Five South African sites that do tech for social good

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Here’s a bit of post-Mandela Day feelgood for you: Loren Treisman of the NGO Indigo Trust has put together a list of five South African organisations which use technology to tackle social change. It’s a fairly long and very interesting piece, which I strongly advise you to go read, but here’s the salient highlights.

  • The Citizen’s Movement for Social Change is a relatively new NGO which is focusing on making the journey from subject to citizen or in other words, they are trying to create an ‘active citizenry’ which responds to social challenges through non-violent means.
  • Based in Khayelitsha township, Whizz is a small, community based organisation which is run by development practitioners who aim to demonstrate that tech can have a role in addressing poverty alleviation, crime and inequality.  For three years they have been training staff and volunteers who work in community based organisations in basic ICT skills using a train the trainer approach.  They then help them use ICTs to improve their organisations.
  • Based in Stellenbosch and headed up by Marlon Parker, Mxit Reach has approximately 120 staff and focuses on developing social tools for the Mxit platform, focusing on Education, Health, Agriculture, Women’s Empowerment and Economic Development.
  • Fundza’s mobile literacy site, Dr Maths, English and Science which provide quizzes and tutorials to almost 1 million users.
  • Afroes has built several games and applications to help reduce child abuse and violence against women with funding from the UN and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.  They also developed a game for Young Africa Live exploring issues around date rape and life skills.

I’d also add Diepsloot Tweets and the Praekelt Foundation to that list off the top of my head, and many more if I sat down to think about it. Want to recommend some? Comment below…

(Image from Afroes’ Moraba game)

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.

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