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HOW TO HELP: Ushahidi’s “SMS To Save & Survive” Initiative

August 31, 2010

My friend and colleague, Harvard Fellow-MPP Nadia Naviwalla sent this out to promote Ushahidi – a fantastic new resource for anyone interested in cutting-edge tech-based flood relief…It’s awesome what the Web can do…

The purpose of my email is two-fold. Firstly, to urge you pass this email to those in Pakistan, or via a contact to Pakistan, where people on the ground — whomever they be — can be made aware of Ushahidi. Secondly, if you would like to donate, there then follows a list of some NGOs which a group of friends and I believe are ideal for executing and delivering aid quickly and to the deepest places.

Ushahidi is a website that will inform agencies of areas requiring emergency relief, and it will help prevent a duplication of relief efforts. The way it works is a person on the ground texts 3441 and begins the text message with ‘FL’. The person then writes a DETAILED description of the needs of the area, and the location. Street names aren’t required, but a description of a place that can be found are, such as: ‘in [name of area] by the main road near a tree that’s close to a gas station’. The text is verified by a coordinator and, once approved, marked on the map. Once on the map, agencies will be alerted to the need.

Therefore, please make your networks in Pakistan and your friends in journalism aware of:

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