CommKit: Technology That Connects

CommKit: Technology That Connects

Project Summary
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Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

CommKit, an internet-based communication system, uses specialized technology to enable communication between victims and survivors from Darfur living in unconnected areas and human rights advocates and reporters. Real time relationships become catalysts for action and policy change, and raw media from Darfur refugees communicate the urgency and severity of atrocities.

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1732 Aviation Blvd #138 Redondo Beach CA 90277

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What will be the impact of your idea? 

Initially refugees who have been trained on CommKit will be connected to already established grassroots groups in the United States as well as middle and high schools and universities interested in creating a sister school-like relationship with refugees. Beyond the development of relationships of over 100 refugees with more than 100 groups in the US, Darfuris will be able to report on human rights abuses as they are happening using the CommKit. Currently reports of violence in Darfur and neighboring Chad take anywhere from 3 weeks to more than a month to reach the international community. In the one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, communication about what is happening on the ground is absolutely imperative. CommKit enables this communication and two-way interaction in a time-sensitive manner.

Who will help you develop your idea? Why are you the one to make this happen?

CommKit technology software and code have been developed by a our Board Member, Yuen-Lin Tan who has been to the refugee camps twice since 2008. Our team also includes software engineers and several team members who have practical field experience. i-ACT field teams have been to refugee camps eight times since 2005 and established relationships with refugee leaders, students, and women as well as with aid agencies working on the ground. An initial, successful training session of the software occurred in Camp Djabal in March 2009 with Mr. Tan as well as a live video feed for World Refugee Day in June 2009. The network of advocates in the United States and the refugees themselves are eager to begin communicating directly and consistently using this innovative technology.

How much will it cost to launch your idea? (This can be an estimate)

Our team has tested initial CommKits in refugee camps and is ready to deploy this year, pending financial support. In order to deploy the CommKit technology we need:
TOTAL $41,500 For initial program deployment

$25,000 4 Team Members to Travel to Darfur Refugee Camp
$9,500 Commkit Hardware
$6000 for Video, Text, Photo Satellite Transfer for a Year ($500/month)
$1000 Training Materials