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Re: [holistichelping] Chat with us about On-the-ground Projects in Africa

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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Andrius, David, and All, Thanks for this wonderful message, Andrius, and wish I could have been at the chat, which sounds hugely successful, and bravo to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 8, 2007
      Dear Andrius, David, and All,

      Thanks for this wonderful message, Andrius, and wish I could have been at the chat, which sounds hugely successful, and bravo to all involved! I have applied to be a member of the "RisingVoices" Googlegroup, so hope to be able to cc them on these mails in future, in such a way that they will be posted to that group. Hope others here do the same!

      The number of applicants and those who have been funded for this round are indeed exciting and impressive, and there has been much interest generated via other networks of which I am a member, such as the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (www.youthaidscoalition.org), ActALIVE (www.actalive.org), and JUMP (www.jumptochangetheworld.org).

      This work and approach are "simpatico" to my own, and that of others here: KAIPPG (www.kaippg.org), the development nonprofit in Kenya whose international branch I run in the USA, uses video to address issues related to health, agriculture and nutrition, and income-generation, as part of its program on women, agriculture, and technology.

      Women and youth are trained to make videos about their work and challenges, which are then shared with others in the communities we serve--esp via "listening groups" organized for this purpose--and we also have a series of kiosks stocked with this info, in non-wired locations.

      We are also a member of a 5-party ICTs/ODL coalition in W Kenya called GRASSUP NOW (Grassroots Socio-economic Underpinnings: Poverty alleviation, Nutrition improvements, ODL/ICTs, Women)--sponsored by The Commonwealth of Learning (www.col.org)--which uses a variety of media (both in our collective and individual work) to convey educational messages on health, environmental education, income-generation and related topics.

      I was interested to see that one proposal came from a center for persons in Kenyan addressing HIV/AIDS and disabilities: one such org in Kenya addressing same is WiRED Kenya--a branch of WiRED International--which does a lot related to health, ICTs, and people who are differently-abled (www.wiredinternational.org). Tom Ochuka of Deaf Impact Ministry, a friend and Holistic Helping member, is hoping to do something similar.

      Many members of the arts coalition, ActALIVE, also use film, video, and photography. One is iEARN Sierra Leone, home to one of the funded grant initiatives, which uses video-music-ICTs to address a range of development issues affecting youth. One ActALIVE member, linked to the Patsime Trust (an arts-for-development intiative) and SAfAIDS (www.safaids.org.zw)--a health org in Zimbabwe--submitted to the "Rising Voices" competition.

      The GYCA submitted a "Rising Voices" proposal too, and will hope to again, as many of our 3000+ youth activists use video and other media in their work. Last summer, Kenyan and American youth got together in Kenya as part of the JUMP (Juveniles Using Media Power) initiative, to make joint stories--using video, film, and podcasting--on the challenges of HIV/AIDS (every Kenyan youth affected in some way by the pandemic).

      I've also been in conversations with others on the "Rising Voices" project, and related endeavors: one such conversation (in tandem with the oneVillage Foundation, http://www.onevillagefoundation.org, a partner and MS member) involves media training for youth at the grassroots in a number of African countries, linked in part to sustainable environmental practices to address health and development, and to a Handbook co-produced by ActALIVE, called "African Youth HIV/AIDS Best Practices Handbook", with 100 practices from across Africa, some of which include use of arts and media.

      Another is linked to a film which will be released soon, called "A Grandmother's Tribe", about African (Kenyan) grandmothers caring for their HIV/AIDS-orphaned grandchildren (www.agrandmotherstribe.com). The filmmaker, Qiujing Wong, and I were brainstorming about the empowering ways in which video and related media can be used to help grandmothers and their grandchildren tell their stories for themselves, and share them with the world.

      This is a long way of saying a BIG BRAVO to David and all at "Rising Voices", and to everyone working to ensure the power of citizen-based and supported media endeavors to transform individual lives as well as life for all of us, locally and globally.

      David, there are many of us who will be eager to be involved in the "Rising Voices" project in general, not solely linked to grants. For example, I recall curriculum translations as one such idea and activity, and it would be great to explore how we might go about collaborating on that and more, within the MS groups and beyond (to GYCA, ActALIVE, and more).

      With deepest appreciation and looking forward to rising, and shining! All best wishes, Janet (Feldman, kaippg@...)

