ZonaSegura: GOJoven’s Newest Collaborative Project to Build Safe Spaces for Teens in Honduras
Meet Eli, the first and only chatbot co-designed by youth to help navigate and prevent teen dating violence in Honduras. Available in English and Spanish, Eli is friendly, conversational and easy to use—connecting youth to support and resources on healthy and unhealthy relationships, abuse and violence, consent, intimacy, safer sex and more.
Eli is brought to you by ZonaSegura, which provides trauma-informed, youth-centered innovative mobile solutions to address teen dating violence in Honduras, leveraging the high rates of mobile phone usage among Honduran youth. Created by the YTH Initiative of ETR, in partnership with GOJoven Honduras and PHI’s GOJoven International, ZonaSegura is supported by the World Bank, the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), and Twilio.org Crisis Response and Prevention Initiative.
Initially, ZonaSegura included a mobile-responsive study website, Android mobile application (app), and WhatsApp text messaging. Each piece of technology provided information around healthy relationships and TDV prevention with activities and messaging to reinforce learning. By using the technology, teens learned about legal rights, how to identify abuse, how to create a healthy relationship and/or safely end an abusive relationship, and guides users on safety planning. They could also use the app and WhatsApp messages to locate youth-friendly TDV services in their locality.
Now, partners have launched and developed a ZonaSegura chatbot, Eli—the first and only trauma-informed, English and Spanish-language chatbot co-designed by youth to navigate and prevent teen dating violence in Honduras.
Together with technical partner Websmith, our in-country partner GOJoven Honduras and other youth gender-based violence (GBV) experts, we completed a series of virtual content design and prototype workshops in English and Spanish. These interactive workshops provided an opportunity to identify user profiles, find Eli’s “voice” and “personality”, select key conversational topics and design necessary features. With those concepts in place, partners worked collaboratively to create the scripts, then further refine them through user-testing with Honduran youth in Tegucigalpa.
Offering users AI-powered rights-based and gender-sensitive violence prevention information, Eli’s content includes topics such as healthy and unhealthy relationships, abuse and violence, consent, intimacy, and safer sex. Eli also uses geo-location to provide the closest youth-friendly services for users seeking medical care, emotional support, legal advice, and shelter in Tegucigalpa. Additionally, for users who need immediate help, Eli provides a linkage to live crisis-response support.
Its creators see Eli as a highly adaptable and scalable product with enormous potential to help youth across the globe access violence prevention information and support. Eli is eager and ready to travel to help new friends in new countries.
Originally published by GoJoven International