Airtel Kenya has bagged the Annual Kenya Red Cross Humanitarian Effort Award. The award is in recognition of Airtel’s continued support and contribution to the Kenya Red Cross Society’s work of alleviating human suffering and saving lives through the Short Message Service (SMS) based Trilogy Emergency Relief Application (TERA), the first of its kind public emergency information service in Kenya.
The award was handed over to Airtel Kenya at this year’s Kenya Red Cross Volunteer Awards that seeks to recognize acts of great contribution by private organizations, youth groups, individuals as well as institutions such as Universities for their exceptional support to the organization’s humanitarian mission.
(TOP: From Left- Airtel Kenya’s Communications Executive Jesse Kisenya and CSR Manager Aigeldel Kirumburu receive the Kenya Red Cross Annual Humanitarian Award from IFRC Gender Coodinator Nkhoma Potipher).
Exactly a year ago, Airtel Kenya teamed up with Kenya Red Cross Society to launch the first of its kind location based public emergency information service in Kenya that continues to offer disaster management information to Airtel customers across the country through their mobile phones at the touch of a button in emergency cases or outbreaks such as floods, fire and terrorist attacks.
The TERA application, hosted on the Airtel network is designed to be operated remotely, allowing the Kenya Red Cross staff to easily use it live in any disaster cases. Unlike traditional SMS services, which require broadcast messages to be delivered to every subscriber. It enables the Kenya Red Cross to specify a particular region or even a neighborhood to send text messages to affected people through their mobile phones. The affected communities are also able to send updates messages with information concerning the situation on the ground back to the Kenya Red Cross. Consequently, TERA text messages elicit exceptional response rates from mobile phone users in need of aid, giving them an effective voice in the management of their situation.
Kenya is the second country in Africa to use the TERA technology. The technology was first used in Sierra Leone where International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) partnered with leading mobile operators to reach out to people during the Ebola crisis.
While accepting the recognition, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said, “We are delighted with the recognition of our efforts in using technology to provide life-saving information to our communities in Kenya. We will continue to adapt and effectively deploy more such solutions to enrich the lives of our customers.”
“We are grateful to Airtel for enabling us free access to The TERA system that helps us save lives through timely delivery of targeted advice to disaster affected communities by making our disaster relief efforts more efficient. It also helps to give communities a voice, ensuring that the correct type of aid is delivered to the right places. Most of all, it lets disaster affected people know that they are not alone, giving them the strength that they need to carry on”, said Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Dr. Abbas Gullet.
Airtel Kenya was distinguished from among its peer organizations in Kenya including NIC Bank, Safaricom M-Pesa Foundation, Base Titanium and CBM for their respective contributions to the cause of Kenya Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.