The Web Summit 2014 was an opportunity for technology companies across the globe to come together to share ideas, innovations and advances in technology. For us at Ding it was an opportunity to share the power of top-up.
Our stand at the Summit featured our live screens, which showed phones across the world being topped-up in real time. More importantly, it enabled us to highlight our work with the Oxfam Pink Phones Project.
The Pink Phones Project is an initiative from Oxfam in Cambodia where they have distributed mobile phones to women in rural communities. According to Oxfam ‘It is part of a number of digital vision projects that aim to use the latest developments in technology to change the lives of people affected by severe poverty and injustice.’ During our time at the Web Summit we asked attendees to make a donation which Ding then matched. Our screens enabled donor to see their top up being delivered in real time to the women in Cambodia.
A topped-up mobile phone may seem like a strange gift to give to a rural community but the difference which it makes is truly significant. Oxfam have kindly shared the stories of some of the women being helped in the campaign with us, and we are delighted to share them with you;
Chum Kor is one of three women to receive a pink mobile phone in her local area but the benefits the phones bring stretch wide enough to reach almost the entire community.
“I’m a poor farmer who grows cucumber, cabbage and water lily,” she explains. “I have been a farmer for seven years.”
Oxfam sends vital information about weather patterns and market prices to Chum Kor on her phone which helps her to harvest ahead of bad weather and sell her crops for more competitive prices.
“The text message is really important because it helps me decide which crops for the appropriate time, and it helps me to increase productivity. Yesterday I received information about the weather and I harvested my vegetables before the storm came.”
Chum Kor is responsible for sharing this information with the rest of her community so that more families can benefit from the project.
Being part of the project means that Chum has been able to buy a bigger plot of land, harvest and sell more vegetables, save money and make improvements to her family home. The thing she is most proud of is that she is now able to send her little girl to school.
“The benefits and money that I have gained from the pink phones project I use for my child. I buy stationary for her, books, pens, uniform for school... I also save some money for her to pursue a higher education in the future. I am really proud of myself.”
Vansy lives in a rural community and has benefitted from Oxfam's pink phones project in Cambodia.
The simple phones are going a long way in protecting the community's livelihoods and in securing them a better future.
They enable the women to buy bigger plots of land, sell more vegetables, save money and make improvements to their family homes.
Before the project, women were not in a position of equality with the men in selling their crops and bargaining for the best price.
By receiving updates on weather and market information, the pink phones have given women the power of knowledge and brought them to an equal footing.
The phones are also used to call traders to arrange collections of produce and also to call doctors when children are sick.
A woman leader involved in the project says: “Sometimes I organise a meeting and call the other women from the community to gather together and tell them about the price at the market, sometimes I call them and sometimes I text them.”
Ding delivers top-up to over 80,000 phones per day and in many cases a simple top-up can be life changing. This is what we call the Ding effect.
Visit our Pink Phones Project Pinterest Board to see more of the stories of the Cambodian women that Oxfam is helping.
What do you think of the Oxfam Pink Phones initiative? Let us know in the comments below!