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FOKO: engaging more and more new voices

There has been a lot going for FOKO Madagascar over the past month. The flooding and humanitarian crisis due to three different cyclones in February did not keep the enthusiastic activists away from their blogging activities. Citizen Media workshops were held on schedule.

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After the success of the first media workshop in the Toamasina province, FOKO went on to explore new voices from the high school students. Lova writes:

The highlight of the past week was to witness the enthusiasm of new bloggers from the JJ Rabearivelo high-school. The workshop was conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Club ( CPO) led by Hery. They already posted very intriguing posts about the unemployment problem for students and the loss of respect for the elders in Madagascar.

10 teenagers came from Antananarivo's high schools associations in the workshop. FOKO announced earlier the FBC contest which offers small prizes the end of the workshop. As soon as the news of the FBC Contest broke, the participants were motivated to write posts more quickly.

Read the March translated posts for more highlights from the participants blogs.

Here is a video of the media workshop on March 1, 2008 with the high-school students available in DotSub with English subtitles.

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FOKO in Antananarivo has integrated very active members from student high school associations and invited them to join the Film Your Issue Contest sponsored by the UN, Yahoo, and MySpace, which offers the chance to young people worldwide to expose an issue close to their heart.

Stéphane and Hery from the FOKO team gave them tips and advice to help them produce, edit and upload. Already a number of videos were uploaded by the students and more will come before the April 14 deadline.

fbc_maj.pngFOKO continued with their expansion in a new city, Mahajanga with the help of members of the School of Journalism.

Mahajanga , or Majunga (on the north west coast) is the second most important seaport after Toamasina and a beautiful touristic destination. It is far from from the capital Antananarivo, where 80% of Madagascar bloggers reside in. The challenges are great as internet connections are scarce in cities outside of Antananarivo. That is why FOKO felt the importance to introduce citizen media workshops in provincial cities like Toamasina and Mahajanga.

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In a recent update Joan reports on the extraordinary work by the Toamasina and Mahajanga participants:

Since Stéphane could’t make his monthly trip for the pictures and video training (the 2nd step of FBC ), they insisted in taking their reserved places at the cybercafé ! Poupoune diligently formed 2 friends of hers to blogging and despite the very bad connexion they were able to discuss with their new peers from Mahajanga on Skype. FBC-Mahajanga is a group of talented future journalists .This media is very new to them (the serious side of blogging), they took time to know more about the Malagasy blogosphere and discover the wonders from FBC-Tana and FBC-CPO groups. Lomelle managed to publish her first post during this short workshop and Faliniaina exposes his views on racism. With only a little training but a lot of (online) support, the voices from the provinces came straight from their hearts.

FOKO had recently interviewed Eduardo Avila, one of the driving forces of another Rising Voices grantee, Voces Bolivianas. Read it here.

fbc6tw0.pngExperience the latest workshop on Saturday, March 22 which was live blogged from multiple locations.

You can follow these commendable initiatives of FOKO by browsing these below:
* Rising Voices FOKO Blog
* FBC Blog
* List of participant blogs of different FOKO workshops
* Photos on Flickr
* Videos on Youtube
* on DotSub – English sub-titles
* on Bliptv

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