Archive for the ‘Workshops’ Category

New media workshops with Malagasy journalists and social workers in Fianarantsoa

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

apc2

After an eventful year, Foko coordinator Stéphane Ramananarivo continues to lead workshops to new communities and as a member of the American Press Center was lucky enough to attend conferences and meet journalists and personalities involved in the field.Last Friday, another workshop took place at APC this time to learn about Social Media which is little known by journalists. Two young bloggers helped Stéphane introduce social networks such as Twitter and Facebook but also WordPress. This was the third workshop of a serie which started back in April 2009. APC members were also invited by Foko to attend Barcamp 2 in June 2009 and Friday Talks are still very popular debates among Foko members. He is currently training SAVA and DIANA regions bloggers who showed interest in Foko and its successful Blog Club outreach.


Even the oldest APC member was present

Journalistes et bloggers  dans le même sac

Vakinanankaratra bloggers had another workshop last week and shared with us this new gem from the most dynamic region of the country : http://mafiad.wordpress.com/. And a 2nd workshop was held in Fianarantsoa by most activist blogger Jaona, this time with social workers for marginalised youth (AIDS, Homosexuality,etc.). You can learn more about their great work on their blogs which will be updated soon : liantsoa.wordpress.com, vololonirina.wordpress.comvonona.wordpress.com

fianar

fianar2

learn to open an email account then blog

And finally  BOMBS blogging contest has crown 2 Foko bloggers as best in Culture (Moonlight), Vita Gasy and Teny Gasy (Avylavitra). Congratulations to the winners and Thanks to the jurys and readers who helped Foko organise this 2nd edition. You can follow daily updates from Foko community on Netvibes http://netvibes.com/foko, Facebook and Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/foko_madagascar/

Best of Teny Gasy

Best of Vita Gasy

Best of Kolo Gasy

Bloggers in Tamatave Come Together to Discuss Climate Change

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

COP15 has seen the participation of FOKO’s in real time live. Patrick has again outdone himself by participating with the non governmental organization Jade in a direct videoconferencing with Copenhagen. Patrick proposed to gather questions in advance on his blog.
Invite
The work with Jade has started on November 21 during a day dedicated to “Tamatave youth facing Climate Change”. This was to rise awareness among Tamatave youth for climate change issues. Patrick participated as part of FOKO with other 32 youths in Tamatave. A video on this event may be seen at here

“Au programme de cette journée : visite du parc zoologique, découverte de la richesse de sa biodiversité (faune et flore) et randonnée dans la nature, durant la matinée. Après un déjeuner en plein air bien gai : projection du célèbre film documentaire “An Inconvenient Truth” présenté par Al Gore (ex-futur-Président des USA, selon ses propres mots) et sorti le 21 novembre 2006, c’est-à-dire il y a exactement 3 ans ! Et pour clôturer la journée : un débat en table ronde sur comment les jeunes participants perçoivent le changement climatique, ce qu’ils comprennent sur cet notion et sur les enjeux des négociations sur le climat à la COP 15 à Copenhague, en décembre 2009.”

“During this green day : zoo visit, discovery of the wealth of the biodiversity, nature walk during the morning. A cheerful lunch in the open and screening of the famous documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” presented by Al Gore, and out on NOvember 2006, i.e. 3 years ago exactly ! And to finish the day : a debate on how young participants perceive climate change, what they understand as climate change and the issues of the climate change negotiations at the COP15 summit in Copenhagen”.
As Patrick relates :

“Much thanks to those who helped us with their all strength such as: Alliance Française Tamatave, IEGAP, Ambatovy project, and indeed Orange Madagascar. I think without your help, we couldn’t realize our aim. Now I want to take advantage to tell you that, “With Orange Madagascar, you will feel quite alright.” But also we won’t surely forget “L’organisation International de la Francophonie (OIF)” who gave us a chance to follow what happened in Copenhagen Denmark, to ask questions, to give our opinions, and even to give our own solution about this climate change in real time. In term of video conference, it was the first time that Tamatave’s people saw from their own eyes how it works out”.

