Teacher’s quick thinking saves pupil’s life

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When Keneilwe Kgosiemang, a teacher at Johannesburg Girls Preparatory school, downloaded Namola in August, never did she think she would have to use it. Let alone twice in two weeks.

 

“I had used Namola two weeks earlier when I was hijacked outside my house,” says Ms Kgosiemang. “When one of my Grade 7 pupils collapsed on Thursday morning and started convulsing, my first thought was I had to get her medical help fast.”

 

Ms Kgosiemang opened Namola, supported by Dialdirect, and requested assistance.

 

When the Namola Operator received the alert, she gathered as much information as she could about the situation and the child, before coordinating help for the child.

 

“Having two children at home myself, it’s always a difficult when a call comes in involving a hurt child,” says the Namola Operator. “Ms Kgosiemang told me that the pupil was completely unresponsive after the seizure, her eyes were open but she wasn’t moving. I just knew that I had to find her the fastest help possible.”

 

And thanks to Namola’s latest product offering, Namola Watch, that is exactly what the Namola Operator did.

 

Namola Watch allows community crime-fighting organisations to provide help in emergencies. Luckily one of Namola’s Watch Responders, Muhammed, from Vision Tactical was in the area and arrived on scene within 8 minutes.

 

As well as being a security company, Vision Tactical is also supported by ER24 for medical emergencies. When Muhammed heard about the medical emergency, he also jumped on the radio to ensure that ER24 was able to get there quickly. 4 minutes after he arrived, 12 minutes from the time of the call, ER24 pulled up to the scene of the incident and managed to stabilize the child.

 

“What is truly amazing to see here is the communication between various responders to ensure that the Namola user got the help that they needed,” says Peter Matthaei, CEO of Namola. “That is exactly what we envisioned for Namola Watch — a network of responders working together to serve the citizens of South Africa in their time of need.”

 

Namola spoke to Ms Kgosiemang after the incident to see how the child was doing.

 

“She is great,” says Ms Kgosiemang. “I spoke to her mom and she was discharged from the hospital. I think that she was lucky to get the help she did so quickly. Thank you to all involved for turning a very scary situation into a supportive one.”

 

Thank you Ms Kgosiemang for trusting Namola with your emergencies.

 

If you are part of a neighbourhood watch and would like to know more about Namola Watch, visit https://namola.com/watch/

Teach your children to use Namola

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Teach your kids to get the right help in an emergency with these three simple steps:

Open Namola App. Put the app on your home screen or dock so that they can find it easily.

Hold down the Request Assistance button for three seconds. Count with them while they hold down the button. The button needs to be completely red.

Answer the phone. The most important aspect of teaching your child to use Namola is to ensure that they know that they need to answer the phone. Practice with your child and teach them that the Namola Operator is their friend. Our Response Centre Operators will make sure that they ask the correct things to determine what kind of help to send.

Make sure that you #GetHelpFast. Download Namola FREE.

You might also like Tips for teaching kids to use Namola Safety App

Tips for teaching kids to use Namola Safety App

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Make sure your child knows where the Namola App is situated on your smartphone. Your child may know how to use Namola, but if they can’t find the app on your phone, that will be the real problem.

Discuss scenarios in which they would request assistance through Namola. These would include, but are not limited to: fires, accidents, or when “mommy and daddy fall down and can’t get up”.

Get your child to talk to the Namola Operator. The last thing you want in an emergency is for a child to freeze and to not be able to tell inform the operator that there is an emergency. Explain to your child that the Namola Operator is a friend. With Namola’s test feature, test getting assistance frequently and let your child answer the phone when the Namola Operator calls.

Make sure your child knows how to answer your smartphone. You may think that all the hard work has been done with your child holding down the request assistance button, but you should also make sure that they know how to answer the phone.

Practice makes perfect. Ask them to show you what they would do in an emergency on a frequent basis. With Namola’s test feature, a user is encouraged to test as many times as they like. This is a great opportunity to teach kids and get them to practice.

Download Namola FREE http://namola.co/teachkids

You may also like: Why Namola is the best tool to teach children how to get help in an emergency

Why Namola is the best tool to teach children how to get help in an emergency.

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Namola ensures that no matter who you are, big or small, that it’s easy to get emergency help. This is why Namola encourages parents to teach their children from a young age how to use Namola. Below are 5 ways that Namola is the best tool for kids to get help easily.

Namola is an app. No need to remember emergency numbers, all you need to do to get help fast in an emergency is hold the Namola button down for 3 seconds.

