Cape Town – South African History Online (Saho) has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Thundafund to help fund the redesign of its website.
As the premier people’s history website with a mandate to write South Africa’s and Africa’s history, the Saho redesign will go towards helping the public access information more easily on PCs, tablets and cellphones.
A Section 21 non-profit organisation, Saho was established in 2000 to address the way South Africa and Africa’s history and heritage was documented.
The organisation has committed to promoting education, democracy, non-racialism and the building of just societies.
Saho founder, chief executive, and an award-winning artist and photographer who played an active role in the liberation Struggle, Omar Badsha, said: “We pioneered archiving information on the internet, and this project is more than just information, but provides online classrooms and exhibitions.
"There are up to 6.2 million viewers visiting our site daily, which comes with expectation and a workload requiring this redesign to address the hunger for content,” he said.
The site was hacked last year, but Saho had archived its work. Part of the redesign (funds) will go towards the continuous upgrades of its work, said Badsha.
The redesign campaign aims to raise R500 000 from its users, which will go towards Saho’s growing archive of articles, and make documents accessible to the people who want to know more about the country’s history.
Be reaching its “tipping point”, Saho plans to update and integrate its site to the latest version of its hosting platform, which will improve the functionality of the site and ensure its basic security.
Saho’s site currently comprises about 35 000 archived items, which are added to on a weekly basis, linked to a growing archive of documents, journal articles, online books, photographs, videos and audio clips.
“When we began this project we wanted people to tell their stories, as well as assist local community history. In this, there might not have been as much cross-referencing and you require writers, so it’s an ongoing process and continuously evolving.
"Our goal was to make history accessible, and we work with learning institutions for educators to be utilised,” he said.