That electricity had hiccups only added spice to the exceptional event.

“Suddenly we were very sad because only five (5) minutes before our direct participation onto the discussion, there was a power cut which blocked all and that’s the reason why there was a moment when I was offline. Fortunately we were well prepared for that, and also Cop15 participants understood very well our situation. But anyway that wasn’t too long. Few minutes later everything worked very well as before. It was successfully because we could participate on the conference in real time. We finished our mission with a full joy.”

Foko sharing Citizen Media experiences to Communities

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Journalists, Youth Clubs, Students, Bloggers, … During the month of April, many activities and events were attended by the bloggers on their own initiatives. We must remind here that this is an important step for our organization. When members of Foko community get to promote Citizen media and initiate activites on their own in order to become spokeperson for Foko without the  implication of the co-founders (who were also very busy this month).

zap.pngAntananarivo Miblaogy 5 : Behind the nicknames, real life activists

rss_mg.pngAriniaina and ICE Club members of Foko were heavily representing the new generation of bloggers at this edition. As usual it was a semi-private meeting between bloggers from the capitale were they has an opportunitiy to share about their experiences on blogging. rss_mg.pngTahina, shares :

The most interesting part for me is no doubt when they shared their experiences during the on going political crisis. The difficulties bloggers have to face when they are on site. And me, I was like a kid doing what I think I’m best at … listening, laughing and snapping some shots

zap.pngFoko introduced to Malagasy Diaspora in France : Thank you Sipagasy

Without the support of the Malagasy blogosphere, the Foko Blog Club project couldn’t have got nowhere. Sipagasy who was there from the beginning by commenting and participating on forums and chatrooms, took her activism further for the past 18 months. She was one of the supporters at the “Class of 2008 graduation party” and also visited rss_mg.pngPatricia in Brussels during her September 2008 Interdependance Conference trip. This April, she was our spokeperson in Nantes were 5000 Malagasy meet every year for the annual RNS (Rencontres Nationales Sportives – National Sport Meetings). Many asked about the purposes of the Foko Blog Club project and why blogging is important to Malagasy Youth. Of course it was surprise to them to learn that hundreds of young Malagasy were updating their blogs from provinces where the connexion is very difficult to get. They also asked if it was only for leisure as blogging is a very popular tool for French teens to express themselves. But Sipagasy told them about activism during this 2009 political crisis and shared videos and pictures from the many many social activities where Foko bloggers got very involved.

3170_1110640856989_1555914354_30268451_7604455_n

From Sipagasy album

zap.pngNew York Soul of the New Machine Conference : Lova tells about his Foko involvment in Human Rights, technology and new media

Lova who was strongly relaying on the bloggers from their twitters and blogs on the development of the 2009 political crisis had the opportunity to share about Foko’s activities :

As you know, Foko primary mission is to document the everyday lives of Malagasy citizens and local agents of environmental change, not record potential human rights violations by their government. Yet, the ongoing crisis decided otherwise for the time being. The hub was a great opportunity to meet and learn first hand from Human Rights activists present at the event.

The participants also discussed about the The Foko Ushahidi plateform specifically data accuracy, fact-checking and the use of mobile reporting. And rss_mg.pngTahina, to Solana Larsen of Global Voices has more details on the tremendious work Foko bloggers are doing :

there were a few obstacles to overcome but FrontlineSMS developpers ( Alex Anderson, Carlos Genz and Ken Banks) provided timely technical support and sped up the release of a new version they were working on to take into account the urgent need for an SMS/computer interface for the Madagascar crisis. We cannot thank them enough for helping us establish the first project to collect SMS reports directly onto a computer via the intelliSMS software.
The Ushahidi team was also tremendous in setting up the platform quickly and showing us how to modify the interface to allow for the translation of key words, categories and timeline.

zap.pngFriday  Talk at Antananarivo American Press Center : teaching New Media tools to journalists

Bloggers were invited by the ACP staff to share their knowledge on New Media tools to journalists. Herizo, among many ICT associations representants, who has already worked with Foko during October 2008 Barcamp and Ebit events, was the lead trainer during this “special workshop”.

