Hello people..It is Wednesday and today Woman crush is a young lady I admire.
Meet Mallah Tabot, the lady behind Ndolo 360!
Who is Mallah Tabot?
I am a 28 year old lover of life and feminist who very strongly believes that women, girls and young people’s access to Sexual and Reproductive Health, and a life free from violence is a basic right. I speak sarcasm as a 3rd language. My background is in Journalism and Mass Communication, I’m a lazy blogger and part time freelance journalist.
About Ndolo 360
Ndolo360, hosted by my organisation called UnitedVision in Mamfe.
As a mobile app for sexuality education, Ndolo360 has several great features to engage users and meet their needs including the following: Ask a Sexpert, which lets users ask questions anonymously and get responses from Peer Educators and sexual health experts, play games and quizzes thus learning in a fun way, access a database of fun, light-hearted and constructive information, share their most embarrassing, useful or crazy sexual experiences on a social platform and gain access to a database of youth-friendly service providers.
What do you hope to achieve with Ndolo 360?
Ndolo360 is a mobile application that provides accurate, open, honest and judgement-free sexuality education, information and services to teenagers, adolescents and young people who need them the most. Available in English and French, the app targets adolescents, teenagers and young adults between 13 and 29 years old in Cameroon and eventually all of sub-Saharan Africa.
What is the story behind Ndolo 360? When & How did it all start?
I have worked in the field of adolescent reproductive health for close to five years, and over the years we have tested, piloted and tried out different approaches to reaching young people with the right information to make informed choices about their own bodies. However we realized that there was a huge gap in education because we were not using the right channels to reach those who need it. Moreover coupled with the terrible statistics in Cameroon such as the fact that 141 out of 1000 girls aged 15-19 in this country have been pregnant at least once and HIV still stands at 5%, the cultural barriers which limit parental engagement in the sexuality education of their children, the 35% increase in Adolescent HIV deaths in 2015 and the lack of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in schools, adolescents and young people deserve access to open, honest sexuality education. They however face huge barriers to accessing information, education &services which are generated by negative social norms. The larger consequence is that they make uninformed decisions, access clandestine services such as unsafe abortion which is punishable by law while still lacking the necessary sexual and reproductive health services they so badly need. This all sounded so unbelievably wrong and we started thinking about mainstreaming ICT into sexuality education. Information and Communication Technology is an under-utilized tool when it comes to sexuality education, information and service provision in Africa and Cameroon. With just a tap of the phone, young people can gain access to a gold mine of constructive information about their sexual health. That is how the story of Ndolo360 came into existence, and we are delighted that a gap is being filled.
Why the name Ndolo 360?
The name has a very interesting story. When I just started thinking about the idea, I was texting a friend about possible names, and I don’t remember how we settled for this one but we wanted something that stands out. Ndolo is a very common word in Cameroon and captures something around love and sexuality, so the idea behind the name is to give young people 360 degrees freedom and control over their sexual health and lives.
What feedback have you received so far since launching the app?
The quality of feedback we’ve received has been super uplifting. So far we are already reached 1000 users just about two months into the app launch without any real publicity. Young people have been inspired by the app and are letting their friends know by word of mouth. Moreover just a few days in to the app’s launch, a father of 4 emailed us to express his satisfaction and reveal that he was asking his 16 year old son to download the app so that it can be a starting point of discussion between both of the. This speaks to the reality of our homes where parents and children do not have conversations around sexual health. If Ndolo360 can at least create a starting point for parents and their kids to engage in healthy discussions around sex, then we couldn’t be happier with the impact it is creating so far.
What are some of the challenges you have facedand how have you overcome them?
We are still at the start (we launched Ndolo360 about 2 months ago) so like any other project at a latent stage we are working on getting it stand on its feet and find the right partners who are as passionate as we are about ending teenage pregnancies and giving young people power and control over their own bodies. We see Ndolo360 as a journey and all the young people in this country and continent are walking with us. It will take a while before we can reach all our objectives but we are excited to have started such an innovation and cant wait to see what the future we work for holds.
Tell us about any upcoming projects?
We are looking forward to a nation-wide campaign in all the regions of Cameroon to promote Ndolo360 and make it available for every young person in this country. More specifically we are focusing on the “Ask a Sexpert” feature. If young people can’t have the right responses to the most basic questions on sexual health with their parents, then they should be getting it from experienced health professionals and peer educators. The “Ask a Sexpert” feature lets young people ask the most embarrassing, weird, and intimate questions they may have about everything regarding their sexual health and get responses within minutes.
Any last words for aspiring Entrepreneurs?
I hate this part because it gives the illusion that I’ve gotten there and have all the answers. I believe in believing in oneself. The world is already too full of antagonists. Don’t be your own enemy.
Thumbs up Mallah…you are definitely an inspiration. You recognized a gap and created an app to fill it!
Keep Reppin’ 237. OK people it’s a wrap..Download Ndolo360 on google play!