Digital Hope

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Digital Hope

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The ‘Digital Hope’ project supported by ITU explores the human rights of access to communication whilst utilizing communication technology to address human rights and enhance social change. An approximated 20,000 people were brutally amputated by machetes and guns during Sierra Leone’s civil war. These war victims are also marginalized from the mainstream of the information Society. The project ‘Digital Hope’ has began to target these amputees facing exclusion from ICT by providing the relevant ICT tools through an ICT
piloted multi-media community access centre at one of several amputee camps in the country. This is providing the war victims ICT skills, hope and healing and giving them a powerful voice in the mass media.
The beneficiaries are learning basic ICT skills, and this is creating a great access to learning for learners with disability, and the much needed space to share their war-time stories with the rest of the

one of the poorest in the world, hugely depending on international aid for survival, and meaning help for war victims has become one of the serious challenges in the country.
Over 50,000 people died as a result of the war, with thousands of people having their hands and legs chopped off and many more people displaced. Although there is peace across the entire country currently, most of the war victims, amputee survivors of war, still cannot live as normal human beings. Even though many have professions in wood carving, farming, capentary, Honda maintenance, gara dying and so on, they can hardly make a good living without a way to sell their products.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The use of ICT by amputated war victims is a unique chance for them to communicate now, with these technologies and support created by B-Gifted and ITU. This makes the amputees full of hope as much as they were full of hope when the 11-year conflict ended in 2002. Their major challenges are discrimination against getting access to education and health, and gaining employment, and this can be achieved through ICT. Andrew Benson-Greene, after attending the design thinking and business workshops run by NoTosh and receiving investment from the ITU, said that “in a country with very severe economic and social challenges, this is even more of a challenging situation when it comes to amputees and disabled people in the country”. He said that “for us Sierra Leoneans, we need to help our fellow compatriots who as a result of a decade of brutal civil war and carnage that has left behind thousands of maimed children, women and men, we must not make this disability of amputee a distant notion anymore but to think it as a reality close to our hearts and work hard to help them, or else the reality of suffering will continue. “I believe that these technologies will help to inform, educate and change the lives of people from these established amputee camps.”

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

One of the Beneficiaries is a wood carver. Despite the horrendous experiences during the war, Santos has taught himself how to use his extra arms to produce valuable wood carving. He works hard to sell his product but sales are minimal. Through the Digital Hope project he now learns the skills in computer, the internet and soon will be selling his art work online via the power of the internet which has the potential to create huge possibilities of his product and growth of his business
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

This is a new initiative that has never been tested before. This pilot project targets close to 20,000 amputee victims in over 15 amputee camps through out the country

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The tremendous opportunities offered by social networks such as facebook, twitter, zain, linkedin and a number of blogging possibilities will encourage both beneficiaries and users to make a difference