The Mondulkiri Resource and Documentation Centre (MRDC) has been active in the mountainous indigenous populated province of Mondulkiri, Cambodia in collecting, organizing and making available all data and information about the province and especially its main ethnic group, the Bunong. This project aims to continue this work by training young Bunong volunteers in producing locally-made films related to the past and present Bunong culture and on broadcasting them through social media tools developed for the global community and mobile phones for the local communities.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
The Bunong ethnic group has remained beyond the margins of Khmer people developing specific traditions and ways of living based on wise use of natural resources. Their ancient culture is transmitted orally through only-spoken language and is rich in songs, myths and stories. They have also developed great know-how in producing artifacts based on their environment. The recent socio-economic changes occurring in the province are marginalizing them more, making them poorer, and putting pressure on their bioculture. They are one of the most vulnerable groups in the country with few means to express themselves and almost no representation online. The young generation is getting better education and more willing and able to convey their culture and life-styles through new media.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Bunong cultural knowledge exists in the minds of elders to be handed down orally to the next generation. Only a few people retain numerous stories and songs of places and characters, origins of villages, names of useful plants (medicinal, construction), traditional ceremonies and mythology. Today we are pioneering local self-help groups for new social economic model based on the creation of traditional products such as crafts, herbal remedies, folkloric dance etc. Young Bunong students could now record videos and audios of their stories and knowledge to be produced; edited and shared in MP3 and MP4 formats. They will broadcast them through social media to worldwide audiences and to local communities, through mobile phones, as they have no electricity, internet, etc.
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.
MRDC has worked closely with the Provincial Dept of Culture that supports activities. Local and traditional authorities of villages are also closely involved, facilitating the collection of documents and their diffusion to villagers. MIPAD (Indigenous people’s own organization in Mondulkiri) will be an important partner as it federates the 12 self help groups in the creation of contents. MIPAD would distribute the material created through their village outreach activities and wider network with indigenous people within and beyond Cambodia. We will develop a close partnership with the high school in the provincial capital, Sen Monorom, as many students especially girls must board for their education. We find that they are both the keenest and best represent the widest cross section.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
Participants to the initial workshop, that will give an insight of the project and the use of social media, will consist of 20 to 25 young Bunong students from the boarding school. Then the 5- 6 most active will be selected after a first simple assignment to form a group that would be more specifically trained to produce material, to use and administer the social media tools. Their teachers will also be involved in the activities and be trained in the use of social Medias. Then at the end of the project the teachers will be able to follow up with their students on the development of the social media tools. In addition the volunteer group will join the MIPAD organization as a junior advocacy group.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Latest Information Communications Technology – computers, phones, film camera, fix camera, sound recorder, etc. Adobe premiere for video edition, tools to convert sound files to mp3, mp4. The main coordinator has worked with leading NGO “DC-CAM” and has expertise in filming, recording and editing people stories related to the Khmer Rouge period. She will be the main trainer for developing local skills in the production of short films. The MRDC staff and student volunteers have already developed activities related to social media and were trained by an international consultant from UNESCO. They have uploaded resources on You Tube, Isuu, Flick r and developed their website and blogs.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops and trainings will be held at the MRDC located at Nomad RSI office. There is a large meeting room available that can host up to 30 people with LCD projector and screen for presentations. A working space is available upstairs with three desktop computers and two laptops that will be used for the trainings, editing of films and uploading and administrating social media. Internet is currently available through ADSL with 6 Mbps broadband and wifi is also available. USB 3G modems are also used in case of ADSl technical issues. There is also the possibility to upgrade to optic fiber if Nomad RSI gets new funding allowing us to secure a high speed internet access.
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?
Almost all staff members of Nomad RSI and MIPAD are members of the community and have been working with the community in all the villages of the province, especially regarding health and cultural issues for the past 12 years. They have then developed a network of relationships with people all around the province. That in turn led to the formation of the new federated organization MIPAD, the first genuine dedicated indigenous organization in Mondulkiri and for Bunong people. MIPAD is committed to the long term development of the Bunong people. The groups’ members of the association are the first activists and beneficiaries of the interventions.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The most important challenge will be to organize well the schedule of the students with the High school teachers and directors in order not to overload them and keep up their interest in the project. It will probably be best to organize the training and outreach activities during their holidays. Then the planning needs also to be clear for the parents that might want farm activities with their children during the holidays. There is then the need to give some incentive and explain well the benefit that the children will get by joining the activities to compensate for the labor force of the children. The only security is safety of students, especially girls, which we address by always having group activities with adult supervision.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
We will measure the project’s impact, on students trained, by outputs – number/variety of videos produced, followed by regular updates/feedback of social media. Content quality will give more indication. We will measure local/wider community impact by random checks to see who is watching or logging in. We will see if villagers are watching or listening to the new content created with their mobile phones. For the global community the number of viewers and visitors will be the main indicator. We will obtain qualitative data by their comments. The main indicator showing the success of the project will be to see the students trained continuing to update the social media tools and creating their own new content in collaboration with MIPAD and the local self help groups.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
In June before the end of the school year an initial workshop will be organized. The first day will invite participants to an overview of the project and a rapid introduction to the different tools that will be used. Then groups of 5 students will be formed to do an assignment that will be organized in the next days. Once all groups have done their assignments the project team will select the best and most motivated students to join the project team.
July to September (during the school holidays) the selected students will be trained in filming, edition and social media use and administration.
From October to April outreach activities will be conducted in target villages, stories and new content will be produced and social Medias will be developed together with the MRDC staff. A refresher training would also be organized depending on the needs.
Finally from April till June a follow up with students will give them the basic support to create and develop their own contents.
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
The initial workshop cost will be:
Day 1: 7 $ per participants (including snack lunch and material support) with 25 participants = 175 $
Day 2 will cost 21 dollar (including transport, material and per diem for food) for each day and will be repeated 4 times = 84 $
Trainings on filming and IT tools for edition, for social medias uses and refresher training will cost 45 $ per training as it will mainly be used for buying snacks = 135 $
Travels to interviews community and collect stories in 8 villages will cost 120 $ per village in average = 960 $
Contribution to core cost for the use of office facilities 40 $ per month = 480$
Nomad project coordinator contribution salary 110$ per month = 1,320$
Video camera = 500 $
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
An important challenge would be to develop the visibility of the Social Media created and updated by the project so that Bunong culture is kept alive, extended to new horizons and can be acknowledged worldwide. It would be great to especially reach exiled Bunong communities living abroad in the US and Austalia and also developing contacts and exchanges with other communities. Rising Voices could be of a great help through its international network. It would be good if our websites could be linked – www.mondulkiri-centre.org
Link to Existing Project
Comments are closed