Language Digital Activism Workshops for South Africa

Are you a native or heritage speaker or user of an Indigenous, minority, or low-resourced language of South Africa?

Do you have an idea for a project or campaign that uses the internet or digital media to promote your language in digital spaces?

Are you interested in developing a plan to further advance that idea to make an impact for your language community?

If you answered “yes” to all these three questions, then we would like to invite you to apply to take part in a two-week online workshop “Strengthening your language on the internet through digital activism” organized by Rising Voices in partnership with UNESCO.

Please read through the following information, then apply below at the bottom of this page.

Dates and times:

Session #1 – Tuesday, November 16 @ 4 pm South Africa time
Session #2 – Friday, November 19 @ 4 pm South Africa time
Session #3 – Tuesday, November 23 @ 4 pm South Africa time
Session #4 – Friday, November 26 @ 4 pm South Africa time

Within the framework of the upcoming International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022–2032, Rising Voices has partnered with UNESCO to develop a digital activism toolkit for languages, designed for speakers of Indigenous, minority, and low-resourced languages who want to make an impact by promoting their languages in digital spaces. Low-resourced languages is a term often used for languages for which fewer online resources or digital content exist.

The resource intends to serve as a roadmap for speakers and other users who are currently engaged in or who want to start working to promote and strengthen their language, whether in cyberspace or by using digital media and technologies.

Developed in close collaboration with digital activists from around the world, and allied partners, the resource draws upon years of experience and best practices by these networks of language digital activists eager to share their knowledge with other communities. Organized according to tactics that contribute to the strategic goal of language reclamation and revitalization, the resource provides innovative examples of digital activism along with reflections on how to match activities with intended impact.

Through a partnership between Rising Voices and P2PU, the resource has been adapted into a four-session course to be offered online to language communities in seven different regions around the world.

You should apply if you:

  • Are a native or heritage speaker of an indigenous, minority, or low-resource language of South Africa
  • Either are already involved with your own digital project or campaign OR you have a strong idea for a digital project or campaign and need help to further develop the idea
  • Can commit to attending all four sessions (see dates and times above), and complete all learning tasks in between sessions
  • Have access to broadband internet, preferably to use video capabilities to connect with other participants

What to expect:

  • Four virtual sessions on Zoom, including breakout groups and discussion sessions
  • Readings or short tasks to complete before each session
  • Access to and interactions with peer facilitators who will also apply their experiences during the workshop/course
  • The opportunity to meet other like-minded people interested in digital activism from your country or region, and to strengthen ties.

You will learn how to:

  • Better understand how digital activism fits into broader strategies (human rights, language revitalization) and in relation to your unique local context
  • Articulate the intended change or impact you would like to influence
  • Identify strategies and tactics that best fit the change you would like to see
  • Locate ways to develop skills and explore examples that may match your proposed project
  • Create a plan based on a chosen tactic or strategy, identifying concrete steps to expand skills or knowledge.

NOTE: all the sessions in the training will be held in English.

How to apply:

Complete the following application form below. The deadline is November 7, 2021 at 10 pm (your local time).

Selected participants will be notified by November 8, 2021

There is no cost to attend for accepted participants.

Workshop organizers will select up to twenty participants to take part. Please note, we aim to ensure geographic, linguistic, and gender diversity.


Blossom Ozurumba is an Igbo language enthusiast and the founding curator of the Igbo Language Wikimedians User Group. As a professional Igbo language translator, she has executed both commissioned and freelance works for the United Nations, Google Inc, National Agency for the Control of AIDS in Nigeria, Wikimedia Foundation, Global Voices, Society of Igbo Professionals, Lagos Business School etc. She is currently working on an Igbo Language Podcast project, Igbo Proverbs, Idioms, and Phrases. It is a 2-minute quick and enjoyable podcast that will ideally share one Igbo Language Proverb, Idiom, or Phrase, provide the literal meaning and the figurative explanation while also suggesting the most applicable English language equivalent.

Soweto-born Siya Masuku is the founder of Siyafunda Online, a South African publishing company that is committed to sharing stories in indigenous languages. Siya is a recipient of the David Koloane Arts Writing Award (2017).

Apply here!

Thank you for your interest, but the open call for participants has closed.