When FOKO started exactly 2 years ago, we had on our agenda a panel of ideas that we creatively wanted to turn into successful projects. With the help of Madagascar based activitists we reached to associations and individuals which already had experiences in working with communities and where recognized for their efforts in social activism. After a very active winter ( in the southern hemisphere) with mutliple workshops and gathering, September came as month where our efforts became recognized internationally and where the coordinators at FOKO had the chance to give back to the world which means….travelling cross the oceans to add Madagascar’s citizens’ voices to echues such as ICT and Education, Fight against poverty and Climate Change.
FOKO Efforts in promoting Citizen Journalism during the 2009 Political unrest
Many Twitterers based in Madagascar were already actively reporting on the events but FOKO bloggers took thei activism further by going on site and finally in June 2009 hosting a second barcamp this time dedicated to Citizen Journalism. Coordinators invited the journalists members of the Antananarivo American Press Center to transfer their weekly Friday Talk meeting at Barcamp location and mix with citizen media communities. This event was also an opportunity for Lova, coordinator based in the US to finally meet the bloggers who has been corresponding through blogs for years. Patrick who is FOKO’s most active blogger came with HKambora and Cunie from Tamatave who were impatient to share their stories covering political manifestations on this side of the country. After few meetings in Antananarivo, Lova and Global Voices Libgua translator the French journalist and FOKO’s number one Fan headed to Majunga to support the social activist Zouboon and little Kamba’s family (please read Kamba’s story reported by Avylavitra and Diana). Randy from ESSVA Antsirabe took also a part in this extraordinary event by bringing along with him students from this notorious Malagasy school of Journalism (many of ESSVA graduate and FOKO bloggers are now working at national media). A BBC article summarize their involvement and the neutral position of bloggers during the crisis and a photography workshop helped them improving their skills.
FOKO Efforts in promotiong ICT in Education published and exposed in media and educational publication
Bloggers from province have hard times finding good connexion and their work remain dependable on these logistical problems but it doesn’t mean that it diminishes the quality of their social activism. Jaona from Fianarantsoa proudly announced us about the mention of FOKO’s exemplary achievements in promoting new initiatives in ICT for Education in a UN-GAID publication and was invited by the international francophone agency to introduce FOKO’s work. Hopefully he will be able to share more on this amazing opportunity part of UN Millenium Development Goals on his blog, during a future workshop in Fianarantsoa or an interview. Locally BUEC students from Tamatave organized a tree planting a their university to show their commitment to Madagascar’s environmental preservation. Their work was reported on national newspaper Midi Madagascar which brought them a great sense of proudness and gave Malagasy youth inspiration in getting more involved in environmental initiatives.
FOKO Efforts in promoting social activism in fighting against poverty and climate change shared on international stage
Stéphane,co-founder and only FOKO coordonator based in Madagascar, is tirelessly travelling from provinces to provinces and communities to communities since 2007. He was on the verge of planning , yet, another tree planting outing with Malagasy-American singer Razia who is partnering with FOKO in her 10000 trees project when the invitation by Oxfam America White Speak and Act initiative to attend and cover UN summit on Climate Change in New York city. Only 40 bloggers worldwide were invited to this opportunity to ask our leaders about their commitment to fight Climate change and Stéphane is getting ready to report the events in to Malagasy, French and English speaking communities from his blog and on FOKO. On the same week, he will join Voiceteam as well in Pittsburgh to attend G20 summit and this time will bring light to Fight against poverty. FOKO was also committed in reducing poverty in Madagascar since Stéphane’s trip in Kelilalina in 2007 where he met local communities and brought their voices to the world. But this doesn’t mean that a blogger has to travel cross the ocean to promote their social activism. Patricia, one of FOKO’s youngest blogger, has attended a special UNICEF photography workshop to help Malagasy youth take pictures of the causes that were close to their heart. At her level and with FOKO spirit in mind, she is taking part in reducing poverty around her…