My plan for my blog is to continue to write and post information on issues of interest to myself, and hopefully, readers who are following my blog.
I am currently working on an application for funding for a project in Zanzibar. I initiated a project while I stayed in Zanzibar November – December 2012, while volunteering with drug addicts. They are undergoing rehabilitation for their heroin addiction. We started to make a film documentary about Sober House, which we are going to use as documentation in support of our application. If successful, I plan to return to Zanzibar to continue our work in the project.
While travelling the concept of social entrepreneurship continuously drew my attention in a wide range of issues. Contributions to community empowerment and poverty alleviation through social entrepreneurship span across a wide range of issues. From helping deaf, mute and physically challenged to obtain work at the Shanga River House in Tanzania, and assisting them to escape the social stigma of being “different”. As well as helping orphans of conflict and disease in Rwanda to secure an income and a livelihood at Cards from Africa in Kigali. While I stayed in Nairobi, I visited the slum area of Kibera, and learnt about “flying toilets” and the danger of visiting ordinary toilets. Particularly girls and women are at risk of getting raped, or at worst getting killed, while attending their personal business. Peepoople is one approach to adress this hazardous issue, and are being put to use by community members. More information about this in Peepoople to the rescue in Kibera. Approaches like these allow communities to identify their problems and issues at stake, and to utilise their own resources, skills and knowledge to empower themselves.
I take a great interest in both education and teaching, as well as social entrepreneurship. Last August I commenced studies in Innovation and Entrepreneurship on a part time basis. In the future I would like to partner with organisations to promote the concept of social entrepreneurship on a community basis. The main goal will be to address issues of how individuals and communities may empower themselves through the use of local knowledge, skills and resources as well as capacity building.
And you might find it interesting to watch this film about Muruganantham in Tamil Nadu, India, who invented Rags to Pads. Affordable menstrual pads made from recycled material. Only 2% of women in rural India use sanitary napkins, due to high cost or low accessibility. Using rags or towels lead to infections, infertility, cancer or even, death. The only problem was, he could not find a female volunteer to test the pads, so he had to do it himself… Due to social stigma, his wife left him, but eventually she came back. Now his business is up and running in many communities.
Muruganantham has proven that with creativity and problem solving skills it is possible to implement solutions of social innovation. By doing so, he has contributed to women’s empowerment through income generation and safeguarding their health. And in the long run, it is a means of fighting poverty in vulnerable communities.
Have a look here: