Device Challenge grantees share promising early reports

Author: Lisa Obradovich | August 23, 2017

Until recently, Samuel*, a driver for the Mugumu Safe House in Mugumu, Tanzania, had never used a smartphone or a map. “I had to rely on others to direct me to each village and sometimes we wasted fuel. Now I can find the way myself with this phone. I am very happy and it will help my work a lot,” he said.

Samuel received his phone from the Humanitarian OpenStreet Map Team (HOT). HOT trains volunteers to create navigable maps of local areas that are used by rescuers to find and assist girls being forced to undergo female genital mutilation. “Before the mapping project started the maps of Serengeti (region) were very bad. Only the Serengeti National Park and Mugumu town were included, so it was difficult to find the villages to rescue girls,” said Samuel.

HOT received the funding for the smartphones from the NetHope 2017 Device Challenge, a collective impact grant program launched in January 2017 for nonprofits to advance their missions through the use of phones, tablets, and other devices.

The program was created thanks to a $5.5 million grant award from Google.org, the charitable arm of Google. Grantees were selected from a highly competitive field of over 300 applications and include both NetHope members and other nonprofits. Anudip Foundation for Social Welfare; CARE; Catholic Relief Services; Concern Worldwide; Family Educational Services Foundation; FINCA International; Girl Effect; HOT; International Rescue Committee; Management Sciences for Health; Mercy Corps; The Nature Conservancy; Norwegian Refugee Council; Pact; Plan International USA; Save the Children Federation, Inc; and SOS Children’s Villages International.

Grantees are using the funds in a variety of programs around the world, ranging from education to healthcare to...

Read the full story at the NetHope Blog.

*A pseudonym has been used to protect Samuel’s identity.  

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