In a few hours — likely while I am still sleeping soundly — the polls will open in Kenya.
CNN shared a piece titled Why Kenya’s referendum is important by David McKenzie which I found helpful in gaining a simple summary understanding of the referendum.
There is a website which appears to invite Kenyans and others to join the conversation about this referendum. You can upload video or post on the blog created there. Interesting to see how this conversation is playing out using the internet.
Still, most Kenyans won’t have (easy) access to the internet, but they do use cell phones to text with great regularity. In a country where the most recent national election ended very badly, very violently there is a good bit of attention being paid to the process. Election monitoring is critical — but the current system that is doing this is limited.
Ushahidi is right in the middle of finding ways to use technology and empower Kenyans to make the way the election was monitored as much of a historical event as the outcome of the election. This video, by Jon Shuler, and featuring Erik Hersman will give you an idea of what that’s all about. As will the Ushahidi press release dated today.Vodpod videos no longer available.
The issues are complex. I’m joining many others around the world in praying for peace in Kenya through this process and asking God to guide the process and bring ultimate glory to Himself.
I work with Erica (Jon’s wife) and Russ (Erik’s dad) in the Offices of the President of Wycliffe USA.