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From the Inside:Weaving the community safety net

The beginning of the year is a time of hope for many — especially for our future leaders who are enrolling at tertiary education institutions across the country. Young adults are a catalyst for change because they see the world clearly for what it ought to be, unencumbered by the cynicism or weariness that tends to set in as we get older.

The oxygen for this candle of hope is safety. Not just safety from crime.

But also financial safety — knowing you have the means to walk the distance.

And the safety of respect — knowing that your peers will honour your boundaries.

The safety of community — knowing you don’t have to walk the road alone; that others will pick you up and carry you when you fall.

This is only possible together. Not all of us wear the proud uniform of law enforcement to fight crime. But all of us can listen without judgement, to foster a culture of respect. We can all look out for our friends, loved ones or colleagues; check in and find out, “How are really you doing?” Not turn a blind eye to injustice or harmful behaviour and shrug, “Not my problem!”

Let us make 2018 the year of community, interacting with respect and united in action. Community weaves the fragile strands of individuals together into a strong and resilient safety net. In the coming weeks and months, we will keep rolling out features to enable communities to work together to stay safe. Please keep sending us your feedback and ideas. Thank you for being with us on this journey, together.

– Pete (CEO, Namola)

What to do during a robbery?

Armed Robbery is a common occurrence in South Africa, and 2016/2017 statistics reveal that it is on a steady increase. Businesses and households are both vulnerable to these attacks and it is therefore imperative to not only know how to avoid an armed robbery from occurring but what to do if you are ever involved in one

  • The key to your safety during an armed robbery is cooperation. Remain calm and cooperate with all demands made by the robber(s).
  • Do not make eye contact with them. Keep your head down at all times and do not look at them.
  • Only activate an alarm or panic if you can do so secretly. If you can’t do it secretly then don’t do it
  • Tell the robber(s) about anything that might surprise them, such as you are expecting company soon
  • If you have to move, tell the robber what you are doing so that he is not threatened by your movement
  • Try to obtain as much detail as you can, in terms of race, age, sex and anything unusual such as tattoos or scars. This can be difficult when avoiding eye-contact with the robbers, but it is important to take note of anything that may be helpful
  • When the robbers have left, do not get up immediately. Wait a minute or two before getting up

Fighting Crime As a Family

“When I leave for work every morning I am in constant fear. My maternal instincts say that I should not leave the baby with the nanny, I want to protect her, I should be with her all the time, but I know I have to work so that she has a good life,” Shanice Bucktwar – Namola User.

We would like to thank Shanice for sharing her experience with us. This safety hero is part of a number of South Africans who are contacting us to give us feedback on the app and tell us how we can improve. To show that we listen, Namola is introducing the Emergency Contacts feature, which allows users to not only send an emergency request directly to the Namola Response Centre, but to also notify up to 5 of their own pre-selected Emergency Contacts, keeping the contacts updated when the user receives help

In a country where homes are being targeted in the afternoon, were the abuse of children by nannies is being published on social media, and with a crime rate that continues to soar, families are fighting to get solutions that will keep them safe.

Every week we share stories from our users and how they are using Namola. This week we are sharing a story of three generations of women taking power back from criminals.

In a telephone interview, the single mother of one, Shanice told us how Namola had become a source of hope for the different generations in her family. From the grand-aunt to the mother, to the granddaughter, families are taking a stand against crime. This is her story.

There was a hijacking that took place outside my complex and this was a wake-up call for me. This has not only made me feel uneasy, unsafe and afraid, but my family and friends are also worried about my safety,” she said.

“Being a single mother you are always afraid that criminals see you as an easy target, someone who can always be portrayed as weak simply because baby’s safety will always come first.”

“Last month, my aunt shared the Namola video on our family WhatsApp Group and encouraged all of us to download the app. I immediately downloaded the app and also pleaded with the Nanny to download it as well so that if anything happens to my daughter and her during the afternoon they can easily request assistance using the Namola App.”

“Initially, when the post was shared, my family members started raving about it and I felt left out as I had not downloaded the app, however, my aunt explained that this was going to be a tool that I needed to help protect my baby and me. She understood my fear of leaving the baby at home with the nanny. My baby and I live alone and my work hours are crazy, which means no sleep and more guarding at night, well, until I was introduced to Namola. This has resulted in major fatigue where now I sleep peacefully knowing assistance is a mere tap away.

The part that had shocked me most about Namola is when I decided to do a Test with it. I requested assistance and to my amaze – the call center agent had called back within seconds – HOW AWESOME IS THAT.

I am now a proud raver and supporter of Namola.

Her words of encouragement and the explanation from the Namola Response Agents help alleviate my fear. I now feel safer not only as a woman but as a mother as well as a daughter, knowing that we can all use Namola to get emergency service responders at a touch of a button,” added Shanice.

Nedbank issues a credit scam warning

South Africans must beware of a new scam where criminals use targeted phone calls to steal credit card information from clients and conduct fraudulent online transactions.

Nedbank has warned credit card holders about the scam, which involves fraudsters asking for a credit card number, expiry date, or the card verification (CCV) number.

Protect your personal information and be careful who you share it with. Banks will never ask you for the following:

1. Card number, expiry date or your three- or four-digit card verification (CCV) number.
2. To supply your One-time password (OTP) or request you to accept an Approve-it message.
3. If you get and Approve-it message or OTP for a transaction that you have not requested, decline the Approve-it message or call us on 0800 110 929 immediately.

For more on fraud, awareness visit http://bit.ly/2xx6H2v