Stories from March, 2009
The Rising Voices grantee Voces Bolivianas has been featured in the Canal Solidario-One World media project recently. In this feature we have Voces Bolivianas bloggers discussing how Bolivians are dealing with the new Web 2.0 learning, portraying their indigenous culture, national days, rock scene and many more.
It is hard to imagine a place more difficult to keep a blog than a country that just barely has an electric grid. But a few ambitious, aspiring Liberian journalists are working hard to join their colleagues from the DR of Congo, Uganda, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria on the frontiers of African new media.
The City Council of Sevastopol, Ukraine, has voted to ban medical facilities that belong to the municipality from providing replacement therapy, which requires the use of methadone or buprinorphine to treat injection drug users.
Just west of Ivory Coast lies Liberia and its roughly 3.5 million inhabitants. Settled by free slaves from the United States in the early 19th century, Liberia fell into a 14-year dark period of civil war and lawlessness that concluded in late 2003 with the presence of ECOWAS and the United Nations.
Rising Voices grantee Serbian Web Journalism School continued to impart interesting and innovative digital media trainings to budding web journalists of Serbia. Their second batch of participants completed their final tests with a practical assignment - covering the 37th FEST (film festival) in Belgrade.
Last October nine Liberian journalists learned how to blog at a workshop at the American Embassy in Monrovia. I am now back in Monrovia with Kathleen Flynn and Ken Harper to help facilitate more blogging workshops. This video introduces some of Liberia's most recent journalists and students of journalism to try their hands at blogging.
Rising Voices is supporting a new citizen media development project: Public Fund "Mental Health," located in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Their main work involves providing psychological support to HIV-positive people.
FOKO bloggers continues to be at the forefront of the coverage of the current political crisis in Madagascar overcoming the challenges of costly internet connections. Many of them are taking up micro-blogging (Twitter) as an easy and cost effective alternative and using Facebook to communicate between the fellow bloggers. Now everybody's concern is the safety of these citizen journalists in this increasingly tense political environment. But these fearless bloggers are defiant because they feel that reporting the truth to the world is very important as the mainstream media is very biased.
The decision to revamp the activities of the Hiperbarrio project had paid off as we see that regular blog posts from the members were published to describe stories of their neighborhood. The members have also attended video workshops to learn to produce/edit short (one minute) videos and post them online with subtitles. And an update of the fund drive for building a home for the homeless Suso is included in this week's feature.
The Orizonturi Foundation’s “Blogging the Dream” project is well into its hands-on practicum phase, and some participant blogs are already up and running.
Pavel Kutsev, leader of the Ukrainian organization Drop-In Center, calls for the introduction of a new medication for substitution therapy programs, since the drug currently being used doesn't help patients return to a normal life. The letter has been signed by Kutsev's counterparts.
Of the 270 project proposals we received from activists, bloggers, and NGO's all wanting to use citizen media tools to bring new communities - long ignored by both traditional and new media - to the conversational web, the following five are most representative of the innovation, purpose and goodwill that Rising Voices aims to support. Please join me in welcoming our new Rising Voices grantees.
Heather Ford, co-founder of the African Commons Project, was recently in Durban, South Africa to facilitate a followup workshop with the Muthande Society for the Aged. She summarizes the lessons she learned during the workshop and offers suggestions for other non-profits and funders interested in supporting citizen journalism training programs.