Sisi ni Amani Kenya and Safaricom recently launched their partnership at a press conference! Read below for the press release and watch the video to see NTV’s coverage of the event!
SAFARICOM DONATES 50 MILLION SMS TO BOOST POLL PEACE INITIATIVE
Nairobi, February 7th, 2013…Leading integrated communications provider, Safaricom Limited has announced its partnership with Sisi ni Amani –Kenya, a community based peace organisation that seeks to leverage on SMS technology as a tool for fostering peace and cohesiveness in the buildup to the general elections.
The unique SMS based peace program which can be accessed by all Safaricom customers on short code SMS (22762) and USSD *762# will benefit from a huge donation of 50 million free SMS’s from the telecom’s operator. This donation guarantees free access for all users of the service.
Sisi ni Amani-Kenya was created by a group of local peace leaders in Eastlands who recognized the need to turn mobile technology into a tool for peace. In its pilot programs Sisi ni Amani Kenya has built a membership of over 50,000 users in areas which have been identified as potential hotspots. Other partners in this initiative include Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), National Cohesion Integration Commission (NCIC) and the Kenya Police Service.
Using the SMS platform, community peace ambassadors will send out peace messages targeted at specific incidents at a micro level with the aim of preventing, reducing or stopping election based violence. Members of the public can also use the platform to report incidents of violence within their communities free of charge.
Speaking at the launch, Safaricom’s Director of Corporate Affairs Nzioka Waita said “the 2007-2008 post-election violence woke us all up to the dangers of technology such as SMS, voice and data being used to polarise our country. Recognising the complexity and historical significance of the upcoming elections, we have decided to support a wide range of initiatives in partnership with like-minded organisations who want to curb the abuse of these mediums as platforms for spreading hatred and fanning violence.”
Sisi ni Amani-Kenya CEO Rachael Brown said., “At the height of the post-election violence, peace actors at the local levels made many courageous attempts to bring peace to their communities but were hampered by a lack of proper communication tools. This initiative therefore aims to bridge that gap and promote the usage of the mobile phone as a gateway to promoting a peaceful and participatory election process.”
About Sisi Ni Amani-Kenya
Founded in 2010, Sisi ni Amani Kenya is the brainchild of community based-peace groups located in Eastland’s informal settlements of Baba Dogo and Korogocho, and piloted again in Narok County and Kamukunji. The initiative is anchored on key learnings resultant from the experiences of area youth, caught up in the post-election violence, who saw the potential of SMS technology to spread violence quickly and efficiently. These local groups recognized the need to use the power of mobile phones to support local peace efforts and make them more efficient and effective. Sisi ni Amani Kenya currently runs programs in Baba Dogo, Korogocho, Mathare, Huruma, Dandora, Kariobangi North, and Kamukunji in Nairobi and in Narok County, Burnt Forest, Eldoret, Nakuru, Transmara West, and Sotik in the Rift Valley.
Safaricom provides a comprehensive range of communication services under one roof to over 19 million subscribers. These services include mobile and fixed voice and data services on a variety of platforms. It has the widest 2G and 3G network with a growing fibre cable footprint to deliver the country’s fastest broadband service.
Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, the most successful such service anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007 as a money transfer service, it now has over 16 million customers and over 60,000 agents countrywide