D.E.F. Launches Interactive Web Site

The Diamond Empowerment Fund has launched an interactive Web site that is designed to empower and connect with those who support the African cause founded by Russell Simmons.

Launched Dec 6, D.E.F.’s new web, social network, and mobile presence, will allow users to upload their personal stories about those who inspire them and send them to their friends. The site is operated by Web designers Orange 32 and tech company Web host Treemo

Because many young people in Africa have greater access to mobile phone technology than the internet via a computer, Treemo has made it possible for users to have the same functionality on their mobile phones as on a computer, according to a D.E.F. statement.

Those who are passionate about D.E.F.’s mission can pick and choose elements from the site and put them on their own MySpace or Facebook page, and on their blogs, thus creating a sense of ownership of the cause. One of the powerful parts of the site will be devoted to The D.E.F. Profiles Series. While in South Africa and Botswana documenting Russell Simmons’ fact-finding mission in the fall of 2006, filmmaker Selwyn Hinds and his team met several young Africans with compelling real-life stories. The D.E.F. Profiles Series of six short video clips focus on their perspectives, combined with Russell1s experience as a first-time visitor to Africa. The D.E.F. Profiles follow the video, “Journey: Russell Simmons in Southern Africa.”

The series is broken down into the following profiles:

Part 1: The Rappers

Part 2: The Come Up

Part 3: The Survivor

Part 4: The Intern

Part 5: CIDA Poets

Part 6: The Freedom Fighter

Some of the profile subjects will be dialoguing on the site about their thoughts and experiences.

“We have great hopes this tool will impact our ability to spread the word and help us gather support for our mission to empower young Africans through education,” said D.E.F. executive director, Ellen Haddigan.

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