Finalist – Cameroon: Voicing Out to Release Post Conflict Trauma
This project will use internet media to enable victims of the recurrent inter-tribal land use resources conflicts between the villages of Oku and Mbessa in the North West Region of Cameroon to expose their never considered grievances in solving the conflict. Women and children in both communities still want to have a say about the conflict management methods. They feel more relieved when someone listens to their ordeals. Their voices will be exposed through social media for a wider audience.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Oku and Mbessa Community border village.
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
Women and children are usually underrepresented when solving the inter-tribal conflicts, yet they are the most affected. Women use the land directly for agricultural practices. No online media is available which recounts their traumatic experiences and their marginalization in the management of the conflict. They feel rejected and neglected in the procedures. This has a traumatic effect and builds tension leading to more conflicts. They live in a rural community with no acess to computers or internet. They are computer illiterate.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Videos, short movies, Pictures, and radio and podcast anti conflict slogans in the native languages will be produced by the participant women and children from the severely affected communities for online publishing and community radio broadcast. The content will be real and original. Personal blog stories will be created which will be published online.
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.
I'm a native of Oku village. I have both family and friendly ties with the Mbessa village. I have a teacher friend and colleague who is an indigene of Mbessa. Despite the fears of socializing between the communities, we lived together while working as teachers in town, now we have both been transferred to work in our respective villages. I spoke with him about starting an NGO, which will work in both communities. This idea will simply accomplish our desired dreams to live together and will also foster post conflict family reunion.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
Fifty participants will be trained. Twenty-five from Oku and twenty-five from Mbessa. The participants will be from the conflict zones. There is already the zeal for participation. I had discussed with some women and children from the zones and they show interest in sharing the stories, reason why I came to know of the problem. Getting online feedback and sharing will arouse more interest thus sustaining participation. They will decide the content, so will feel more involved. They will become interested in using the various multimedia centres within their respective communities.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Participants will be trained on how to use basic internet social networking, audio recording, video recording, and use of data storage devices. They will also receive training on how to upload collected media to online social media sites or unto a computer. Our organization has an ICT student Engineer. In addition we will partner with the community radio. The radio staff is trained on media development.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We are going to use community halls in both villages for the workshop. Part of the training will be done in Oku and part in Mbessa village so as to involve both communities. Each of the halls (have chairs and tables) can accommodate 100 persons. Both communities have acess to GSM, so we will use USB modems with a connection speed of 500 Kbps. Our organization can provide five desktops computers, and five laptops. We shall rent five laptops to add to the training. This training will be done directly in the communities involved. If it were to be done in the heart of both villages we will have more participants and computers since there are multimedia centres present in the communities at locations not directly involved and far away from the conflicts villages. We intend to target only those
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?
I have very strong family and friendly ties in both communities, we both belong to the same tribal lineage. I have never let these ties to be broken by conflicts. As an educated person and teacher I feel very different about allowing our differences to entangle our close ties. Besides, I could be transferred to teach in Mbessa. I and our organization have members and friends in both communities who share the same feelings and ideology. We took as a challenge to educate and bring our communities together. If the means become available, our organization will set up a solar powered multimedia centre at the border area to be used by both conflicting village groups.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The first challenge will be to recruit up to the target number of participants from both communities. We are aware that many will be reluctant to come together as conflicting communities. We will also face the problem of getting our equipment available at the conflict zone because we want the training to be done in an area where both communities share a common boundary.
The locals respect the indigenous rulers known as the Fons. We are already making connections with them. Our intension is to get them convince their subjects to enroll into the training activity since we intend to use trainers of trainers from both communities.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Firstly, we will record number of participants by taking note of their ages and status in both communities. We will also include a record of the number of personal media produced by individual participants for publicity. We will progressively record those who like to participate voluntarily but cannot be included because of resources. Through social networks we will reach Oku and Mbessa communities in the cities and beyond. We will judge the comments posted by concerned as well as non-concerned communities posted on the links or social networks. Greater interest and commitment by participants and non participants in terms of numbers of media postings locally, nationally and internationally will indicate ours successes. We intend to create success story interviews.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
The project execution, primary monitoring and evaluation will last four months. After this period, our organization will continue monitoring the responses and reactions of both participants and non participants. The project time line is as follows:
June 2013: Advertising of project and official recruitment of participants from both communities.
July 2013: Planning of project itinerary and training of trainers from communities, preparation of training site, acquisition of training and working equipment.
August 2013: Training and evaluation of primary participants from both communities.
September 2013: monitoring, evaluation, reporting and development of success story
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Purchase of modems( 15 modems at $70 USD)= $1050 USD
Renting of additional hardware (computers) $ 50 x 5 =$250 USD
Purchase of USB data storage devices $ 6 x 50 =$300 USD
Internet acess (15 modems (at $20 per month per modem) x 4 months = $1200
Phone calls $60 USD
Workshop cost $300 USD
Travel $300 USD
Coordinator expenses $ 400 USD
Writing materials for SOPISDEW $50 USD
Community radio consultancy $90 USD
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
We will need audio and video editing and production software. We also request Rising Voices to offer a volunteer who will assist in monitoring the project and in the production of the “SUCCESS STORY”. The volunteer can also serve as moderator of the online activities to promote peace building. Rising Voices can help us share our success story with the rest of the world.
Tah Kennette Konsum
The Society for the Promotion of Initiatives in Sustainable Development and Welfare SOPISDEW-Cameroon
These communities have never really been at peace. Their conflict is like a dormant, but active volcano. it is certain that if actions like the ones redressed by this project are not taken…….we should wait and see. Inter-tribal wars in the north west region of Cameroon are like a boiling pot with no lid.
Great Idea! I took time to study the video in youtube…this is just the right project for this always warring communities http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP6XaIz4rEY