Campaign Update

The App Is Nearly Ready

Kirthi
Posted January 23, 2017 from India

A sneak peek of the app!

What if I told you that with the push of a button on a smartphone or tablet, you can find help for a survivor of gender-based violence anywhere in the world? That’s right! The app’s nearly ready, and I am SUPER excited about sharing the updates.

Let me pause and share right from the top! This has been a phenomenal journey with its own challenges and gains at each turn, and the drama is what energises me every time I look back.

December was a harrowing time. We had a cyclone in Chennai with 192 km/hr winds, and it left us with 4,000 fallen trees. Everyday life came to a grinding halt: the grid continues to be unreliable, as internet and cell phone connectivity took a beating. A week prior, Chennai (and the state I live in, Tamil Nadu) was in a state of mourning after losing our leader, the Chief Minister, a fierce and inspiring woman. These events made me realise something rather deep: life is much more than that little hyphen between birth and death. There is so much to do while I am here and the resounding impact left behind can make the world a much better place. At the time, I did feel low and upset that many things were not going my way, but realizing the impact I could have woke me, and I began to work harder. The biggest lesson I learned in December was that it is very important to keep moving forward.

Everyday onward became about making gains, about looking ahead and planning with resilience. I used the time off the grid to connect with friends using the our “former tools” of in-person conversations and telephone conversations and discovered a range of potential testers for the app when ready. So far, I have testers lined up from nearly 87 countries.

Despite the patchy internet connection, I've gotten close to 12,000 entries on the map—which means that many more women are going to have access to help and resources that can keep them safer around the world. I've been blessed with great friends at Safecity and The SAR Foundation, whose collaborative support helps expand impact of the map to more and more women. I'm also incredibly grateful to find organisations like 28TooMany and The Athena Network, for letting me tell my story around building the map. My team - Wendy Moomaw, Kelly Botto and Dafna Hayman, and the amazing team at World Pulse, always kept my spirits up and gave me the strength and the enthusiasm to stay the course through the tough times.

While working on the app, I realised the "gender" discourse was drowned out by discounting the importance of feminism and the understanding of feminism as equality. I found many people online, offline and in one-on-one conversations, saying that they were "not feminist, but equalist." Oftentimes, this came up while we discussed the app and what was to come, and the (lack of) understanding of gender as a concept led to many discussions where I both learned and shared what I knew. These experiences led me to chronicle a note in The Guardian on the three things I learned about gender equality. Have a look and let me know what you think. :)

As I add more data onto the map, I have also checked in with the technical development team that's helping with the coding of the app. So far, the screens are ready, and the app is on its way to accessing data that has already been parsed, and soon will be tested internally by the developers.

Now here's what I really need. I would LOVE to have my sisters across the World Pulse community join in on making this a doubly impactful initiative. If you are willing to be a volunteer supporter, here are the options you can choose from on how to be involved:

(a) Test the app in terms of technicality and functionality, or

(b) Test the app in terms of user experience and friendliness as a resource for a user in need, or

(c) Support the app through media / social media / putting the word out on it!

If you would like to volunteer, please feel free to send me a message on WorldPulse, or comment below. Please feel free to share any media contacts you think I can reach out to. Thank you!

Comments 12

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JaniceW
Jan 25, 2017
Jan 25, 2017

It's so amazing to read that you have 12,000 entries on the map. The thought of the vast number of women who will have access to resources that can keep them safer makes my spine tingle. It is truly a game changer and will give women around the world the help they need when confronted with violence and abuse. Thank you for this gift to the world. xxJ

So very proud of you.

Please share with me your updates. I'm willing to beta test for you.

Livvy

Great :-)

Posting on Facebook :-)

Carolyn Seaman
Jan 28, 2017
Jan 28, 2017

Kirthy! Kirthy! Kirthy!

You are Ahmazing! I am completely flabbergasted at your drive and passion to develop such useful and timely resource. I am constantly inspired by you and then you drop this! I love you dear Sister! 

I am interested to learn more about your inspiration behind this App development as well as the experiences you have encountered in the process (both good and challenging).

And yes! I am interested to support this process in any and every way I can. I am not sure what the expectation is to test the technicality and functionality of the App. But, I believe I will be able to help with the user experience and friendliness as a resource for a user in need and I would also love to share word about the app in local Nigeria media and social media as well. So, shoot me a word when the app is ready for testing and I am happy to help.

Love,

Carolyn

ANJ ANA
Jan 29, 2017
Jan 29, 2017

Congratulations and wish you a very best for the new app. Good luck . Best, anjana

Carol Sunborn
Jan 29, 2017
Jan 29, 2017

This app sounds so useful. Let me know if I can help in any way. I am a rural woman, kinda insulated and have a list of non profits I am in contact with, especially recently. 

Carol Sunborn
Jan 29, 2017
Jan 29, 2017

I read your essay in the Guardian and I think I learned more than I thought I would about gender equality. Thank you for so succinctly putting forth your thoughts. I found then enlightening. You gave me much to think about. In fact I think I will read it again. :)

Nicole Joseph-Chin
Jan 31, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

Kirthi, proud of your commitment to ending GBV globally. Sending you hugs!

Sophie Ngassa
Jan 31, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

Dear Kirthy,

You are doing a great job.I am so proud of your work and the updates. Thanks for sharing.Cheers!

Lana Holmes
Jan 31, 2017
Jan 31, 2017

So excited for your action oriented passion creating this important app, Kirthy! 

In love and respect for your vision!

Lana

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 03, 2017
Feb 03, 2017

Dear Kirthi,

It takes a determined woman with great heart to create such a global project. You will undoubtedly save lives. Let me know if you want to include links to the network of Shelters and Rape Crisis Centres that have been built in Canada. I appreciated your article in the Guardian on intersectionality and the fluidity of gender. So well stated on a subject still new to many, and with a voice of reason that is needed as we sort our way through to inclusivity that does not erase what work needs to continue, without ignoring what is only beginning to be properly considered. Please feel free to message me if I can be of help with testing or supporting in any way.

Congratulations on this visionary work, and on finding the strength and creativity to bring it this far. Your courage to leap over such hurdles are a reminder of how much we can accomplish if we continue to believe in our power.

With love in sisterhood,

Tam

Haileselassie Worku
Feb 07, 2017
Feb 07, 2017

hello dear your work is interesting. so work hard to achive your goal.

withregards

Haileselassie