Neha Wadekar

Journalist

Thousands of Kenyan single mothers, widows use mobile money to escape poverty – Thomson Reuters Foundation

December 8, 2016

Almost 200,000 Kenyan households, many headed by poor, rural women, have lifted themselves out of poverty using mobile money services, experts said on Thursday, calling for the technology to be introduced in other developing countries.

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Armed with machetes, Kenyan slum residents hustle for security – Thomson Reuters Foundation

November 21, 2016

Vigilante security groups in the Kenyan slums are one piece in a patchwork of informal survival strategies woven together by residents to improve their safety in places where muggings, break-ins and robberies are a routine part of life. The prevalence of private security providers, ranging from social networks and opportunistic enforcers to tireless local guardians, highlight the government’s failure to fulfill one of its core functions.

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Rangers try gaming technology to protect African wildlife – Reuters

September 30, 2016

The campaign to track down poachers and protect endangered species in Africa’s embattled reserves is tapping into the technology used in the virtual world of online poker and other computer games. A U.S.-funded initiative is applying artificial intelligence and game theory algorithms to predict the movement of poachers, helping rangers who are testing the new technology in Uganda to find illegal hunters and their animal traps.

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Phones protect Uganda’s sex workers from police harassment – Thomson Reuters Foundation

September 6, 2016

In Uganda, sex work is illegal and highly stigmatised, making women vulnerable to unlawful arrest, rape, bribery, beating and murder. Now, a new technology initiative has provided around 1,000 sex workers across Uganda with information-loaded digital memory cards so they can use their phones to learn how to protect themselves against violence, HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies.

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Hundreds of Uber drivers in Kenya go on strike after price cuts – Reuters

August 2, 2016

Hundreds of drivers signed up with ride-hailing service Uber in Kenya went on strike on Tuesday to protest against fare cuts. The U.S.-based company, which started operations in the East African country in January 2015, is cutting total fares by up to 35 percent to boost demand for the service, amid growing competition from local firms.

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Surging heroin use threatens Kenya’s HIV/AIDS gains – Thomson Reuters Foundation

July 19, 2016

Over the past 20 years, Kenya has slashed its HIV prevalence rate to 6 percent today from 11 percent in 1996 through campaigns to encourage safer sex between heterosexual couples and improved access to antiretroviral drugs. But with heroin use on the rise in East Africa, little has been done in Kenya to reduce the risk to injecting drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men, who together make up more than 30 percent of new infections.

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Madonna moved to tears by case of child rape in Kenya – Thomson Reuters Foundation

July 5, 2016

Pop star Madonna was reduced to tears during a trip to Kenya as she listened to a man describe how his five-year-old daughter had been recently raped by a neighbour in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. The “Material Girl” singer, who took her four children to the east African country, met Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Monday to discuss working with her charity to scale up maternal and child health programmes and initiatives against gender violence.

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Kenya seeks tech alternatives to break taboo over sex education in schools – Thomson Reuters Foundation

July 4, 2016

Teenagers across Africa urgently need more information about sex to combat soaring rates of HIV and unwanted pregnancies, experts say, as widespread taboos and cultural conservatism prevent discussions in schools and homes. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Nailab, a Kenyan firm that supports technology startups, are behind the latest initiative, which targets entrepreneurs for their ideas on providing sex education through technology and social media.

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Uber driver data in Kenya helps bridge credit gap – Reuters

June 30, 2016

Sidian Bank has approved its first car loans to experienced Uber drivers in Kenya, using a model the ride hailing service hopes can be rolled out across countries in Africa where a lack of customer data limits lending.

 

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Syrian-American refugees fight a long-distance war – The Huffington Post

January 25, 2016

The Syrian community in Southern California has thrown itself into different types of activities, including political advocacy, media and education campaigns and individual grassroots efforts, to help victims of war and to end the Syrian conflict that has been raging for over five years.

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Refugees discuss most difficult part of living in America – The Huffington Post

January 25, 2016

After escaping the perils of civil war in Syria, many refugees encounter a new set of challenges they never expected as they attempt to resettle and build new lives in the United States.

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