3503687985_d8ee3ebf4c

Herizo (in blue) From r1lita Flickr Album

Dizains of new Twitter accounts were created but first they had to convince the journalists to take more involvment in New Media which wasn’t an easy part, watch Tahina’s videos :

3503739445_6680c99576

zap.pngWhen Antsirabe meet Tamatave : The power of Love

Randy Donny and rss_mg.pngPatrick were busy planning the ESSVA annual Spring trip to the provinces and this time they chose Tamatave. After a long trip, they arrived singing and smiling at Bakidimy’s University and were warmly welcomed by all the BUEC and Ravinala guide associations. Videos, Twitters, blog posts were published regularly by rss_mg.pngPatrick during their meetings.

foko-morningsong447

The wonderful trip took a very sad turn at Tahiti Kely Beach when one of the student was taken by the waves. Randy shares about his protégé Frédéric :

21309407432 He was just 21 and just got his baccalaureat last year with his friend Parfait. Their teachers from high school contacted me and shared about their financial difficulties to pursue their studies. I didn’t know them at all, I never even met them but I took them under my wings and brought them to Antsirabe. Then I took their cases to the ESSVA grant commission with the intentions to get them to study here. They won’t have to pay fees, I wasn’t disappointed: they made  good grades, have social skills and attended to classes everyday. Frédéric was interested in everything and was always asking around on everything, everyhwere he goes. He was the pride of ESSVA. He was part of the little group I gather and helped so they could succeed in their studies. The Gods of the Sea had decided otherwise and changed Frédéric’s fate.

More news and stories from Foko bloggers from the provinces of Madagascar

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

As we were making our monthly round of reports on FBC activities, we noticed that we didn’t take the time to properly introduce our October 2008 addition, here at the Rising Voices, the talented ESSVA classes of Journalism and Media from Antsirabe.

FBC _ Vakinankaratra par vous

rss_mg.pngESSVA, Ecole Supérieure Spécialisée du Vakinankaratra“ in Antsirabe was founded in 1999 and has became a distinguished professional education center in Madagascar with students coming from all the regions including the Comorros Island to graduate in Journalism, Ecotourism, Management, Education, Engineering and since 2008 in Restauration. Foko had the priviledge to have a citizen media workshop at this prestigious school with Randy Donny a professional journalist who is teaching the 2nd and 3rd year in Communication and Media. Our partnership was renewed when the school staff allowed the students to attend and host the E-bit technology fair in Antananarivo on October 17th helping the entire Foko community to introduce Citizen Media to thousands of Malagasy high-schoolers. After 6 months of activities, this new FBC location is still very active despite the recent events and their heavy school schedule. rss_mg.pngImahaka, rss_mg.pngRaslmetal and rss_mg.pngMicramia were also very alert and took part at relaying news during this 2009 political crisis (they joined Facebook, Twitter and the Ushahidi Squad). We were also very happy to learn from Randy that the bloggers are still very motivated and have helped opening dizains of new blogs since.

zap.pngI urge you all to support Imahaka by posting comments on his blog. His latest posts are worth the reading. And we also have new bloggers, we have to put on Foko list because they passed the ‘salutation’ stage : rss_mg.pnghttp://pchutedia.wordpress.com, rss_mg.pnghttp://andrikely.wordpress.com, rss_mg.pnghttp://seheno.wordpress.com, rss_mg.pnghttp://marcelgallo.wordpress.com, rss_mg.pnghttp://nouny.wordpress.com. And we have a new girl from Fianarantsoa rss_mg.pnghttp://mahatsiatra.wordpress.com and a student from the Comorros rss_mg.pnghttp://zalinasser.wordpress.com. You might keep looking for these new blogs that we still need to be fixed : rss_mg.pnghttp://pocahonthas.wordpress.com, rss_mg.pnghttp://jtaxx.wordpress.com, rss_mg.pnghttp://muldejangama.wordpress.com (a girl from Majunga), rss_mg.pnghttp://mirlucia.wordpress.com and rss_mg.pnghttp://Nanncy.wordpress.com

Jeune fille lors d'un karaoke! Phénomème moderne à Madagascar qui est devenu mode.

