The bloggers at Nari Jibon sent their greetings to the attendees of the Global Voices Summit in Budapest, Hungary
The women of Nari Jibon traveled a long way to overcome shyness, opening themselves up, build their confidence and were trained to tell their stories to the world via blogging. But we have seen that their numerous submitted stories were being posted by the educators instead of them in the project's Bangla and English blogs. During the first anniversary of the Nari Jibon blog we interviewed some of the administrators and educators of Nari Jibon and they explained the challenges the students faced in this regards. Some of the students even feel relieved if they knew that their mistakes in writings will be edited before posting by someone else. A lot of changes were required.
Nari Jibon faces- for enlarged photos visit Kira Kariakin's Flickr album
I asked Taslima, their blog teacher how they are addressing this problem and she explained her efforts:
Most of our students are from school, college and university. So they can’t give much time at narijibon after class for practice and blogging. Still we kept them interested in blogging…We are trying to train up some students/bloggers so that they can open their own blog, edit and post their writings, photos, videos etc.
Most of them are from lower middle and middle class family. They do not have computer of their own and/or internet connection in their residence and that has become the ultimate challenge to open their own blog and continue blogging because they are not safe in their neighborhood cyber café. They are also facing problem from their family. Some parents thinks that they are wasting time in blogging.
To solve their family problem I talked with our students’ guardians and made them understand that they are not wasting their times and blogging can help them to build their career.
At Nari Jibon cybercafe they have another problem, load-shedding or a rolling blackout. Bangladesh is under a tremendous power crisis and the problem is acute especially during the summer (monsoon season), when the heat is on.
Nari Jibon founder Kathryn Ward, a professor of sociology and women studies at Southern Illinois University is in Bangladesh now who describes this problem:
Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh -Photo Nari Jibon
Bangladesh—what can I say—jackfruits, mangoes, litchees, and load-shedding. Several times per day, the power goes out at office, guesthouse, and friends’ apartments.
Load-shedding is an increasing challenge for some Bangladeshis and students who have tasted-experienced electricity, fans, and even some air conditioning as well as blogging.
She posts a video of the Nari Jibon cyber cafe during load shedding:
Nari Jibon students sit and swelter in dark computer lab during loadshedding.
But Kathryn was adamant that they should open blogs and the visiting English teacher from USA worked to encourage more student confidence and independence. And of course there was this sort of little help available from the friends of Nari Jibon.
As David noted in a previous post:
Much of the amazing content produced by Nari Jibon bloggers is thanks to the training they have received at workshops put on by an unlikely yet highly proficient group of veteran bloggers from Venezuela, Canada, and the United States.
Kira Kariakin, a journalist from Venezuela shares her experience with Nari Jibon:
This last Friday I was again in Nari Jibon, continuing with the conversation initiated last February about blogging and the motivations that we have to do it. Nari Jibon is a project that aims to provide alternative skills to women in Bangladesh. And blogging besides of being part of the curriculum it is also a way to give a voice to the unrest of these women that are looking to be the owners of their destiny and improve it.
The women of Nari Jibon have the vital energy in them. They are the fertile soil, part of the promise of a better future for all of them. In their faces and expressions of reflection, expectation or even sadness I don’t see anything else but determination of achieving to be the sole owners of their lives.
And with all that effort some of the students finally have their own blog now (with more to follow):
Jannat Ferdous writes about their visiting English teacher Shaina.
Zannat photographed the nature of Dhaka city.
Hira shares her photoshop creations.
Jainub Khanum pays her tribute to Kathryn Ward and describes how summer is in Bangladesh. She republishes an interesting poem on different uses of footpath and writes why she is proud to be a Bangladeshi.
Jasmine Ara Amzad Lita writes about her favorite fruit.
She writes a nice rhyme
on price increase:
“আজব শহর এই ঢাকা
ভানু মতির দেখছো খেল?
১০০ টাকা সয়াবিন তেল।
এসব শুনে রক্ত হিম
২০টাকায় চারটি ডিম।
শুনবে কি আর বাজার দর
ছাড় এবার ঢাকার শহর”
Strange city this Dhaka
Kachu sells at 20 Taka
Have you seen the turmoil?
100 Taka for Soyabean oil
Blood turns cold in leg
20 Taka buys four egg
Knowing price is a pity
Get out from Dhaka city
Please visit their blogs and it would be great if they receive some words of encouragement to motivate them to continue.
So nice to hear an update from our friends faraway. The greeting on video at the Summit was really fun to get.