Modesta Msabila Tanzania, 17
project: our cries
basic human NEEDS: safety
Theme Song: "Another Me" by Barbie
As a student in Tanzania, the great distance between home and school was an obstacle for Modesta to attend school every day. Making the trip even more challenging was the frequent harassment, humiliation, physical harm and fear she and other students experienced at the hands of the bus drivers. It was also common for the drivers to drop them off late to school, resulting in punishment for their tardiness and disruption of their learning. When her peers attempted to strike, it would only lead to a cycle of more harassment and interruption to their education.
Modesta coded and founded Our Cries, a web-based system allowing students, or adults on their behalf, to report bus incidents and drivers. Reports can be made via physical mailboxes at schools, an app on phones and computers, or a text messaging system. They have collected hundreds of reports and stopped harmful behavior on 10 buses in just the first round of responses. Our Cries was awarded third place out of 21 projects in the 2014 Apps and Girls Foundation’s annual competition, and received the Innovation Fund grant from the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology.