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Food, shelter & clothing

People who are detained without trial, almost always, especially in Africa, are breadwinners. What their families will live on while they are under arrest must occupy the detainees' minds. Technology can assist these detainees' families at least meet life's basic needs.

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Mobile money transfer has revolutionised the way people send and receive money. M-Pesa money transfer's success in Kenya is an example.
Once word gets out that a person has been detained on terrorism charges, bodies such as Amnesty International can support the suspect's family meet their daily needs by either sending them money via a mobile transfer system, or sending the money directly to suppliers such as shopkeepers, landlords and lawyers (while sending the families an allowance to pay for expenses such as bus fare).
If the suspect is released, then the payments can stop or be reduced until s/he becomes economically active again.

What kind of resources are needed to get this idea off the ground and/or support it over time?

Mobile phones (they are now ubiquitous in Africa!), product and service suppliers and families with mobile money accounts, network providers, electricity to charge mobile phones.

How could this idea also be adapted to work in low-tech situations?

Mobile money transfers are suited for low-tech situations where many people have no access to conventional bank accounts.


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Photo of Edmund Ng

This sounds like a great way to support for the prisoners but I don't know if the software/hardware setup costs is going to be a killer. Also, many of the families in Africa are not so tech driven so even if somebody were to give them money say via Western Union, they wouldn't even know how to access them.

However, I think it's a matter of time before technology catches up and I hope you all the best in the project.

Edmund Ng

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