Conn@cting People is a project which will connect rural people (with no electricity neither internet access at all) from a war-displaced camp to others all over the world. It is an integrated project with 3 main activities namely, 2workshops on peace photojournalism and the use of internet, the installment of the first solar powered Rural Internet Kiosk (3 desktops) in Burundi and a photo competition and exhibit. The project aims at linking two different worlds and helping the targeted community and our country to move towards the Millennium Development Goal of Bridging the Digital Divide.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Bujumbura mayorship for the workshops and exhibit and Bujumbura Rural for RIK installment and photoCompetition.
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
The specific populations we are going to work with are youth (aged from 18 to 25 years old) from a rural commune frontier to the Capital city of Burundi which is located at 4 miles from the centre town and Jamaa Youth Centre. It is a community which has been terribly affected and dislocated by 15years of civil war and still has severe wounds in their soul. People from this part of the world live in deplorable and extreme poverty -no power nor water sanitation, not even one single cyber cafe and with less than 200€/year. The wish to work with them grew up in my mind since 2008 during peace photojournalism workshops which were implemented with Jamaa and Peace in Focus. Participants from that area(Sororezo commune)always complain that they have no internet at all, not one single cyber.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Conn@cting people provide stories about the target community daily life such as governance, war aftermath and human right through photography with illustrative messages. It is a means for young people from an underserved community to make their voices heard and participate in the process that are shaping their society. Our vision is to mobilize youth to act as social monitors within their community, foster public dialogue around key social issues and support advocacy actions for improved service delivery and accountability of duty-bearers via photography and internet. We want the present community to start use internet to make their voices heard worldwide. Facebook is the citizen media output which will be primarily created. My vision is to make the community “organize instead of agonize”
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
Jamaa has already established partnership with Peace in Focus, an American non-profit organization. It is committed to train youth from underprivileged and post conflict communities using photography and other innovative tool. GTC is another partner we work together, it is a local photo-laboratory it help us printing photo for exhibit. We also plan to work with IWACU a national newspaper through his iconograph Thierry Niyungeko who has been trained with Peace in Focus and Jamaa before he gets hired. We also plan to partner with FSD, a fund board from the French Embassy which provide small grants for development project, in order to perpetuate the project and get sufficient funds for the December photo competition and exhibit.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
10 young people (5 ladies and 5gentlemen from different ethnic background) from the displaced camp and its surrounding will participate in workshops. They will be chosen from leaders of local youth nonprofit movements. These workshop participants will afterwards run the RIK and train their peers and the general public. They will elect a secretary and a bookkeeper who will be in charge of elaborating working schedules and quarterly narrative and financial reports. Profits from RIK will be shared 50%-50% between the participants and Jamaa who will be in charge of maintaining the material and pay the internet connection fees each month. This will help improve the community quality of life. The RIK will be installed in the surroundings of small market near the displaced camp.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The main outcome of the project will be a First Solar Powered Rural Internet Kiosk in Burundi. The kiosk will house 3 personal computers connected to internet via a USB Modem 3G, with high connection speed. The focus will be put on using a digital camera and importing the taken pictures in a computer. At the end of the workshop each participant will have a Facebook account at first(and Email account endeed)and will be able to post pictures and tell their story to the Web Public on Facebook or other social network. As, project coordinator, I am a photojournalist and I have been training adolescents in photojournalism together with Peace in Focus since 2008. Among the workshop facilitators one is a computer engeneering department leaver and the other one is a local blogger and photojournast.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The project Conn@cting people consinsts of two kinds of workshop which will be carried out into different places. The photojournalism workshop will be implemented at Jamaa Youth Center in its Conference Hall. It can hold up to 100 persons and contains chairs, tables,sound system equipment and a data projector with its screen projection. It has 5 doors, 8 windows and 3ventilators. As far as the workshop on computer and internet use is concerned, I plan to rent a cybercafé near Jamaa youth Center(half a mile) which is equipped with 10 desktop computers connected with a typical average internet satellite connection speed(Standard IP service) around 492 up to 512Kbps, a print,scan and copy canon deskjet and 2 ventilators. Both places are also equipped with generator in case of black out.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
My first contact with them was in 2008 during a photojournalism workshop.We made excursions into that community in a good and mutual trust atmosphere. Jamaa has long worked for that community through different projects. In 1996, Jamaa with Search for Common Ground, organized a reconciliation soccer which opposed youth from that area(hutu ethnic group) and youth from the capital city(tutsi ethnic group), who were enemies at that period of civil war. In 2008, with healthnet TPO and supported with CSC (Child Soldier Coalition), we also implemented down there a project on Child Soldier issues. So, I and my Organisation are the most appropriate to implement the project, because if you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like as Benjamin Franklin(1757) urges “serve yoursef”
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The big challenge I expect to face is that of choosing the individuals who will benefit the training. People often complain that there is no transparency and the list changes even at the day of workshop launch. Another big problem is the rate of change of the US$ into local currency which varies day by day. For the first obstacle our job will be only to set up criteria on which participants can be chosen. And since they will be chosen from youth Non profit movements, it will be up to them to choose their representatives and handle the list to Jamaa. For the second challenge, we have planned the budget considering a rate of change less than the actual one: 1450 BIF per 1US$ instead of 1500BIF.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
1. Participants will be able to use a digital camera;
2. Participant will be able to switch on a computer and use it;
3. Participants will have Email and Facebook accounts at first;
4. Participants will be able to write their stories and paste illustrative pictures from a digital camera or mobile phone on Facebook;
5. Participants in particular and the community in general begin to recognize their similarities and differences with other communities and develop meaningful and healthy local and international community;
6. The people will frequent and make use of the RIK in a big number;
7. The project will promote the community and Jamaa visibility and experience to develop innovative solution to local challenges by becoming part of the Rising Voices Global Network.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
N° Dates tasks/activities to be implemented
1. July: 2-4 Preliminary contacts with authorities
2. July: 8-11 Identification of participants &workshop planning
3. July: 15-17 Peace Photojournalism workshop
4. July: 22-25 Computer & Internet use workshop
5. July: 29-30 Workshop narrative and financial reports
6. August: 5-9 The building of the kiosk
7. August: 12-14 Solar energy system installment & Computers
8. August: 19-20 Internet supply
9. August : 21-22 Test materials and participants’ reinforcement
10. August : 24 The RIK inauguration and activities launch
11. August : 30 Final Report
12. December: 23-28 Photo competition
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Expenditures Price/ unit US$ Quantity Duration/days Total US$
Travel &CommunicationFees 5 1 40 200
Cybercafé rent 70 1 3 210
Digital camera rent fees 20 5 2 200 Workshop costs 315
Kiosk building cost 200 1 – 200
Solar Energy System &computerInstallment 1662
Internet System Supply 300
facilitators’ stipends 15 2 8 240
coordinator 15 1 40 600
Total cost 3927
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can help promote our Project by posting it to its Website and be our mentor by linking us with other donators once it is selected for funding. It can equally provide us with tips for a better and successful implementation of the project and fund management. You can for instance send us manuals of internet use or photograpy in addition to what we possess.Furthermore, Rising Voices can help establish a pen-pal Program between the youth from Burundi and other young people from Netherlands who have a wish and will to communicate and share their ideas with the external world.