Map Your Ideal Community

This morning, two girls aged 16 and 17 years from Plan International’s Safer Cities for Girls programme in Uganda took participants through social mapping and a mobile application used to map out Safe and Unsafe spaces for girls.

The tool allowed the participants to visualize and draw their cities taking note of their everyday routes to and from their homes. The participants were then required to answer questions on easily accessible basic amenities such as hospitals, police stations, schools and street lighting. They were then asked to share their findings with a panellist, which included Axle-a Mayor from Gabon, a lady mayor from Cameroon, development partners and the girls themselves.

“This session led by these young girls opened up my eyes to understand how governments do not involve citizens and particularly youth in urban planning,” said Neka Abdalla, a mayor from Cameroon. It is a great idea that we can borrow and use. It is also good to see that the girls have used this tool to encourage the Ugandan government to put up more street lighting and naming.” She added.

Notably, the majority of participants agreed that they are totally excluded from urban planning yet their voices and concerns matter.

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PLAN International, “Safer Cities for Girls”