In January a successful meeting arranged by Hiperbarrio brought together over 100 residents of La Loma de San Javier and have been continuing with workshops and events ever since.
According to their Blog at Rising Voices:
David Sasaki, Director of Outreach for Global Voices, and the person behind Rising Voices, has been giving a couple of workshops in the Pilot Public Library. The first one, yesterday, had to do with opening a flickr account and uploading pictures, as well as joining groups, and David created one specifically for the workshop, adding notes, placing pictures on a map and commenting on other pictures.
Those who follow HiperBarrio regularly know how the community came together for a local personality named Suso.
David recalls this as an unexpected outcome in his interview with Communications for Development Blog:
In Colombia I worked with 20 young people ages 14-25 to start a blog, and they were mostly writing about music and their personal interests. But one day the librarian asked them to interview this homeless guy, and when they did they found out that his parents had given all their land away to the town. After this the young people became very motivated around his life so they made a documentary movie about him. They got involved in the mesa de trabajo, the community leaders committee, and had a dance to raise money to help fix up his shack and turn it into a house with plumbing.
So this is one story about young people helping this one 78-year-old guy. But as a result of the blog, the leaders of the community are taking the youth more seriously because they are representing their community online and internationally. In two months I saw the self-confidence of these young people go up. They became comfortable talking to the leaders in their community about their concerns.
Two HiperBarrio participants, Carolina Vélez López and Yesenia Corrales, submitted poems for the poetry jam among Rising Voices bloggers. Carolina Vélez López's entry was chosen among three out of ten submissions by the Rising Voices grantees.
The HiperBarrio team was also present at Medelink 2008, a city-wide festival of digital culture.
On March 7th and 8th the Digital Culture Festival in Medellín took place, Medelink 2008 [ES]. We were there representing our project. The main objective we drew for our presence there was to bring more people into our project of sharing knowledge with as many people as possible.
And the success of this project was paying off:
A local Rotaract group showed interest in having HiperBarrio give workshops at a school they’ve been working with on a rural area outside of Caldas, to the south of Medellín.
Juliana Rincon has some words of hope:
If it works out, then it will spread to other rotaract clubs in other areas of the Medellin Metro area. It’s great to see this project start walking on its own two feet into sustainability.