Application Deadline: June 15, 2007Rising Voices, the outreach arm of Global Voices , is now accepting project proposals for the first round of microgrant funding of up to $5,000 for new media outreach projects.Ideal applicants will present innovative and detailed proposals to teach citizen media techniques to communities that are poorly positioned to discover and take advantage of tools like blogging, video-blogging, and podcasting on their own.As the internet becomes more accessible to more people, as computers become cheaper, and as software applications move from the desktop to the web, the so-called digital divide seems to be narrowing. In its place, however, we see a participation gap in which the vast majority of blogs, podcasts, and online video are being produced in middle-class neighborhoods in major cities around the world.Rising Voices aims to help bring new voices from new communities and speaking new languages to the conversational web, by providing resources and funding to local groups reaching out to underrepresented communities.Examples of potential projects include:
- Purchasing an affordable digital video camera and teaching a group of rural students how to produce an ongoing video-blog documentary about the lives of their grandparents.
- Organizing a regular workshop on blogging and photography at a local orphanage. Portions of the budget could be used on cheap digital cameras and internet cafe costs so that participants could describe their local neighborhoods to a global audience with text and photos.
- Working with a local NGO or social entrepreneur so that their challenges, successes, and stories are told to a global audience.
- Translating our new media curriculum to an indigenous language, like Quechua  or Wolof , that is currently not represented in the blogosphere or “podosphere.” Then use the learning modules to encourage bloggers to write in those languages.
The sky is the limit, but unfortunately funding is not. Rising Voices outreach grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000. Please be as thoughtful, specific, and realistic as possible when drafting your budgets.Successful projects will be prominently featured on Global Voices .Completed applications will be accepted no later than Friday, June 15.
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