Brenda Burrell, Freedom Fone’s pivotal person had a fabulous time at the MIT meeting. Those of us back home in Zimbabwe welcomed her return for two things . . . news and inspiration from The Other Side, and Some Things To Eat (availability and choice of foodstuffs is a challenge in Harare right now). Under a canopy of trees at one of Harare’s barely functioning cafes, Brenda gave Amanda and me a wonderful review of her time spent at MIT. It’s hard to convey how important it is for those of us “left behind” to vicariously experience the richness of these events.
There are a couple of great opportunities coming up where we’ll be able to present the Freedom Fone concept to others and get feedback about development and implementation. In September we will be attending the International Media Support conference in Copenhagen. The theme of this gathering is New Media and Networked Communications Environments: Opportunities and Threats for Press Freedom and Democratization. Closer to home, in October, hopefully we’ll be participating in the MobileActive workshop in Johannesburg. It’s all thanks to the MobileActive gathering in Toronto in 2005 that the idea of Freedom Fone came to be.
In the meantime in the midst of being involved in spectacularly weird elections, an economy in nose dive and visits to fellow human rights defenders illegally detained, we’re still very excited about progressing Freedom Fone. Life in a failed state certainly isn’t boring.