Young girl participating at a local talent show! from rss_mg.pngImahaka‘s blog

 

zap.pngAs the political crisis is getting new developments but the media focused on the capitale only, rss_mg.pngJelona the new coordinator from Fianarantsoa was able to bring more news from his region publishing pictures of daily manifestations. He will put all his energy in training new bloggers to Citizen Media not to cover the events only but also to introduce the extraordinary cultures and traditions Betsileo region.

rss_mg.pngJelona‘s blog (rss_mg.pnghttp://jelona.wordpress.com) was created in March 2008 and is from Fianarantsoa

 

zap.pngrss_mg.pngPatrick, über Twitterer, is by far the most hard working blogger of Foko community when posting videos regularly and bringing wonderful stories from Tamatave’s region. Recently he has helped rss_mg.pngJulienne to open a blog : rss_mg.pnghttp://juleetam.wordpress.com and updated us on the port staff’s strikes, rumours of a Diabe (political march), the results of a Volley Beach tournament and the very touching interview of Bosco :

Do you know why he is walking around alone like this?

zap.pngrss_mg.pngTahina, who is in charge of the Ushahidi aggregator in Antananarivo, has showed to many Foko how to use this new citizen meda tool and many bloggers were interviewed by International Media such as the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Lemonde. Lova is reporting on Ushahidi:

Amidst increasing concerns over the political instability in Madagascar and the safety of local news reporters, citizen media has made an important  contribution to the understanding and documentation of on-site based reports.

Report news from your location by texting directly to Ushahidi

Foko Pictures on Flickr

 

New! Podcasts and Videos

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

It has been months since we haven’t heard (litterally) from the bloggers. Becoming a Citizen Journalist on the web include learning :
1- to use a blogging platform, in our case WordPress has been a very easy to use from Madagascar;
2- to load pictures on Internet, on a blog post and on Flickr. See the latest addition from Lomelle in Majunga;
3- to take videos and sharing online, what is still a big challenge with the (very) bad load shedding at local cybercafés.
4- to podcasting, the easier way to share the Malagasy voices to the world .

We get the opportunity to teach the 2 first steps during the workshops when introducing the purpose of Citizen Media to newbies (who very quickly become very professional) but videoblogging and podcasting require practice and … a topic/event to cover.

Last year, Diana and Patricia put their skills in good use by promoting a rightful cause. Baby Kamba story was very documented and helped Diana get the world’s attention when Patricia was awarded with an International Youth Contest for her Lake of Shame video. Later, all the bloggers present at Barcamp and E-bit were given digital cameras,laptops and connexion time to cover the events from their citizen journalists’ point of view. You can see more on our Flickr albums from these two intense events and on the blogs. And finally Lomelle, the slam artist, shared her first track on her facebook.

ESSVA bloggers ...videobloggers by foko_madagascar.

When writing remains the most popular way at Foko, Tamatave group surprised us (during christmas time!) with very touching and interesting interviews. We are still brainstorming together to solve the few technical problems (related to loading the videos!) but you might to get used to see and hear more and more from Madagascar thanks to Foko bloggers.

Theophile on “Teaching about Thankfulness” :

There was one Pastor called PAPU who is from South Africa taught us about thankfulness.
Why is it so important to be thankful? He said in life there are many reasons we should be thankful wether to God or to one person specifically. But we make sure that we love the giver more than the gifts. In that case, even if we lose the gifts the relationship will still remain and that why we the ” Malagasy” people when we give something we always say ” Aza ny hakelezan’ny fanomezana no jerena fa ny fô manolotra” or ” Ny fô manotra no mameno azy!”. 

