March 2, 2019: Lusaka, Zambia - There is nothing more exciting than hosting an event on an issue you care closely about. On March 2, SAFIGI Foundation (Safety First for Girls) received a mini-grant from Open Knowledge International in collaboration with the mini grant scheme of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom to host Open Data Day in Zambia.
The timing could not have been better because I wasn't even supposed to be in the country at the time, so ODD19 was the perfect gift to keep my mind occupied instead of mulling over spilled milk (or delayed visa's).
Event planning is not my forte. I once planned an event where only the organizer showed up. I had a near meltdown, especially because my camera's SD Card suddenly went burst. I had hoped too much of chance then and it had fallen through. For ODD19, I was still holding on to chance. In an amazing way, the event was a great success. We planned for a female powered Open Data Day, and 80 percent participants were female. All sessions were led by women.
The most fantastic part of this event, to me, was meeting UN Online Volunteers whom I'd collaborated with via SAFIGI on the Safety Report Data Analysis on Core Issues Affecting Safety of Girls.
ODD19 in Lusaka was filled with graffiti, cake, and an atmosphere to be the change we want to see in our Community.
SAFIGI, best known as Safety First for Girls, is the youth and female led organization which I kickstarted as a blog when I was 17. The highlight of ODD day is one of my classmates from High School joined SAFIGI and did a lot of organizing and planning. It is beautiful when people who know you are willing to be core contributors to your work. Learn more about SAFIGI here.