VOF MONTH 1 (Internet helps cut cost)
Twenty eight year old OluwaTosyn Bucknor, also called Tosyn wants to make sickle cell disease an ailment people can talk about instead of one they are ashamed of. A lawyer, writer and singer, Tosyn has the sickle cell disease herself. She says that expressing herself through the arts helped her to overcome the dejection that came with knowing about her peculiar genes. Now she seeks to help other people like herself. She does this through her organization, THESE GENES; the sickle cell project. THESE GENES provides a support system for people living with sickle cell disease through its various programs and supports meetings. Through THESE GENES, people are encouraged to learn more about sickle cell disease so as to understand people living with the disease better.
Information dissemination is a crucial part of the work that THESE GENES is doing. The organization seeks to get people talking about sickle cell disease and to also provide correct information about it. To achieve this aim, THESE GENES has made remarkable use of the internet. Tosyn has found a cheaper alternative to advertisement on television and radio. Tosyn is an avid blogger herself, this is probably why she has been able to harness the opportunities the internet provides to further her initiative. Tosyn’s organization is based in Lagos state in Nigeria. For now, most of the activities take place within Lagos even though she hopes to branch out to other parts of Nigeria and Africa. Through the internet, information about THESE GENES is already available in the places where the organization is not yet physically present. Thus, without setting up an office in such places, Tosyn still reaches people there.
Tosyn makes use of blogs and facebook to pass across information about sickle cell and THESE GENES. Announcements and information about THESE GENES events are not placed on Tosyn’s blog alone but also on a number of popular Nigerian blogs. As part of the awareness campaign for sickle cell on THESE GENES day in October 31st 2008, people were encouraged to use their status update on facebook talk about THESE GENES and sickle cell. Not only does this way of publicizing cost almost nothing, it is also interactive. On facebook, status updates are often conversation starters. People that come across the information can make comments, ask questions and get feedback as both blogs and facebook are interactive. The posts become more than advert placements eventually, they also become forums for discussions as people start sharing about sickle cell disease and clarifying the issues involved ,which is what THESE GENES is all about. Tosyn has found the internet to be a solution to the problem of lack of funds to reach a large number of people. In a way similar to what is done here at Pulsewire, Tosyn Bucknor is using web2.0 to impact lives.
To read more about Tosyn, sickle cell disease and THESE GENES, follow the link below.