      -----Original Message-----
      >From: ms@...
      >Sent: Jul 4, 2007 4:58 AM
      >To: risingvoices@...
      >Cc: holistichelping@yahoogroups.com, learningfromeachother@yahoogroups.com, mendenyo@yahoogroups.com, socialagriculture@yahoogroups.com, fightingpeacefully@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [holistichelping] Chat with us about On-the-ground Projects in Africa
      >David Sasaki and all,
      >I'm very impressed by the wonderful diversity of people and projects you
      >attracted to the Rising Voices group
      >I invite everybody to join us for a chat at
      >tomorrow, Thursday, July 5, at 4:30 pm Nairobi time (which is 2:30 pm London
      >and 9:30 am New York). Our topic is "On-the-ground projects in Africa" and
      >their relevance for both rich countries and poor countries around the world.
      >Fred Kayiwa of Uganda will lead and I will chair. This is part of a series
      >chats organized by Pamela McLean who leads our worknet on Learning From Each
      >Other http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?LearningFromEachOther
      >We're having good experience supporting projects of "independent thinkers"
      >who might not otherwise find support. We encourage people to openly "work
      >for free" on projects that they care about, and then we try to provide work
      >in $100 increments. We also look for major projects for which we can
      >organize momentum, such as My Food Story http://www.myfoodstory.com
      >Currently, we're excited that Ken Owino of Nafsi Acrobats in Kenya will be
      >traveling to TheNetherlands and Italy. We want to help him make contacts
      >there and also explore computer assembly in Africa, importing flash drives,
      >and building video bridges. Ken organizes street children and coaches them.
      >We have recently provided our team in Kenya with video cameras and digital
      >I have also started a wiki page
      >where we are welcome to add our proposals so that perhaps we might get help
      >to make them happen. You will find my proposal there (Sharing Deepest
      >Values) to organize global systems of working together for making best use
      >marginal Internet access.
      >David and all, thank you for your important initiatives. I alert several of
      >our lab's groups:
      >which I invite us all to join. I look forward to discovering many ways of
      >working together!
      >Andrius Kulikauskas
      >Minciu Sodas
      >Marcinkonys, Lithuania
      >+370 (699) 30003
      >Data , "David Sasaki" <osopecoso@...> Rašyta:
      >>Hi All,
      >>I'd like to echo what Tshwarelo eseng Mogakane wrote in his last
      >>email: Rising Voices is much more than just a collection of a few
      >>projects that receive small amounts of funding. We're a community of
      >>individuals from all around the world who believe in the power of
      >>communication. And thanks to these new online tools, we're able to
      >>communicate and collaborate with each other in ways that were not
      >>possible just a decade ago.
      >>The tone of this mailing list is going to start getting more specific
      >>as we talk about actual strategies and tools that we can and should
      >>use to make all of our projects a success. Over the next few days I
      >>will also be responding to you each individually with recommendations
      >>and potential partners. Our next round of funding is in September.
      >>You will have an option to apply either publicly or privately. If you
      >>apply publicly (which will be encouraged), registered users and
      >>fellow applicants will be able to leave comments on your proposals
      >>and you will be able to take their suggestions and rework your
      >>proposal until you are content with your final draft. This way we'll
      >>be able to take advantage of our collective knowledge and insight.
      >>Otherwise, you will still be able to submit your proposals privately
      >>via email.
      >>Best Practices:
      >>After reading through all 142 applications, there were some patterns
      >>that stood out among the top-tier applications. First of all, they
      >>tend to partner with local organizations and/or NGO's. This often
      >>gives them access to a computer lab and sometimes even internet
      >>access. They also listed incentives to get the participants blogging
      >>and publishing content. I think that one of the best strategies is to
      >>invest about $1,000 of the budget on affordable digital cameras and
      >>audio recorders and then offer them as prizes to the participants at
      >>the end of the series of training workshops. This not only gives them
      >>an incentive to produce good content, but also to take care of the
      >>hardware since it might one day belong to them.
      >>There were also some interesting ideas when it comes to content
      >>distribution. Of course, the ability to publish to the internet is
      >>the essence of citizen media, but the best project proposals included
      >>ideas about how to redistribute that content within their local
      >>community. Ideas included organizing neighborhood video nights in
      >>which homemade videos are projected onto a wall, working with local
      >>newspapers to include the best post each week, printing out pamphlets
      >>which could be sold for spare change to cover printing costs,
      >>producing podcasts which can be played on community radio stations,
