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FOKO: August 2009 Updates

Tibora Bea conducting Photo Workshop. Image by Tahina

Tibora Bea conducting Photo Workshop. Image by Tahina

FOKO Blog Club arranged a photo workshop at the beginning of this month. It was held by Tibora Bea, a photography instructor from USA and supported by Christi and others.

Tahina is delighted that now he knows all the advantages of the “manual modes” of camera:

As a newbie in photography, knowing all these options, when and how to use them is not obvious. Well, it’s hard to sum it up in a post but what I can say is that this workshop helped us a lot and now we the thing we need to do is practice more and more.

In this video Tibora explains the two main goals of this photography workshop:

Tahina posts some photos of the workshop in his Flickr page.

FOKO group photo after photography workshop. Image by Tahina

FOKO group photo after photography workshop. Image by Tahina

For those who are following the baby Kamba story, we have an update. Lova Rakotomalala writes:

I will always remember April 2009. [..] April was memorable because as Diana put it so masterfully, (baby Kamba) the youngest member of the Foko community passed on.

The loss hit everyone hard and prompted the question of what could have been done differently. In a more general setting, it poses the question of how to manage aid from and through the web effectively.

So what does one suppose to do after such a loss ?

Viviane and Kamba's mother, Image Courtesy Lova Rakotomalala

Viviane and Kamba's mother, Image Courtesy Lova Rakotomalala

Unexpectedly, talking to Kamba's mum in July helped mend the wounds. She said that she was appreciative of everyone's effort and that although the loss of Kamba still stings deeply, she knows he is in a better place now thanks to all the love that was send to him worldwide. She believes Kamba's twin sister Viviane still carries a part of Kamba with her.

Furthermore, Majunga Foko blogger Zouboon has picked the ball and, through her volunteer work with an association that helps family in need, she successfully placed Viviane's family in a local support structure group so that the nutritional needs of Viviane can be monitored effectively.

FOKO blogger Zouboon at work

FOKO blogger Zouboon at work

There is another good news for FOKO Blog Club. Lova continues:

Jaona of Foko Fianaratsoa was chosen as one of the few youth web activist (via TakingITglobal) who will travel to Monterrey, Mexico for the UN-GAID annual meeting on “ICT and Innovation for Education” in September.

And this news beats all other news. Lova informs:

ICE club and Foko dynamic contributors Arinaina and Andry are getting married today (8/8/09). Congratulations and much love to both of them.

We are waiting for the report and of course the pictures of the nuptials.

FOKO blogger Zouboon at work

Image Courtesy Christi

Christi at One Drop In The Ocean writes that FOKO was featured in BBC News last month:

In Madagascar, old and new bloggers saw themselves turning into a vital conduit of information — text, audio, photo, and video — through which the world could stay informed on the unfurling of the 2009 political crisis. In the process, a citizens’ media movement has been ignited…

Listen to BBC's Madagascar correspondent as she tells the story of some individuals at the vanguard of the island's blogosphere.

Tahina and Andry was also interviewed by BBC. You can listen to the interview from here.

On another sad news Stephane, a coordinator of FOKO who coordinates all of the foko activities, was attacked and robbed at his home. He describes the situation with pictures.

Now let us look at some recent blog posts from the FOKO Members.

Tahina writes about the reconstruction phase Madagascar is witnessing after the infrastructural damages in the recent political crisis.

Shops destroyed during the unrest of the past months are recovering little by little. By themselves or with the help of the government, I can’t tell, they are trying to shyly re-launch their business. In fact the former and the current administration pledged to give them help but I don’t know whether it has come to reality or not.

Bedrooms on the sidewalks. Photo by Ariniaina

Bedrooms on the sidewalks. Photo by Ariniaina

In this post about the homeless people in the streets of of the Madagascar capital Antananarivo, Ariniaina compares why people leave a little brick house in countryside to lead this awful life in a little wooden house in the capital city.

Moonlightgirl talks about the exhumation rituals she witnessed at Andramasina Antemotra.

Andry at The Cyber Observer discusses about the perils of citizen journalists in Madagascar:

Today, our friend, Jentilisa wanted to take some pictures of some policemen, in Antanimena (downtown of Antananarivo), who confiscated banners from some legalist ralliers who were on their way to join the MAGRO place (Ankorondrano – downtown of Antananarivo). The policemen saw him picturing them. They wanted to confiscate his camera but Jentilisa did not accept. Finally, they let him go but warned him “Tadidiko ialahy!” (I will remember you!).

This is not a isolated case, such misadventure has already happened to many bloggers since the beginning of this crisis but till now, we can all admit that we are lucky …

Mammal at the shoreline. Image by Patrick

Mammal at the shoreline. Image by Patrick

Patrick writes about a big mammal which washed ashore:

Few weeks before the famous « Tsola be » festival in Ste Marie: one whole was died along the Mananara-Nord sea side. At this time, many people are really interested to see how big this very large sea mammal is. Its length was 8m long. I guess almost of them there have never seen such a very big sea creature. Then one problem was coming out , the people ain’t satisfied of only looking at him without knowing how taste is he. They simply ate the sea mammal without asking : « What is the cause of its death ? » Fortunately, none of them get sick after having enjoyed to eat him. Thanks to God.

Cunie, a new blogger writes:

Malagasy always maintains some relations with their ancestors. For them, the deaths aren’t deaths; they live in the shadow of the living. In the Malagasy’s cosmogony, the ancestors protect and bless their descendants.

Every year, a ceremony, that is merely the “Famadihana”, takes place during the dry season, between June to September, for to make a feast with the deaths.

Nhari thinks that the solution to the recent political crisis in Madagascar is fresh elections.

Moonlightgirl informs in a Twitter message:

Swine Flu is attacking Madagascar : There are already 4 victims here in Tana

Here is a list of some new blogs from madagascar:

  • Liva's Blog
  • Wallawalle's Blog
  • Armagedonne's Blog
  • F.I. Christel
  • Tamajack's Blog
  • Ledhada’s Weblog
  • You will find a detailed list of FOKO bloggers at this page.

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