Free Software Award: Sahana won the annual award for Projects of Social Benefit

Sahana , an Open Source Disaster Management system that addresses the common coordination problems during a disaster from finding missing people, has won the 2006 Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit awarded by the Free Software Foundation.

The Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a free software project that intentionally and significantly benefits society through collaboration to accomplish an important social task.

Sahana was created, in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004, to compensate for the devastating consequences of a government attempt to manually manage the process of locating victims, distributing aid and coordinating volunteers.

Four members from the Sahana team (Chamindra, Pradeeper, Mifan and Ravindra) were present at the meeting to receive the Free Software award for Project of Social Benefit!! This is a truly great achievement, kudos to you all!

As reported by Anuradha Weeraman besides the four members from the Sahana team (Chamindra, Pradeeper, Mifan and Ravindra) other notable attendees were present, like Bruce Perens and Ted Ts’o.

The presentation by Mako Hill on “Defining Free Culture” was quite informative on some of the good work he’s been upto lately. Eben Moglen’s oratory was impressive as always and Gerald Sussman confounded the audience with some deep mathematics. RMS spoke on software patents.

The Sahana project leader Chamindra de Silva said:

We are deeply honored to receive this award and were so excited we traveled half way around the world from Sri Lanka to attend the ceremony today. The Sahana project is all about a cohesive disaster response between multiple agencies and bringing them together to help victims. None of this would have been possible without the work of the wider free software community, and we would not have been able to bring benefit to the victims and the people who help the victims without that. It is a credit to the whole community.

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