      >>making audio CD's and selling them on the street, and printing out
      >>photographs to be exhibited at a local museum.
      >>I also noticed that some proposals treated citizen media training as
      >>an act of charity and development, while others saw it as a potential
      >>business opportunity. I think it's good to point out that mastering
      >>the skills of citizen media is not just a way to express yourself,
      >>but it's also a way to market yourself, your business, and gain
      >>skills that could even land you a job. I encourage all projects to
      >>think about ways in which their content could make money to support
      >>their mission.
      >>First Round Grantees:
      >>Without further adieu, in no particular order, here are the first
      >>five grantees. A sixth grantee will be announced in the coming weeks.
      >>Vickie Remoe-Doherty - Sierra Leone:
      >>Vickie is helping coordinate the Think Build Change Salone initiative
      >>which seeks to help rebuild post-civil war Sierra Leone by providing
      >>training and work experience to Sierra Leonean youth with paid
      >>internship positions at local non-profit organizations. This year's
      >>interns will be required to record their experiences using weblogs,
      >>audio, and video. By documenting their experiences at various non-
      >>profit organizations around Sierra Leone they will cover issues of
      >>health, environment, democracy, post conflict reconstruction, women's
      >>issues, Information technology, education, government accountability
      >>& transparency, and community development. Once the interns feel
      >>comfortable with the tools themselves, they will organize several
      >>workshops around the country teaching citizen media to other groups.
      >>Juliana Rincón, Jorge Montoya, and Įlvaro Ramirez - Medellķn Colombia:
      >>This project started out as two separate proposals. Juliana and Jorge
      >>had set out to do a number of new media training workshops in
      >>collaboration with an outreach initiative of Medellķn's public
      >>library system. Įlvaro proposed to organize a video blogging workshop
      >>in the working class neighborhood of La Loma de San Javier.
      >>Fortunately, the two groups agreed to share their resources, tools,
      >>and time so that both projects can go forward.
      >>Kazi Rafiq Islam and Kathryn Ward - Dhaka, Bangladesh:
      >>Kazi Rafiq Islam and Kathy Ward are the Coordinator and Executive
      >>Director of the Nari Jibon Project in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As you can
      >>see from the website, the organization is already involved in
      >>outstanding work with young women in Dhaka. With the help of the
      >>Rising Voices microgrant, they will introduce Bangladeshi girls and
      >>women to blogging, photography and video-blogging by incorporating
      >>blogging assignments into existing English, Computer, and Bangla
      >>classes. You can see some examples of what is to come at Bangladesh
      >>from our View.
      >>Mario Duran, Eduardo Įvila, Hugo Miranda - El Alto, Bolivia:
      >>It's worth mentioning that this proposal was one of the very few to
      >>keep their budget under $3,000. On cost-effective strategy was
      >>budgeting for "cybercafe coupons" that participants could use rather
      >>than purchasing costly computers and hardware. Mario, Eduardo, and
      >>Hugo will organize a series of four bi-weekly sessions that will last
      >>three hours each. They will provide hands on training at a local
      >>internet cafe in El Alto, Bolivia and encourage participants to write
      >>about their lives, families, and community and communicate to the
      >>rest of Bolivia and the world that, for the most part, the daily life
      >>in the impoverished city of El Alto is just like daily life anywhere
      >>Bishan Samaddar, Sahar Romani, Aparna Ray - Kolkata, India:
      >>Bishan and Sahar are the coordinators of Kalam: Margins Write, a
      >>creative writing program for marginalized youth in India. They've
      >>already done amazing work using print to encourage creativity and
      >>self-expression with poetry and creative writing. This Rising Voices
      >>microgrant will help establish a new project, "Neighborhood Diaries",
      >>which will train underprivileged youth living in Kolkata's slums to
      >>be citizen journalists. As they wrote on their application, "Often
      >>urban slums in India are misrepresented and sensationalized." By
      >>empowering young residents who live there to tell their own stories,
      >>they will gain power on how their community is portrayed. You can
      >>find out more about Kalam: Margins Write on their weblog.
      >>Please join me in congratulating the first round of grantees. It was
      >>a very difficult process to narrow down such a competitive field of
      >>entries. I will be in touch with all of you over the next few days.
      >>If you don't hear from me or if you have any questions or concerns at
      >>all, please feel free to get in touch with me.
      >>And, lastly, I hope that we continue to see the enthusiasm and
      >>support on this mailing list which has characterized Rising Voices
      >>from the very beginning.
      >>David Sasaki | outreach@...
      >>Director of Outreach, Global Voices
      >>gtalk: osopecoso | skype: elosopecoso
      >>+1.510.717.8377 |
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