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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
06 mei 2006

KPN teaches Africans to SMS for safe sex

Hivos, an organisation that has always been focusing on innovative ways to enhance knowledge and information, was glad to find a partner in KPN for a four year programme, in which young ICT-experts share their skills with development organisations in Africa. Paul Maassen: "For this coming year we have selected some six, seven projects that can make a strategic use of modern technology. One of them is an organisation in Malawi, that has a telephone service for young people who are abused or who want information on HIV/AIDS. It is a concept that can be easily multiplied in Africa, since mobile phones are on the rise. KPN is going to assist in this. Another project is run by an NGO in Kenya, involved in providing young people with information on sexuality. With a newspaper, radio programmes and debates at schools they try to address themes like safe sex. Together with KPN they have developed an SMS-tool to interact with a large audience. If for instance the radio show asks 'You are going to party on Friday night, but what precautions will you take?', listeners can answer by SMS. Also this SMS-tool is becoming very popular and many other NGOs are eager to implement it." KPN-volunteers spend between one and four weeks on location in Africa. Half of this time is paid by KPN, the other half is their own. Paul Maassen: "Yes, these people offer part of their holidays, which means they are very committed. But in the application round we want to make sure that they are also very flexible. They will have to be able to switch from a Western business setting to an African NGO-setting. This means they will have to come up with unexpected new methods in order to be successful." P+ Webtip: HIVOS