GPS coordinates. No need to worry about your child not being able to tell someone where they are in an emergency. The moment a Namola user pushes the button to request assistance, the app sends through the user’s GPS location, informing the Namola Operator the exact locationof the emergency.

Emergency information. You can fill in your emergency information details in the Namola Profile Tab. This will ensure that the Namola Operator knows exactly who needs assistance. If your child is too young to own their own smartphone, teach them to use Namola on yours. If something happens to you, using your phone will provide them with your emergency information.

Namola’s test feature. At Namola, we encourage our users to test as often as they like. With this feature, parents can role-play an emergency, teaching the child to get help with Namola and to become comfortable speaking to Namola’s Operators.

Watch our COO, Peter Adolphs, encouraging parents to teach their children to use Namola.

Download Namola FREE http://namola.co/teachkids

How to request assistance on behalf of someone else

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Dialdirect offer the following tips to report assistance with Namola on behalf of someone else:

Location, Location, Location. The most important piece of information you will need when you request assistance on behalf of someone else is their location. If you are using Namola to request assistance, they will be able to know where you are via your GPS location. If you have received a request for help and are not at the scene of the incident, ensure you have an address and/or a landmark that will help emergency responders locate the person in need of assistance.

Attention to detail. You may not want to get involved in the incident itself, but you should try and provide as many details of the incident as possible.

Dialdirect Insurance also offers information on what you will need to provide if you are reporting an incident on behalf of someone else:

Reporting a crime. Try and get a physical description of the person committing the crime. If this is a case of abuse, try and set the scene of the crime. For example, is there a history to the crime, does the perpetrator know the victim.

Reporting a medical emergency. What symptoms the person in the emergency is displaying.

“The more information one is able to provide, the better prepared the person coordinating the help will be to assist,” concludes  Matthaei.

Dialdirect offer the following tips to report assistance with Namola on behalf of someone else:

Location, Location, Location. The most important piece of information you will need when you request assistance on behalf of someone else is their location. If you are using Namola to request assistance, they will be able to know where you are via your GPS location. If you have received a request for help and are not at the scene of the incident, ensure you have an address and/or a landmark that will help emergency responders locate the person in need of assistance.

Attention to detail. You may not want to get involved in the incident itself, but you should try and provide as many details of the incident as possible.

Dialdirect Insurance also offers information on what you will need to provide if you are reporting an incident on behalf of someone else:

Reporting a crime. Try and get a physical description of the person committing the crime. If this is a case of abuse, try and set the scene of the crime. For example, is there a history to the crime, does the perpetrator know the victim.

Reporting a medical emergency. What symptoms the person in the emergency is displaying.

“The more information one is able to provide, the better prepared the person coordinating the help will be to assist,” concludes  Matthaei.

Woman held hostage gets help from concerned friend

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It was late on a Thursday night when Markho* received a WhatsApp from one of his friends, Nancy*. She had been assaulted and was being held against her will by her ex-boyfriend. She had tried to get hold of the police, but was struggling to get them to her.

 

 

“Her message was very concerning,” says Markho. ”She said that the police couldn’t find her and that she was struggling to talk to them on the phone. I knew she needed help, fast.”

Markho heard about Namola on Twitter and requested assistance. He gave the Response Operator all Nancy’s details. The Operator called Nancy to see how she could assist.

 

 

“I called Nancy to see how I could be of assistance,” says the Response Centre Operator. “She told me that the police had arrived at her request but they had left because the perpetrator had left the house to go to the shop. They said that she could call them if he returned.”

Namola’s Operator however, was not happy with this situation. She knew that Nancy would still be in danger when her ex-boyfriend came back and was scared for her life. Worried for Nancy’s safety, the Operator didn’t leave it there,  and went beyond the call of duty and phoned the Police Station Commander.

“The statistics for femicide are huge in South Africa,” says the Operator. “I didn’t want Nancy to become another name we read about in the papers. Not on my watch.”

Namola Operators will always go above and beyond to ensure that Namola Users are safe. They are taught to use their instincts, and if something doesn’t feel right, do something about it. In this case, the Namola Operator certainly did.

From the call that the Operator had with the station commander, it seemed that they were both on the same page when it came to Nancy’s safety. The Station Commander agreed with the Namola Operator that Nancy could still be in danger. Neither of them were willing to risk it.  As soon as the cops from Nancy’s incident walked in the door, the Station Commander marched them right back out to the scene. Telling them that they were not to come back unless they had the perpetrator.

An hour later, with her ex in custody, Nancy went to the police station, where she laid a charge of assault and kidnapping against him.

