Kivufoon is a new endeavour of 3 organisations in the DRC (East Congo - The Kivu's): AFEM (SK) a collective of women media makers; Radio Mandeleo (community radio in Bukavu and Rateco, the network of radios) and The City of Joy (V-Day, Kivu's), a house for victims of sexual violence. See www.kivufoon.nl and also 1% club website, through which you can donate.
This project entails the establishment of a GSM network in East-DRC together with a tightly linked network in Europe / The Netherlands (united in Medio Foundation).
The networks cooperate in the Kivufoon project: through GSM (SMS, Freedom Fone). Congolese Women are enabled to set up an‘early warning' system for rampaging raping gangs of military factions. This system is based on a website (mapping ‘what is happening where by whom') with linked phones in different places, to start with in South and North Kivu. It works through cooperation with Radio Maendeleo, who have equipped their radio listening clubs with 'Kivufones'.
The ‘Kivufoon' platform also allows for the downloading of news headlines for those areas where there is no coverage of a local community radio stations (the local radio umbrella RATECO and Radio Maendeleo are partner in the project). The women groups will produce radio programs and video productions themselves, showing their plight and strength. These are broadcasted via the website and Radio Maendeleo as well as the RATECO radio network (including through Frontline SMS on Kivufoon).
Photo: Launch of the campaign of AFEM-SK and LolaMora: "Breaking the silence: Media against sexual violence" Bukavu 2006.
Dutch / European citizens (Medio) are forming a support group and invite the public to send action SMSs (e.g. to authorities/ UN urging them to intervene) and solidarity SMS to the organisation (with an extra ‘benefit' for the phone costs fund in DRC). The linked European digital platform includes the DRC website and launches regular campaigns as well as alerts and action calls. The platform will also show the week-to-week situation in the Kivu's and the effect the action calls from Europe have. Media campaigns (to start with in Dutch public media) will alert the public. The public can actively be involved by spreading the information (social media); SMS with donation function or donate to the ‘small activities fund' in DRC via the 1% club.