Campaign Update

My Big, Audacious Goal

Kirthi
Posted December 21, 2016 from India


Kirthijay

It started as a little dream inside my head: use technology to provide possibilities for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).

I wanted a survivor of violence, anywhere in the world, to both find and access help when she needed it and for it to be available without hindrance. This dream manifested itself in the form of the GBV Help Map.

The subjectivity of it all was striking: What is hindrance, how easy is access, what can be done beyond making information available, and how would different situations be handled? I had so many questions and realized this was my big, audacious goal. When I decided that these questions were more than I could handle, I almost decided to not move forward with my big vision. Two hours later, I received an email from World Pulse, telling me that I had been chosen as an Impact Leader after submitting my vision for the GBV Help Map. This was a sign for me to not give up on my big, audacious goal!

As an impact leader, I was provided a team of mentors: Wendy Moomaw, Kelly Botto, and Dafna Hayman who believed in my vision and my capabilities, and from then on, there was no looking back.

Putting the GBV map together and integrating it as an app came with its own set of challenges such as figuring out who went on the map, developing a verification process that would make an organization worthy of inclusion on the map, and piecing the data together in a way that would work for the app.

During the app’s creation, the external forces around the world had its own set of strange happenings: Hillary Clinton lost the election in the US, two large currency denominations in the Indian currency were demonetized, and recently, the Chief Minister of my state passed away. These external distractions resulted in unplanned and undeclared holidays and felt like emotional blows. It was a little difficult to keep the strength. Every email of support from my team of amazing mentors furthered my resolve and I doubled up my efforts.

While the screens of the app and the app’s structure are being prepared, I finely tuned the data so the app would always have access on its own server. It then became apparent that we were on the right track. All that’s left to do is to pull the data into the app’s functionality and present it, which should take place shortly.

Support came in from all directions, and it was especially touching to see how the concept of collaboration, not competition, came to be. Since I have the benefit of an audience and a community of users to tap into at The Red Elephant Foundation, I began marketing the GBV Help Map as one of the programs at The Red Elephant Foundation. Other social entrepreneurs soon bought into my dream as well, and began sharing and expanding the network of users by taking the map to their followers and beneficiaries. As a result of the GBV map online, today, there are about 1500 women who have written to me—on email, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and even on text messages—to tell me that they used the map for themselves or for friends or relatives caught in difficult situations. Further, they write back saying that many a time, they felt like they had made the decision to leave a violent relationship or to report a crime of gender-based violence, but they didn’t know where to go or who to trust.

One of the common themes of all these messages is this: The map has created a trust-building opportunity for survivors to seek out organizations that provide exactly what they need after facing violence.

Looking back, I'm glad I didn't give up on my big audacious goal. Today, the map is already helping many women!

Comments 15

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Anjana Vaidya
Dec 21, 2016
Dec 21, 2016

Dear Kirthi, It's a great that the survivors can get immediate response through your app. Congratulations . Keep inspiring the wold. Love, anjana

yvoneakoth
Dec 22, 2016
Dec 22, 2016

Dear Kirithi,

Congratulations on being selected an Impact Leader. I am really inspired by your work especially the use of technology to provide possibilities for survivors of gender based violence. This way, women can access  services or seek information from the comfort of their homes. Thank you for the work you are doing. I am learning a lot and will follow in your footsteps. 

Olanike
Dec 28, 2016
Dec 28, 2016

Thumbs up for you and your team Kirthi! I am so excited to see the amazing reach you've already recorded with your GBV Help Map. Best wishes as you progress with your timely innovation!!!!!!!

Hugs, Olanike.

Nancy Harkrider
Dec 31, 2016
Dec 31, 2016

You are one of the reasons I still have hope.   As the US struggles with deep collateral damage, strong leadership in the rest of the world becomes more essential for the planet's survival.  Stay audacious!  Know that women all over the world have your back.   In sisterhood and sending love

WorldCare
Jan 02, 2017
Jan 02, 2017

Hello again Kirthi, I am so impressed with your initiating the new app, GBV Help Map. It is a fabulous idea. That some are already benefiting from it is amazing. Thank you for writing the details about its success. I commend you for your tireless efforts, and I wish you well as the future unfolds and these tools grow and develop. Be well good woman!

Rahmana Karuna
Jan 06, 2017
Jan 06, 2017

oh Kirthi,

wow, just wow

identifying battered woman syndrome in the emergency room of hospitals was my research proposal for my college degree in nursing in 1983,and there was no research at the time. then again in a more advanced degree i lifted my own research proposal and by that time there was much research on this.. and here you are connecting us all together on an app. women are strong and courageous and i am sooooo very satisfied that World Pulse and the community of mentors was there for you.

hugs

Tamarack Verrall
Jan 08, 2017
Jan 08, 2017

Dear Kirthi, You are so right, your plan is truly enormous. It takes a strong woman to dream big. What great news that you have already gotten this far in developing the map and support network. Your personal decision to trust your idea and just continue to take steps to make it happen, is inspirational to me. I love the timing that as you weighed the difficulties of your plans, World Pulse was there to let you know how important your idea and work is, that idea that began as a little dream in your head. Best wishes with all you are doing.

With love in sisterhood, Tam

Megha Venketasamy
Jan 09, 2017
Jan 09, 2017

My Kirthooo :) :) :) 

This is inspiring but beyond it is just amazing how you invest of your love and energy is supporting others.

You are such a blessing Way to Go my Kirthoooo

LillianVB
Jan 09, 2017
Jan 09, 2017

Dear kirthi, Congratulations on being selected as an impact leader and very interesting digital innovation. Do you have a link of this that your can share? Great Work!

Kirthi
Jan 09, 2017
Jan 09, 2017

Sure, dear Lillian! http://gbvhelpmap.crowdmap.com :) 

Kirthi
Jan 09, 2017
Jan 09, 2017

Thank you all, my dear sisters. Your love, encouragement and support means the world to me. Love to all of you <3

Happy New Year!

Rupal
Jan 18, 2017
Jan 18, 2017

Dear Kirthi,

You truly are an inspiration for everyone. The work you have been doing for the common good of people is amazing and inspiring. I am so glad you didn't give up on this app. This surely will help so many people who need it.

Thank you for everything you are doing for the world..

love!!! 

Kirthi
Jan 18, 2017
Jan 18, 2017

Thank you Rupal :) :) <3 *HUGS* 

iyamail
Mar 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017

Thank you Kirthi, you are an encouragement for those of us with audacious goals too!

Sophie Ngassa
Mar 09, 2017
Mar 09, 2017

Dear Kirthi, your story has just inspired me to never give up.When you are fighting for a good reason , there will always be a solution.Thanks for sharing your story, I'm waiting for updates.