 

Cunie interviewing Diego Suarez students guests at Sangany Students Conference :

 

Tamatave participants par vous

 

Play (english):http://www.foko-madagascar.org/podcasts/diegostudents-1.mp3

Play (malagasy): http://www.foko-madagascar.org/podcasts/mpianatradiego-1.mp3

Patrick filming the Green Boy on Tamatave streets :

Green boy

 

Daily news from FOKO bloggers

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

After months studying for their exams and weeks waiting for the results (and they were all successful!), Foko bloggers resumed their Citizen Media duties by posting regurlarly on their blogs. Despite the problems of connexion, green (from Antsirabe), orange (from Majunga), yellow (from Tananarive) and blue (from Tamatave) updates appear daily on the RSS feeds from Foko Universe on Netvibes

rss_mg.pngrss_mg.png

rss_mg.pngrss_mg.png

Randy Donné and ESSVA students bring news from Vakinankaratra region and have helped in the publication of FOKO’s first full page on a national newspaper, Hebdo de Madagascar

Lomelle, Rondro, Antsa and Diana the talented students from the School of Journalism in Majunga are also intensively taking part in bringing news on the web. While interning this fall at two great Malagasy publications and newspapers in Tananarive, they use their blogs to share stories and opinions on the latest trend or the visit of a famous artist. Lomelle’s pictures from Admiral T show at Antsahamanitra this November.

 

BUEC and ICE English clubs are putting in practice the tips shared during FBC workshops by adding blogrolls and widgets to link between each others’ blogs, using Flickr and putting links on posts. We are still solving the problems of editing videos and loading them on internet from Madagascar (which still takes a lot of time from the little connexion the bloggers have).

 FBC bloggers at Teknet sharing connexion times and tips.

With now more bloggers on Facebook and exchanging daily sms and mails, all the decisions and solutions to the challenges Foko is facing will be commonly discussed!

Please post comments at :

Tahina’s on Malagasy National Basket-ball tournament

Rondro sur 388 animaux saisis à l’aéroport

Claire’s Comeback

Akory Tamatave ! Hello Tamatave !

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Last month, Stéphane went back to Tamatave and met Patrick who opened his blog during FBC 6. He brought us the guyz from the English Club and they both introduced them to Citizen Media.

Day 1 : June 27th 2008 Simple blogging session with 3 participants at the time. Knowing the very slow connexion in the provinces we started this technique back in June in Majunga, more attention was brought to each student during the 2-hour workshop.

Day 2 : June 28th 2008 The bloggers were unable to load their own pictures but amazingly had the chance to share few seconds from the GVO summit streaming from Budapest. They felt very proud to be part of FBC amazing community and are ready to put in good use their citizen media initiation.

Day 3 : June 29th 2008 podcasts and chatrooms , No rendez-vous with the global blogosphere on the Foko chatroom was possible this day because of too many interruptions. In place they made an awesome interview of Patrick (in english):

Patrick talks about blogging and the English Club

  • BUEC: Barikadimy’s United English Club

BUEC is an English club which is exist at University of Tamatave. It was created by group of students included Rolland, Gildas, Paul, Vohary, Jacquinot, Jean D’Arc, Fredel, Lydovick, Urbain and Patrick is the President actual. It was on 2003 and every years the member is increasing nonstop. In this club, there is no teacher neither students but we help one another. It is a very big opportinuty for the people especially the students at University of Tamatave to increase their skill in English (…)We always got problems about the room where we can have our meeting. Normally we hve to have one teacher at least but because we are all students in and we’re all bit busy of our studies no one of us could be a teacher. Also as a club we have not enough materials like computer, TV. We only have one tape for leastening but sometimes we want to watch a film. more here from http://layshiyuu.wordpress.com

  • The war

I think about the word life.I study economic so why I like doing analysis a little about its.The country under developping has a big problem.Now I tell about a malnourished,the children is sorrow they haven’t anything to eat and so on.But I don’t know why the rich country spends his money just for a war. And sometimes its has also traffik for aperson that means they sell a poor people for having a monney . The war or violence exist by a different way.This storry make’s me sorrow.If  you interesting for this what we should do ? from
http://violance.wordpress.com

  • New blogs

http://bodoundjan.wordpress.com
http://hanitra085.wordpress.com
http://theophilusman.wordpress.com/
http://hkambora.wordpress.com//
http://clairesttuburn.wordpress.com/

See? They are ready to take over the world and are waiting for your  comment…

Congratulations to Foko Blog Club Class of 2008 !

