Gender-based violence is prevalent in every region of the world and knows no social, economic or national boundaries. To improve access to help and support services globally, the India-based NGO The Red Elephant Foundation has launched Saahas / The GBV Help Map, for survivors as well as bystanders of gender-based violence. The app, which features information and directories of verified services across 196 countries, was coded by the NGO’s founder Kirthi Jayakumar. It uses data researched and uploaded to a map by UN Online Volunteers.
“We split a massive list of countries among us, and by the end of two months we had a list of 15,000 organizations around the world who provide aid to women who have survived violence,” Kirthi says. She trained the volunteers on mapping via a video and a Skype call, and organized the collaboration using email, spreadsheets and Google Drive. After the data collection, she and the volunteers made verification calls to ensure the telephone numbers and organizations listed were accurate and operational. They also checked the organizations’ websites and social media before uploading the data into a web-based crowd map and the app. “So far, 1,700 survivors have benefited from this project.”