In the past couple years, social media combined with traditional media has allowed people all over the world to feel they are supporting and participating in very visible revolutions (think Iran, Tunisia, Egypt). There is also a slow and steady revolution happening as more and more communities around the world access the tools to tell their own stories in their own words from their own perspectives.
I came across the Mathare Valley blog this weekend. It’s beautiful, artful and powerful.
According to the ‘about’ page, the authors of the blog: Simon Kokoyo, Ivyonne Tiany and Jeff Mohamed, grew up in or around Mathare. They are now involved in community programs there, including the Map Mathare Initiative.
Jamie Lundine, who works at MapKibera and who’s supporting some community mapping in Mathare, wrote an excellent post about integrating participatory community development work and digital mapping in Mathare, showing how development and tech folks can combine their expertise and work together with communities to strengthen local development processes.
In my last post, I wrote about how communications (and ICTs) should be ‘built in, not bolted on‘ to development initiatives. The Mathare Initiative looks like a good example of that, with community members taking a strong lead.