I have to admit that I found this mission daunting when I first read it. Find a hero? You mean, right now? I should just adopt a hero into my heart just like that?
(Where I'm from, it's not popular to have a hero)
And yet, once I started looking, I didn't take long to find one. And it was instant recognition. As soon as I read about her and her work that I knew I had found a mentor and someone to inspire me.
I'm now following Ory Okolloh
- a.k.a. The Kenyan Pundit
A lawyer, activist and blogger, Ory is the co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi
, a free, open source, Web / mobile-based platform capable of crowd-sourcing, sharing and mapping information in near real time. The project was born as a way to track the atrocities and human rights violations that erupted after the 2008 Kenyan presidential election. Ushahidi has since been used to help monitor elections, respond to humanitarian crises, track swine flu outbreaks, enable citizen journalism and monitor crucial pharmaceutical supply levels.
I'm respond to this project for so many reasons -- because it supports human rights work -- because it supports citizen journalism -- because its an open source project -- and because it gives a voice to people in dire need. I'm reading the Ushahidi report on Haiti after the 2010 earthquake
and I'm having a hard time putting into words all the emotions that I am feeling as I read so many people ask for water, for tents, for food...
This is technology that humanizes.
Not only have I found a hero, I have also found my Ada