 

 

“Thank you guys,” Markho says. “I really appreciate your effort. She told me someone came to her rescue. Thanks for saving her life, Namola.”

Would you want a Markho in your community? The type of person who doesn’t look the other way, but instead chooses to help? The type of person who can get you help if you can’t help yourself? We can all be the Markhos of our communities. Thanks to Dialdirect, with Namola it is so easy to request help, FREE, that there is no excuse to look away. Together we need to make South Africa a safer place to live.

Download Namola FREE

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Policeman uses Namola to #GetHelpFast

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Thabo*, a forensic detective that works for SAPS in the Northern Free State, was visiting one of the local police stations when part of the building caught on fire.

“There was something burning near the station, and I think the wind blew an amber into a Lapa structure that was connected to the building. It caught alight so fast and started to burn badly,” says Thabo. ”We knew that we couldn’t put it out on our own and we needed the fire department’s help.”

Thabo opened his Namola app and requested assistance. Seconds later, one of Namola’s Operators called to confirm the emergency.

Thanks to the relationships built with public emergency responders, Namola requested the help of a fire engine and 20 minutes later the fire department arrived. Luckily they managed to extinguish the fire in time to ensure that there was not too much damage to the police station itself.

“The police are a vital part of keeping people safe,” says the Response Operator. ”I knew that I had to get the fastest possible help to them so that they could continue to do their job. Even the police need a helping hand sometimes.”

No matter who you are, or where you are in South Africa, you can get help fast with Namola. If you do not have Namola on your mobile, download and test Namola now.

* name has been changed to protect the user’s privacy

Editorial: Women are standing up and getting help.

In all the Women’s Months that South Africa has celebrated over the years, I personally think that this has been the most effective one yet. It could be that Gender Based Violence has had a lot of exposure in the last year, but everyone seems to be waking up and smelling the coffee when it comes to Gender-Based Violence. There have been some great strides made for women. Initiatives like the #MeToo movement, which is a movement against sexual harassment and assault and more recently and locally the #TotalShutdown March are giving women a voice. We too are going pink in our support for the fight against Gender-Based Violence. What is very clear to see, especially this last month, is that woman are raising their voices and taking a stand against Gender-Based Violence.

As you will watch in this month’s success video, speaking up and telling your story is not something that you should be ashamed of. You are a survivor and it’s important to know that your strength could inspire another person to seek help.

Daily on social media, abused women, ask for help. Recently a tweet for help came from a lady, whose name was Yola. Her tweet read, “It’s not easy asking for help. But I have no choice. Please provide me with any advice on how to get the father of my child behind bars #justice. I am afraid that the police are not taking this matter seriously.”

 

Within a couple of hours, her tweet had gone viral. Over 1000 people commented, offering help, or telling her where she could get help. Her tweet was retweeted 17,000 times. Her response was emotional, to say the least. “Thank you so much to everyone that called, gave advice and commented positively. Now I know that I am not alone and already this matter is being handled. I don’t feel so weak anymore. There’s hope!” A very powerful message indeed, giving other victims of abuse courage to get help.

Here at Namola we’ve also seen the powerful impact that #TheTotalShutDown marches have had on abused women seeking help. Historically, slightly more men have signed up to Namola than women. However, after the various #TheTotalShutdown marches took place at the beginning of this month, nearly two-thirds (65.5%) of our sign-ups have come from women. We believe that #TheTotalShutdown especially has encouraged more women to empower themselves, which we are thrilled about.

With more women using Namola, we are actively expanding our database of partners to include shelters and counselling lines. To date, we’ve had [255] requests for assistance for Domestic Violence and [38] cases of rape. We know that the statistics for both of these incidents are alarming in South Africa, but knowing that women are becoming aware of Namola and what we do, they now have a place to report and get help.

Support around GBV has been extraordinary this month, with a huge focus on getting women help.  We need to remember, however, that GBV does not just affect women. It can affect men, children, the LBGT community as well as the elderly.

We still have a lot of work to do, to reach those who do not have access to any help or support and we need South Africa to help. South Africans no longer have to be silent bystanders; with Namola, we can get help, fast, on behalf of others. Be active in your community. Report abuse of any kind. We need to speak up for others who cannot help themselves. If you see it or hear it,  you can Namola it.

An emergency can be an incredibly harrowing and emotional experience. Having a real-life human being — not an automated service or someone putting you on hold — who is able to remove the emotion and the panic of the situation is exactly what you will need. Knowing that someone will take control and coordinate help, with a clear mind, is something you can count on in an emergency —- leaving you one less thing to worry about. Namola Agents will hold your hand through the emergency and will only close an incident once you and they are satisfied that you have the help that you need

Be prepared and proactive with your safety and read 5 safety tips to keep you safe. Tell your friends, tell your family to download Namola from your iPhone App Store or Android Play Store to get help fast in an emergency.

