In conversation with Dayn Amade, founder of the Community Tablet in Mozambique
Tell us more about your initiative and what inspired you to start the Community Tablet?
What are some of the challenges that you have faced?

When I started to go to communities and for community members, this was something new and people were afraid. Like, what is this? What is this coming to do to us? But we changed our approach with the community, for example before Covid, we would have nice local music and people started to see us as a friend and not their enemy. The second thing we did before we went into the community was that we worked together with a university in Mozambique, particularly the faculty of anthropology and sociology. Because in order for us to approach them in a correct way, one of the most important issues to understand is the culture and the habits of a specific community.

One of the challenges that we had, in the beginning, was that the community did not know how to use the tablets properly. Another challenge we faced was sometimes the children in the communities would try to damage the tablets and we would have to replace these tablets. It was not easy, but we managed to overcome them.

What impact do you think your organisation has had in Mozambique?
With COVID are you still able to go into the communities?

We still go to the communities, but now we have to go with the Ministry of Health team because it’s compulsory for us to follow the protocols and isolate the perimeter. The Ministry of Health checks people’s temperature and ensures that everybody has masks. Covid has affected our operations, for example before the pandemic we used to have 500 people come to the trailer but now we only have 200 people. We also produced and disseminated an informational video about Covid which explained to communities what is Covid and how to wash their hands.

What does #DIYAfrica mean to you?

There is this saying that you have to solve your problems, nobody’s going to come and solve your problems for you. So if you are not going to take the lead, you can’t just sit and wait for the answers to be given to you, you have to face the challenges and reflect. I think the major thing that I have learned in regards to ‘do it yourself’ is about self-reflection. You have to reflect, you have to know what kind of story you want to tell the world or your community and nobody’s going to do it for you.

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