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Back in October 2007, we started the blogging project at a tiny cybercafé between close friends who wanted to share their knowledge and passion for blogging when gathering around a THB (a very well-known Malagasy beverage). Today we kept our rituals of enjoying our times first but extended our circle to a wider community and learned back from the amazing friends we met from the streets of Analakely to Mahabibo Market.

Many were present Saturday May 24th (After FBC 9) for the party organized for the blogging contest winners

(pictures here :Avylavitra, Patricia, Nombana, and the Namana Serasera supporters)

Our coordinators and members kept on finding ways, most of the time by improvising, to give more visibility to Citizen Media in Madagascar when the blossoming internet is reachable to only the few who can afford the connectivity and of course the digital knowledge. Because of humbleness, they shared very little about their everyday struggles to convince (people to join the workshops), produce (exceptional and original pieces) and …load their work (which is the most frustrating step). But we’ve started to notice from the nervosity and then the excitment they demonstrated when receiving feedbacks and reactions from sympathizers from all over the world.

Monsieur Vita, Director of the School of Journalism in Majunga, has invited Foko to formarly integrate Citizen Media to their cursus. Starting from last week, Lomelle, Rondro and their 2nd year class will help their 1st and 3rd year peers to the basics of blogging, podcasting and vidcasting ( Patricia in Antananarivo have been leading 2 workshops on her own now). This partnership will help Foko bring more attention to Malagasy provinces and open an official window to the school. We’re currently studying the best strategies to fructify our collaboration with the staff.

Very happy blogging class and improvised FBC.

Stéphane with Monsieur Vita the Director

From the Madagascar English Journal invitation to contribute to their weekly publication distributed to all the schools on the island, we managed to get our English speaking bloggers a dedicated column. Mrs Annelie Rozeboom from the American School of Antananarivo has kindly edited 4 articles from Cylnice and Zouboon when at the same recommending the authors to share more stories from the provinces and most of all touching interviews like this one with little Eliza.

Foko will carry on on improving media citizen skills to our experienced bloggers until the beginning 09-10 school year in October when we’ll open the workshops to new members. UN Youth Club of Antananarivo members have already suggested to learn more on internet and webdesign tools such as Photoshop, video editing and websites designing during their summer vacations with Foko. We’ll also focus more on Toamasina group now that Majunga have received their digital camera and support them the same way on producing more contents on their amazing region and lifestyle.

Congratulations Class of 2008 !!

Backstage with the Foko coordinators in three Malagasy cities.

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Foko wouldn’t have been close to achieving its goal of without the relentless commitment of its coordinators on site who managed to recruit promising new bloggers. We’ve already posted photos and podcasts from Stéphane, Lindsay, Hery, and Tantely. Foko would like to thank them again for building a strong network and give opportunities to many different groups of volunteers. It took plenty of time and effort on their parts and we’re all very proud of what they have accomplished.

Let’s recap the recent posts by each cities’ group of bloggers. You will see that some of them wrote about undertaking projects that would bring tangible social changes in their respective communities:
1) The group in the city of Mahajanga is composed of the next generation of Malagasy journalists formerly supervised by Lindsay. On the Foko Flickr album, you can see that many of the authors from Mahajanga are also part of a dance team.

Diana blogs about taking on a project that would help alleviate the congenital condition of a Kamba baby and support his family. Rondro recently submitted a post on Tromba (a Malagasy spirit calling practice) to the English Journal of Madagascar and will continue with her monthly contribution of news from the provinces and writing about Malagasy Culture. Lomelle, who was one of the winner in the FBC blogging contest, MielManja, Zouboon and Jombilo have also provided us with poetry, interviews and surprising stories.

