The Volunteering and Community Engagement Team are still busy organising one-off student volunteering opportunities this summer. There’s no need for prior experience and no long-term commitment required, making volunteer days a great way to take a break from your studies whilst making a difference to some of our local projects.
This Friday (8 July) you can join a Community Mapping session right here on campus. Community Mapping is an organisation based in the School of Environment, Education and Development at The University of Manchester. Their goal is to create maps of previously un-mapped areas of the world, in order to help address chronic humanitarian crises. Their work began in the Acholi Sub-Region of Northern Uganda, where they use their maps to provide prosthetic limbs to the many thousands of people who lost arms and legs during a conflict that ravaged the region for over 20 years.
Volunteers are needed to fill in blanks on the map by drawing around buildings, roads, footpaths, roads, and other features that they can see in satellite imagery. All of the data collected is sent to OpenStreetMap, which makes the data freely available for anyone who wants it, and the results are made into digital and paper maps that are freely available to local people. To illustrate the impact of this work – roughly every 50 huts (small buildings in which people live) that you draw onto the map, you will identify someone who is in need of a prosthetic limb, who can then be visited by our mobile clinic. It’s a pretty big impact for a couple of hours of your time!