Stories from November, 2008
It was an eventful October for the Rising Voices grantee FOKO Blog Club (FBC) project in Madagascar. With the help of FOKO bloggers many participants at the 'Madagascar barcamp' and the 'E-Bit youth day ICT event' learned about digital literacy and citizen media. FOKO bloggers are now taking charge of the outreach activities with a inspired community feeling and FOKO is soon spreading to more parts of Madagascar.
Discussing AIDS is never easy, but that is especially true in a community like Kwa Mashu on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa. In this conversation with three young bloggers from Kwa Mashu we see that there is still a lot of differing opinions when it comes to HIV testing, the causes of the disease, and what the South African government should be doing to curb infection rates.
This video produced by MTV's Staying Alive Foundation shows the inspiring work done by Kenya-based Rising Voices grantee REPACTED. See more videos of the REPACTED project and read the most recent posts by their bloggers by taking a look at the REPACTED category of Rising Voices.
The K-CAP bloggers from the Kwa Mashu township outside Durban, South Africa improve upon their digital storytelling skills and offer us an in-depth look at the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre where they have just recently finished their year-long performing arts certificate program. Thanadanani and Ncebo are our hosts throughout the tour as we learn about local music groups, how the arts helps Kwa Mashu's development, and the good and bad that comes along with increased freedom in post-apartheid South Africa.
In the follow-up to a recent post in which "Mazay" from the Drop-In Center explained harm reduction to Ukrainian police officers, Veronica Khokhlova offers this translation, which reveals that the lecture is already starting to bear fruit.
Eduardo Ávila of the Voces Bolivanas project recently visited the REPACTED project in Kenya. Read his accounts of the works and the challenges of this project. Also posted in this feature are two videos of Magnet theatre, their tool for behavioral change in the society and some photos taken by Eduardo. Read also the highlights from the blogs of the REPACTED members, who are telling amazing stories online about their fight to make the world free from HIV/AIDS and STIs.
Despite a few posts published in Bengali on their group blog, Amader Kotha ("Our Stories"), most Nari Jibon bloggers have had to write solely in English due to the lack of online and computer support for the Bengali language. Over the past few months Taslima, the supervisor of Nari Jibon's computer section, has been collecting best practices regarding how to blog in Bengali. Yesterday she led a workshop at the Nari Jibon center focused specifically on Bengali unicode, the various Bengali-language blogging platforms, and how to set up a Blogger-based blog in the bloggers' native language.
Communication officers and leaders of local HIV and AIDS organizations in Congo start blogging about their experiences with HIV/AIDS issues in their communities, sharing stories of discrimination, stigma, and hope.
It all started in 2006 when well known Bolivian bloggers Mario Duran, Hugo Miranda, and Eduardo Ávila envisioned a digital literacy project for the underrepresented communities of Bolivia. With the help of a Rising Voices micro grant and the passion and commitment of the Bolivian bloggers the project had expanded from El Alto to other cities in Bolivia like Santa Cruz and Beni where blogger volunteers imparted blog, video, photography and podcast workshops to hundreds of Bolivians. The project has recently released two manuals in Spanish language on how to open a blog in Wordpress and Blogger platforms.
The AZUR Development organization is training communication officers and leaders of local HIV and AIDS organizations in digital story telling, podcasting, and blogging to help document the stigma and discrimination faced by people infected by HIV/AIDS in Congo.
The Drop-In Center based in Kiev, Ukraine has opened a LiveJournal blog to share their experiences of working at a harm reduction facility aimed at meeting the health needs of Kiev's injection drug user community. Veronica Khokhlova translates a recent post by one of the Drop-In Center's staff.
Rising Voices bloggers joined the global chorus this week as several responded to Barack Obama's victory in Tuesday's presidential election in the United States. We hear comparisons with elections in Colombia and Bolivia, and a blogger in Kenya shares his worries about the security of Obama's grandmother living in Kogelo, Kenya.
Pati Rakotomalala represented FOKO Madagascar at this year's Interdependence Day in Brussels, Belgium about the importance of listening to youth. Pati later gave a presentation about her experience in Brussels at Madagascar's first-ever Barcamp.