Tuesday, November 01, 2005

BoingBoing just linked to a great site for microlending - basically you sponsor a small business in the third world with a loan ($25), they use the money, and repay the loan (you don't make interest on it, however). I think the site was pretty small and the interest in it was huge (especially after being linked to by a major blog), so there aren't any opportunities at the moment. Check back in a week and I'm sure there will be more.

Also, check out this really cool article on text-messaging for social justice in Africa:
Fahamu (a word meaning 'consciousness' or 'comprehension' in Kiswahili) fields digital publishing and communications -- CD-ROMs, the web, e-newsletters, and now, mobile phone text messaging -- in diverse ways that let the group, in Manji's words, "pack a punch larger than our weight" to support progressive social change in Africa, empower Africans to control their own economies and political systems -- and stave off a repeat of the tragedies that hang over the heads of African social justice activists.

"Rwanda, and the genocide in Rwanda, reflect, for most of us on the continent, a future mirror," Manji said when I talked with him and colleagues Patrick Burnett and Becky Faith at September's MobileActive Convergence.

"Our histories are very similar, and the crises which we face are similar -- just as in 1994, at one end of the continent you had an emancipatory struggle that led to the downfall of apartheid, you had another on the other end decimated by genocide. We all recognize that those components co-exist in our countries. But these outcomes are not inevitable."

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