This idea plans to mobilize, train and equip 10 youths with skills and materials for grass root social media utilization for blogging in Bangem sub division of Cameroon. It focuses on engaging youths to report on hidden electoral malpractices and cultural practices which hinder the empowerment of women and youths. Trained youths will use facebook/twitter reporting and documentaries for global sharing and call for actions. Trainees will move into the hinterlands of the Bangem collect and report to the world cultural shocks, rights abuses,governance concerns and needs for the poor.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
As of February 2013, an hour of internet access in Bangem, Cameroon costs over $1. Within a town of over 10,000 inhabitants, there exists no radio station/pubic internet access and information can only be received not circulated since there are no journalists based in the economically marginalized growing town. This project will therefore be a pioneer attempt to connect Bangem to other parts of Cameroon and the rest of the World for global action through presenting their social, economic, political and environmental issues of concerns to the world using social media networks through blogs, pictures and videos. All the 8 clans of the sub division will be covered entirely while other parts of the Region and Cameroon will be covered periodically as the project scales up.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Through pictures, articles, documentaries and short videos, contents will be developed and posted online via (facebook/twitter and on our webiste) on deterrent cultural practices, electoral processes, environmental degradation, rights of women and youths, arts and culture. Though not all negative, these contents shared online will invite and connect the world to the marginalized communities, attract government attention and shape local attitudes by making the voices of the needy and the oppressed heard globally through stories backed by pictures and videos. Youths to be trained will through project acquired materials produce video footages and pictures, comments which represent their true situations and not reports which are politically motivated.
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.
CCREAD – Cameroon, the applicant has an office in Bangem already, have set up a small free to the Public ICT space (4 computers), has an ICT volunteer in the Bangem office and is already working with the youths and women within the communities, and has set up youths and women into development groups from which members to be trained and equipped by this project will be selected. These added to the collaboration and networks will boost the project, the Bangem council is our core partner and there is are 2 motorcycles at our Bangem office which will take these young reporters even to hard to reach interiors of Bangem. CCREAD-Cameroon has signed a partnership with Eden Media Group for continuous training and mentoring of participants even after project funding period.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
For this pioneer phase, 10 dynamic youths selected from 10 different communities will be trained. they will be made up of 5 males and 5 females with the age ranges of 17 -28. They will be selected from 10 youth groups already formed since 2011 by CCREAD-Cameroon and already registered by the government as youth associations.
With our convention with EDEN Media Group, they will be trained and mentored weekly through phone, facebook, twitter and email while CCREAD – Cameroon will finally incorporate them as full time volunteers to access regular training and support.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Practically, participants will be drilled on digital photography, production and uploading of video and literary contents, photographs, writing of short articles for blog postings. They will also be trained on ethics and norms of social media use and rights of people.
CCREAD-Cameroon is well placed with 2 international volunteers serving at our Bangem office till 2015 who are experts on the use of social media who will monitor the project. The permanent Coordinator is also very skillful in contents video editing and development communication while Eden Media Group experts are part of this application.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshop to train participants will hold at CCREAD-Cameroon secretariat which doubles as the ICT space with just 5 functional computers. Internet access is driven through MTN internet keys. The is full access to electricity and projection white board is available in the secretariat . It is however a small ICT space which has potential to expand and create an impact on the community.
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?
Bangem sub Division in Cameroon is one of the regions our interventions have been focused for the past 5 years. Currently 4 programs on governance, human rights and women/youth empowerment and environmental sustainability are ongoing carried out within the community by CCREAD-Cameroon. CCREAD-Cameroon has an established office with staff, and have gained the support of the community members on joint project and program implementation over 5 years. Currently, CCREAD-Cameroon projects sponsored and constantly visited by the World Bank, UNDP, WWF, UNWG, 5 different Embassies and other field based donors. Groups of youths have been formed since 2011 from which participants to be trained will be selected. CCREAD-Cameroon's staff are resident in Bangem.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The major challenge is the rough terrain with very bad roads to reach most rural communities where so many things of concern happen each day without other people knowing. This challenge will be overcomed by training youths based within communities and giving them access to our 2 motorcycles each day to reach CCREAD-Cameroon's ICT space in the office to report their stories on facebook, twitter. For security coverage, the Bangem council and administration is aware of the project and ascertained total protection of all participants through out.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
- Firstly, a performance monitoring plan for each participant trained will be elaborated for use and filling weekly on contents produced and made available online;
– Each participant trained will join CCREAD-Cameroon to conduct a baseline survey on the state of online presence of their communities at the end of which the project progress will be measured.
– Participants under CCREAD-Cameroon's supervision will also update a community profile online portal. At the end of each month, all participants will be visited and invited at CCREAD-Cameroon's coordination unit in Bangem to measure individual progress, plan to solve any associated challenges.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
Though dependent on the time of approval of the project, We plan to start implementation in June the latest and to run it for the first 12 months with two major assessments. The following activities are planned for the project;
– June 2013, training of the 10 selected participants in Bangem
– August 2013, acquisition and distribution of materials to implementers (participants)
– September 2013, creation of community online profiles and baseline uploading baseline information online portals
– Production and uploading of contents online (articles, photographs,short action videos)
Periodic assessment and reporting to RisingVoices and other partners and forwarding of links to stakeholders, social media networks and websites globally. The project will run for the first 12 months and scaled up and monitored for another 2 year period at least with inputs from RisingVoices and other partners with coordination and supervision from CCREAD-Cameroon.
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Proposed budget items
– 10 Mobile internet keys = 300
– 5 digital cameras = 800
– Internet access time subscription = 500
– Hiring of project for training = 100
– Training materials = 500
– Transportation stipends to participants = 600
– Logistics for trainees = 400
– Coordination & monitoring = 600
TOTAL COST = 3800
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Once started, this project will require that our small ICT space be expanded and more ICT equipment procured for quality content production and regular reporting. Additional volunteers to boost the local team to be set up can also be another area of future need to see the project run on a permanent basis over many years. These are the long term needs of the project. Direct mentorship from Rising Voices Online project team to participants can also be of good advantage to boost and sustain the project.
Mr. Hilary Ewang Ngide
Centre for Community Regeneration and Development (CCREAD-Cameroon)