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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

How To Help Someone Having A Heat Stroke

Request for Medical Assistance through the Namola App  if someone if the person has the following symptoms

  • Body temperature above 39 degrees Celsius
  • Rapid pulse
  • Reduced sweating
  • Disorientation
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Warm, red, dry skin


1. Request for Medical Assistance 

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Seek immediate emergency care if you think someone might have heat stroke.

2. Lower Body Temperature While Waiting for Emergency Services to Arrive.

Get the person into air conditioning if possible or out of the sun and into the shade.
Spray the person with cool water, or apply cold wet cloths or ice packs to the armpits, neck, and groin. Fan air across the person to increase cooling. These methods help cool the person more quickly.
Do not give the person anything to drink if the person is not alert or is vomiting.

3. Treat Symptoms

  • If the person experiences seizures, keep him or her safe from injury.
  • If the person vomits, turn the person on his or her side to keep the airway open.

4. Follow Up
At the hospital, health care providers will rehydrate the person and continue cooling as needed.

Information needed by EMS during an accident

Know What to Say: Here are the steps!
Calling for help is easy. Just download the Namola App and request for assistance.
 
The information you give the Namola Response Centre Agent assists EMS to help you.
  1. Stay calm, speak clearly, and stay on the phone until the emergency operator tells you to hang up
  2. Tell the emergency dispatch operator where to find the person needing emergency care, who is hurt or sick, and what happened.
  3. The emergency operator will also need to know what condition the victim is in and if any help is being given.
  4. Give the exact location of the emergency. Point out any landmarks – nearby intersections, bridges, and buildings that will help the ambulance crew find you. (Namola uses GPS technology we will use this moment to confirm the location for accuracy
  5. The system already captures your  name, location, and telephone number in case the emergency services operators need to get back in touch with you

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.

Press Release: New Namola feature will help communities partner in the fight against crime

This holiday season, Namola is launching Emergency Contacts. This new feature not only sends an emergency request directly to the Namola Response Centre, but also notifies up to 5 of your own pre-selected Emergency Contacts, and keeps them updated as you receive help.

As the holiday season gets underway, the need for a safer South Africa increases everyday, with criminal activity on the rise as South Africans and our visitors travel and relax over this period.

Although emergencies and criminal activities generally increase over the festive season, Namola – the free crime fighting safety app – is dedicated to making this December your safest season yet.

At the press of a button on your GPS enabled smartphone, the Namola Response Centre calls you back and works to connect you to safety, contacting the relevant emergency response providers and assisting you every step of the way.

At the same time, your Emergency Contacts will be alerted about your request. Your family, friends, and even local emergency services like your neighbourhood watch or armed response provider, will be notified of your situation, kept up to date of progress, and will have the ability to respond to the emergency.  

Emergency Contacts is just another way Namola is enabling users to take back control in their local communities and #MakeSASafe.   

Namola believes that the key to a sustainable and free crime fighting system in South Africa lies in communities being empowered to unite against crime. Emergency Contacts is the next step forward in evolving already in place social and community groups into enabled emergency support mechanisms.

 

Media enquiries:

Peter Adolphs

padolphs@namola.com

info@namola.com

Sign of Victory: Tutu Zondo pings Namola to save his life

“The driver started to use unfamiliar routes and the speed of the car picked up. At that moment I knew I was in danger and I felt unsafe”

Escaping what almost seemed to be a kidnapping incident, Tutu Zondo narrates his ordeal to help show the world that through the use of the Namola button, your life can be saved.

Unlike most of our users that have used the Namola App to report crime, Tutu has shown us that there are more ways than one, that Namola can be used to make South Africa safe

Here is his story

Namola: What Happened?

Zondo: I knocked off Monday evening and as I was making my way home I was unfortunate to get into this dodgy taxi. Everything was dodgy from the driver to the seat and I knew at that moment I was not safe. It was dark and raining and I was hoping to get home as soon as possible to avoid being drenched by the rain.

Namola: So what did you do next?