Yours in safety,

Claire

(Namola Superhero Supervisor)

Car thief caught after Namola sends help

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Mark woke around 3 am to his neighbour phoning. There were three guys at their security gate, trying to push it down to gain access. Again. Mark and his neighbours had a series of cars stolen in their complex. The thieves thought they were back for more, but not this time as Mark quickly requested assistance through his phone.

“My neighbour was trying to call 10111, but they were asking all sorts of unnecessary details,” says Mark. ”I had used Namola three weeks back to get help when I was on holiday. I knew the drill and requested assistance through the app.”

Like clockwork, seconds later Mark got a call from one of the Namola Response Centre Agents. He expressed the urgency of the incident and the Agent quickly got off the phone with Mark to coordinate the best possible help. 20 minutes later, the police arrived and apprehended one of the suspects.

“Thanks for a truly professional service this morning at 03h35. Police were dispatched and arrested 1 of 3 persons who broke into our complex before I had time to put my shoes on and go outside,” says Mark.

Thank you Mark for using Namola for your emergencies. You are a true testament to how Namola can get help fast, in an emergency.

Download @NamolaApp FREE

Are you in an abusive relationship? Download Namola — we’re here to help.

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It’s Women’s Month, yet we hear of the tragic suicide of Kensani Maseko, a student from Rhodes University who was allegedly raped by her then-boyfriend in May, we have to ask ourselves are we doing enough to keep the women of South Africa safe. For most women, abuse is a very slippery slope. In the beginning, it’s all sunshine and roses but before you know it his behaviour has changed. There are, however,  warning signs to look out for that help spot an abusive relationship, before it goes too far.

The following are behaviours that you should watch out for:

He is charming. All your friends love him.

He will want to commit — quickly. He will say that it’s love at first sight, that you are made for each other, and that he can’t imagine his life without you. He will sweep you off your feet, and tell you he has never loved anyone this much. He will insist on being exclusive right away, and will likely want to move in together, or even get married, very quickly. He needs you to love him and to belong to him. You may feel like the relationship is moving too quickly. Trust your instincts.

He’s controlling. He interrogates you intensely about who you talked to and where you were and insists you ask for permission to go anywhere or do anything

It’s all your fault. Abusers often feel sorry for themselves or make themselves the victim. He makes you feel as though his behaviour is your fault and that you owe him. He will make you think that no one loves you and that you are lucky to be with him.

There’s isolation. He tries to cut you off from family and friends. He will make you feel very guilty for wanting to spend time with others, or doing other things.

Cruelty to animals and children. He kills or punishes animals brutally. He also may expect children to do things beyond their ability or tease them until they cry.

Verbal abuse. He constantly criticizes you or says cruel things. He degrades, curses and calls you ugly names. He will use vulnerable points about your past or current life against you, but always apologise after and say that he will never do it again. He may even blame you for making him angry in the first place

Sudden mood swings. He switches from loving to angry in a matter of minutes.

History of abuse. He admits to hitting women in the past, but he blames them and the situation.

Violent threats. He makes statements such as, “I’ll break your neck,” but then dismisses it with, “I didn’t really mean it.”

Abuse is a vicious cycle. Abuse, forgiveness (promises that he never to do it again, buys gifts and then it starts again.

So what can you do if you or one of your friends are in a situation like this?

“Planning, planning and planning is what is needed,” says Cape Town psychologist, Ilse Terblanche. “Many women in abusive relationships are unaware of their rights and they have become very isolated from friends and family, which make up the usual support network. When things are really bad, a woman almost needs more strength to stay than to go.”

When you find yourself in this situation:

Call the experts. Contact Namola or a woman’s organisation such as GBV helpline. GBV is a free helpline that will be able to give you support, tell you what your rights are, give you counselling and suggest possible places to stay.

Call in support.  If possible make contact with family and friends. You will need support not only when you leave the abuser but it may also be helpful to have a couple of male friends or relatives to be there when you tell your abuser.

You deserve better. You deserve to be safe and respected. And you deserve real love, not control. If you or someone you know is being abused, you do not have to face it alone; request assistance with Namola – we’re here to help

Not sure if you are in an abusive relationship? Take this test https://psychcentral.com/quizzes/domestic-violence-quiz/

Download Namola FREE