Using technology to improve lives - CODA International

By Elliot Green

01 Feb 19

One of this month's Wonderful featured charities, CODA International is working on exciting tech projects which help empower local communities across the globe.

CODA International has been working for over 30 years to contribute to social change by supporting organisations in the Global South which protect human rights and address structural inequalities. A trio of fundraisers (including one of CODA's co-founders) will be taking to the pavements at the Eastbourne Half Marathon this year in order to raise funds for important programmes in Zambia and South Africa.

The charity enables local communities to develop in different areas such as healthcare and politics, often with the use of technologies as an enabler. CODA works closely with:

  • Organisations which work to support those deprived of their rights and also work to address the structural causes of deprivation and inequalities. 
  • Organisations which have a bottom-up approach. They take a collaborative approach to supporting others, sensitive to power relations and a deep understanding of the needs and context of different communities and individuals. 
  • Organisations which use technology as a means, not as an end. This means technology is used to amplify reach and social change where it can be effective, rather than using it in isolation from the needs and context.

"Our values include self-determination, solidarity, trust and participation – working to support members of a community, with their collective initiatives and knowledge of local conditions, where people are able to use their skills to work for a better future.

"An example of such an organisation is TALC (Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign), a leading Zambian user-led HIV organisation, who we have worked with to set up an innovative pilot project using mobile technology to support people living with HIV, funded by UKAid. TALC's ‘END AIDS portal' used text messages to deliver information to approximately 50,000 people living with HIV across three Zambian provinces. Lack of information about antiretroviral (ARV) therapies and side effects from the treatment can result in some people missing critical doses of their live saving medication. 

"The 'End AIDS portal' is staffed by TALC members, who are also living with HIV, trained to respond to questions by text. This important pilot provided an easily accessible, anonymous resource to support people living with HIV and help them to take ARV medication regularly. Coda International hopes to continue to support TALC’s innovative use of technology to support people living with HIV across Zambia."

We asked Sonia at CODA international about their fundraising activity on Wonderful.

1. Is there a particular fundraising event or project happening at the moment?

"We have three budding fundraisers who are very close to CODA International and have signed up to run no less than 13 miles at the Eastbourne Half Marathon! Tony, Paul and Duncan are taking part to raise funds for three exciting digital citizenship projects. An amazing team of volunteers have been put together for projects that will use technology to enable transformative social and political change. The projects will use facebook and mobile phone technology to enhance democratic processes and health treatments in Zambia and South Africa. You can find out more and make a donation by heading over to one of Tony, Paul or Duncan’s fundraising pages."

2.  How did you discover Wonderful?

"We use a WHYPAY? telephone conference room and when we were looking for a way to fundraise for CODA - it made sense to register with Wonderful."

3.  What made you decide to start using Wonderful as a fundraising platform?

"The platform was recommended as a cost effective way of raising funds so that the money raised went directly to the charity. It also looks good and was easy to set up our charity page."

4.  How has Wonderful helped your charity in particular?

"Our fundraisers have found it easy to set up their fundraising pages and link to the charity. It has made the whole process very simple. It is nice to be able to let our donors know that all the money they give goes directly to the charity."

To find out more about CODA International take a look at their Wonderful charity profile or head over to the CODA International website.

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