Zondo: I had seen the tweet from the Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula and downloaded it. I thought about the app and sent a “request for assistance”. Immediately the Namola Response Centre Agent sent a message followed by a phone call. I was scared to answer the phone call because I had cancelled the request but the Response Centre Operator called to check if I was ok

Namola: Where you not afraid of talking to the Response Centre Agent during this time

Zondo: I was afraid, however, the moment the agent started to confirm my GPS coordinates I was no longer afraid as I knew that at least someone knows my location. I think the moment the driver heard that there was someone on the other line who knew my location he was quick to go back to the main route

Namola is a communication tool that enables citizens to have access to emergency services at one click of a button. We thank Tutu for sharing this story with us and we hope that you can use his experience to get inspired to take a proactive approach to fighting crime.

Download Namola NOW and have a virtual buddy walk with you.

Extract from the address by the Minister of Women, Susan Shabangu, in the National Assembly today.

Debate on Gender-Based Violence.

We welcome and support the Namola App, which has been initiated and rolled-out nationally. Since its launch, there have been more than 100 000 downloads. Namola is a crime response app that allows users to share their GPS coordinates, name and nature of the emergency with a 24/7 response call centre.

This online panic button guarantees users a call back within 90 seconds. It points out the exact location, making it easy for emergency services and the Police to respond effectively. Cellphones are useful tools in our fight against gender-based violence.

Dialdirect, is sponsoring the Namola App and I am pleased to work with Namola’s Chief Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee, who is here with us today. It is from initiatives like these that more South Africans are reporting crime and gender-based violence.

Together with the Minister of Police, we have endorsed Namola App and I urge everyone, especially women, to download the App and report Crime!

I am also pleased that the business sector has taken a stand in supporting the fight against crime and violence against women and children.

First4Women is investing money in fighting gender-based violence. Other companies and NGO’s are also following suit. We can only do more as a collective.

Namola Watch: How To Get Involved?

What is your Emergency?

In an emergency situation, an exact location with accurate victim particulars and incident detail are vital in ensuring a quick response. When under the stress of a crime situation or medical emergency, these details very often get miscommunicated or lost in translation. Namola exists to solve this problem, providing you with the best possible assistance when you or those around you need help the most.

Through our easy to use application, using the power of your GPS enabled mobile device, we can drastically improve the quality and accuracy of information delivered to an incident relevant network of responders nearest to you.

What is the Namola Watch?

In addition, we are now offering a new and innovative Namola Watch package for the security conscious. Namola Watch provides a dispatch of trained people to come to your aid immediately after you hit the panic button. Our Namola Watch network consists of law enforcement officers, reservists, neighborhood watches, CPFs, etc. across the country. Whenever an incident is reported through Namola, the nearest Sentinels are alerted with an accurate location and incident details so that they can respond. How can you get involved?

If you are a member of a safety initiative such as a neighborhood watch or a CPF, or an officer or reservist, get in touch with us at watch@namola.com and we’ll sign you up to our Namola Watch network to receive alerts about incidents in your area.

And even if you’re not, you can help us and your community by spreading the word about Namola and asking your local neighborhood watch or CPF (or even friends in law enforcement) to get in touch with us.

Does Namola Cover Remote areas?

We understand and fully appreciate the gravity of the special dangers facing farmers. In rural areas that are far away from the nearest police station, Namola might not always be able to get police out as speedily as we’d like. (Not for lack of trying!)

Farm Watches can choose to join Namola Watch, which allows Farm Watches to receive emergency notifications in their area. This is to ensure that even if SAPS don’t have the resources to deal with an emergency, the community’s own safety initiatives can take over.

If you know of any Farm Watches that might want to get involved, please ask them to get in touch with watch@namola.com, and we’ll get them on board.

Namola empowers communities to take back power from criminals.

 

One last thing.

Namola is a communication tool to better manage emergency response. Namola is not, however, the police or any other official emergency service, so if in doubt, please use the below emergency contact details.

Emergency – Ambulance (10177)

Emergency – Cell phone (112)

Emergency – National (10111)