2) The Antananarivo group is represented by the CPO UN Youth Club and bloggers from the Namana Serasera community. FcCandy is currently taking her final exams and we encourage everyone to cheer for this amazing 13 year-old blogger by leaving a comment on her blog. Karenichia and Pati are well-known for their taking charge of some of the FBC workshop activities.

From this group, there is also Witched who recently wrote about a RV common blog theme: How do you have fun in your country? New Bloggers Andovahin, Nombana, Majy and Aikomamy are giving us great hopes as well. Blogging workshops are already scheduled for the summer vacations to keep the students active and will be tutored by Hery.

3) The Toamasina group is now blogging in Betsimisaraka and…English ! Patrick is the president of the Toamasina English Club group and is now a partner of the FBC. We mentioned previously the importance of bringing more attention to Toamasina, a economically surging region with still limited media coverage. Therefore, Foko always awaits posts published by the Toamasina group with great anticipation. Poupoune often contributes to to the Foko Flickr album with impressive photos, hence maintaining a regular inputs from the group in spite of connectivity issues.

How does Foko coordinate everyone’s efforts from 3 cities far apart? The increased internet connectivity is evidently a major help even though for the first few months, each group encountered problems with computer training and spotty internet connection. Since some coordinators are based overseas, Foko relies heavily on text-messaging and Skype to transmit information back and forth. We’re also giving the Twitter platform a try and we are planning on teaching every bloggers the value of this new blogging tool.

Lindsay Redifer, FOKO Blog Club’s First Vidcasts, the Majunga School of Journalism, the mini blogging contest, …

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

We got introduced to Lindsay Redifer thanks to the Rising Voices newsletter. Lindsay is a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Madagascar who stayed on to teach English at Majunga’s Journalism school. She also has a keen interest in citizen journalism and loves Madagascar, as she so powerfully describes in her interview by Pati . She became our Blog Club’s enthusiastic tutor in Majunga, Madagascar’s third city, on its western coast.

Majunga’s new citizen journalists are not only showing great promise but are already realizing them. The posts are engaging, numerous and in three languages : Malagasy, French and English. Take a look at the posts, translated in English here. Subjects range from the universally controversial one of abortion, to posts dedicated to Malagasy customs. We also have a slam poet !

We want to thank Lindsay wholeheartedly for her hardwork and dedication. Words are not enough. Lindsay is now leaving Madagascar for good and we wish her greatest success in her search to do more citizen journalism related work. Mirary soa ary misaotra betsaka, Lindsay !

Lindsay and Hery, the UN Youth Club Coordinator and FBC mentor, assisted also the young but talented Nombana and Pati in editing and producing their first vidcasts. They only needed some nudging and pointers to come up with real short documentaries. One is about the life of Dominique, a child beggar in Antananarivo. Another one is about the infamous lake of Behoririka in Antananarivo, a sad case of urban pollution disaster. Both were submitted to the Film Your Issue competition.

Thanks to Lindsay, our bloggers are also getting a special column in the Madagascar English Journal, a weekly publication for educational purposes distributed to schools and sponsored by the American embassy.

2442892069_6b9451703f

And lastly, the last FOKO Blog Club session with new bloggers was held on April 26th. A joint one again with Majunga and Toamasina blog clubs participating. This time we have put some of our confirmed bloggers, Karenichia and Patricia in charge. There was no chatrooms for diasporic bloggers to cheer on the new bloggers. But the blogosphere was still present to discuss Lapino and Dadarabe’s cyberfety and to discover the new blogs.

We are working hard on providing more pictures, more podcasting and more vidcasting workshops.

We also held our first mini blogging contests. Results were announced. The winner will get a digital camera to take more pictures and make vidcasts, the others will get internet connexion, with special mentions to some very special ones who will be promoted to be mentors.