean civil society NGO. Kubutana has been using SMS and other innovative ways to communicate with Zimbabweans about social issues, to share information (the media is fully controlled by Mugabe), and to inspire hope:
To address this challenge we have developed an SMS subscriber list that is approximately 14,000 strong. We use SMS to share news headlines, notifications of events and we also encourage a two-way dialogue. We pose questions on social justice issues and ask our subscribers to respond with their views and opinions.
We, in turn, collate the SMS responses and publish them either in our weekly email newsletter or on our community blog. In so doing we believe we extend the conversation to people living on the margins of access to information.
Again in a quest to reach more people, Kubatana produces what we call a “vendor wrapping” sheet. Zimbabwe has a great many street vendors who sell produce such as onions, tomatoes and potatoes. Often they will wrap these in a small piece of paper to make it easier for their customer to carry them home. The Kubatana vendor wrapping sheet is essentially a newspaper that doubles as a wrapping sheet.
We use our access to the Internet to find articles and information on topics such as HIV/AIDS and nutrition, advocacy resources on how women can deal with domestic violence, Zimbabwean poetry and other relevant material. We include a mobile phone number that recipients of the wrapping sheet can send an SMS to with feedback and comment on the content.
For the full, excellent article.