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Announcing the Winners of the Breaking Borders Award

Honoring those who are working to advance free expression on the Internet, Google and Global Voices today have announced  the first winners of the Breaking Borders Award.

The awards, supported by Thomson Reuters, recognize outstanding web projects initiated by individuals or groups that demonstrate courage, energy and resourcefulness in using the Internet to promote freedom of expression.

The prizes, each of which comes with a USD $10,000 grant, honors work in three categories: advocacy, technology, and policy.

Malou Mangahas of the Philippines, Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Uganda and Brenda Burrell of Zimbabwe accepted the Breaking Borders award on behalf of their organisations

From Google and Global Voices, and from Thomson Reuters and our award jury, we'd like to congratulate our winners for their initiative, creativity and achievements, for citizen benefit.

The winners are:

In the Technology category:

Bosco – Uganda
In April 2007, BOSCO was launched as a solar powered, long-range wireless computer network covering locations in former Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across Gulu and Amuru districts in northern Uganda. Low power PCs and VoIP phones were installed in schools, health centers and parish offices, bringing Internet, phone and Intranet connectivity to remote areas. BOSCO's long-term vision is to provide innovative information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to foster social and economic development and peace building in rural communities of northern Uganda using a collaborative, web-based approach. Currently, BOSCO focuses on developing and facilitating Web 2.0 training, online digital ethnography and collaborative online communication mediums between Internet sites. BOSCO currently works in partnership with Inveneo, Horizont3000, War Child Holland, the Gulu Archdiocese and UNICEF.

In the Policy category:

The Philippines Center for Investigative Journalism
An independent, not-for-profit media agency, the PCIJ was founded by nine Filipino journalists in 1989 — with borrowed office space, an old-DOS-based computer, a second-hand electric typewriter, and office furniture bought from a thrift shop — to promote the values of investigative reporting in fostering good governance, freedom of expression, and the people's right to know. In 20 years, the PCIJ has produced 500 investigative reports, two dozen books on journalism and governance, five-full-length films and dozens of video documentaries. It has conducted a hundred training seminars for journalists in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and won over 120 national and international awards. The PCIJ maintains a multimedia website, www.pcij.org; an institutional blog, www.pcij.org/blog; a database site on politics and governance, i-site.ph; and institutional accounts on Twitter and YouTube.

In the Advocacy Category:

Kubatana.net
An online community for Zimbabwean activists, Kubatana uses the Internet, email, SMS, blogs and print materials to disseminate information to the general public. An online library of over 16 000 human rights and civic reports together with a directory listing over 240 NGOs makes Kubatana a valuable resource for information on Zimbabwe. And that's not all! Kubatana has developed Freedom Fone, innovative telephony software, which takes the mobile phone and marries it with audio voice menus and SMS, for citizen benefit.

Google and Global Voices announced the winners at an awards ceremony held during the Global Voices Summit in Santiago, Chile May 6-7.

Information about the Summit can be found at: http://summit2010.globalvoicesonline.org/. More information about the Breaking Borders award can be found at http://breakingborders.net/.

The ceremony, and the Summit, will be available on Livestream or Ustream at http://summit2010.globalvoicesonline.org/program/video/.

We will liveblog the event at http://summit2010.globalvoicesonline.org/program/liveblog/.

You can also follow the Summit Twitter feed, @gvsummit2010, with hashtag #GV2010.

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