Enable the indigenous community of Denimanu to share their stories which span 40 years of effort to protect Fiji's endangered Crested Iguanas; their challenges, successes and joys; and their resilience in mitigating impacts of climate change in their village and livelihoods. Through digital imagery take a “boat ride in open waters” or “walk” around the village with them and experience their unique biodiversity, culture and people. Train village youths in compiling digital videos, photographs & oral history and to conduct historical mapping of their natural resources for future planning.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Denimanu village, Yadua Island, Bua Province, Vanua Levu
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
Isolated Yadua island, west off mainland Vanua Levu – Fiji's 2nd largest island hosts a single village, Denimanu, which has a unique and unrecognized story of indigenous peoples culture, survival, resilience, and conservation success that deserves to be shared with the global Fijian community and the world. With limited internet access, communication on the island is via a wireless telephone service for rural and isolated communities. Most youth in the community have attended high school and have some experience with tertiary education and have basic computer & internet skills. With further training, they will expand their skills base in the digital media tools application and also in becoming trainers as they will be required to assist and facilitate training of other community members.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Stories on their cultural link to the crested iguanas which drives their passion for its protection; their struggles due to lack of resources compounded by their isolation; pressures from commercial fishing depleting their marine resources; the new challenges of climate change and their adaptive mitigating actions; and their achievements, success stories, and vision for Fiji’s future.
Media Output: the videos will be shown on the local TV stations both in English & vernacular programs, to Fijian communities with similar conservation initiatives, and uploaded on the internet and social networking pages; press articles for the local print media; attach web links of the videos in websites of partner organizations & radio talk-shows as the following for the videos gains momentum.
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.
The National Trust of Fiji (NTF) has partnered with the Denimanu community over the last 15 years. The partnership included hands on experience in the conservation of the Crested Iguanas, participating in workshops and trainings, and employment on a full time, part time or voluntary work with the NTF.
Local media outlets are important partners in this project. The NTF has a good relationship with one local newspaper, The Fiji Times, and one TV company – Fiji One. Therefore more partnerships will need to be developed with the two remaining TV stations, the second local newspaper and all local radio stations.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
The population of Denimanu village is approximately 250 people distributed over 46 households. This project will train 30 youths, 5 teachers, 20 adult women, and 20 adult men in the use of the equipment, resource mapping, and interviewing and facilitation skills. The NTF encourages project ownership by the community in all its past and current projects and therefore involves all segments of the community in project design, implementation, and monitoring.
We will seek and encourage their participation by empowering them with the knowledge and demonstration that their conservation efforts, their struggles, and resilience are not isolated endeavors but that they are linked to the world's conservation efforts, and the world's struggles and resilience to the challenges of climate change.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Equipment to be used include digital video cameras, digital cameras, and digital voice recorders. We will be using laptops and a multi-media projector to demonstrate what needs to be done and also show some examples of the expected outputs.
While in the process of compiling the videos, we will assist the community in putting forward articles to our local newspaper partner (The Fiji Times) and creating a Facebook page so they (community) are able to see some tangible outputs of their efforts in this project earlier on.
As project organizer, we have advance level of computer literacy and are well versed with photo and video editing tools and softwares. We also have good community facilitators who will be facilitating the meetings, workshops and training.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops and training will be conducted in the community hall where electricity is powered via a diesel-powered generator. The hall size is approximately 20 meters in length and 10 meters in width with corrugated iron walls. There will be four laptop computers and a multi-media projector to be used during the workshop and training sessions. Internet will be accessed via USB modems which can only be accessed in certain places in the village during good weather at an approximate speed of 5-10kbps.
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?
Over the last 15 years NTF has established a positive working relationship with the Denimanu community. The NTF together with community members have implemented a variety of projects such as iguana sanctuary management, invasive species eradication, and nutrition & food security projects and widely supported by local rural governance bodies and other conservation NGOs.
Community confidence in the NTF culminated in the granting of a 33 year land lease by the community to the NTF for their stewardship of Yadua Taba Island Sanctuary in 2004. The NTF is therefore committed to working with the Denimanu community over the long term period.
In the future, we hope to continue with this proposed project beyond the requested funding period.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Some of the problems that might affect the implementation of the project are:
i) Inclement weather conditions since access to the island community from the mainland involves crossing 20 km of open sea in fiberglass boats.
ii) Unplanned community events
These will be addressed through:
• Creating room for flexibility to ensure that community obligations are also a priority while ensuring a strategy is in place for on-time activities to be achieved.
• Adopting adaptive management strategies to ensure that objectives and plans are still maintained.
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 develop a monitoring template with indicators and milestones which the Project Coordinator will need to report against.
Success is determined when:
i) the primary participants take ownership of the project & take the initiative to compile their own stories and disseminate them in the local media and the internet. It is also about empowering the youths to further develop the skills they have learnt in the project in tertiary institutions.
ii) the wider regional community becomes more aware of the conservation and mitigation efforts of the Denimanu community and is able to replicate some of the activities in their own communities.
iii) huge following from the global digital community on the documentaries and publications disseminated online plus their ability to attract donors.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
Consultation, Orientation & Training Workshops: 1 May – 31 July 2013
– appointment of participants
– learning how to use the digital equipment
– interviewer skills
– interviewee on-camera skills
– Story development – story focus, concept and scripts
Project Implementation: 1 August 2013 – 31 January 2014
– Video Shooting
– Photo Shooting
– Camera/Photo – storyboard, photo editing & file management
– Video Editing – basic video composition & editing
– Audio/Music – audio recording & editing
– Presentation – Presenting final output to community
– Uploading of Videos online
Mentoring and Follow-up 1 February – 30 April 2014
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Consultation, Orientation & Training Workshops 600
(Stationery & Materials, Generator fuel, Communication, Internet)
Project Implementation 2,000
(Materials, Generator fuel, Communication, Internet)
-Digital video cameras x2 600
-Digital Cameras x2 300
-Digital Voice Recorders x2 200
Project Coordinator Costs (Travel, lodgings, & meals) 200
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices could assist by translating the videos into other languages for dissemination and placing web links of the videos in their partner sites as a way of raising awareness for the project. If Rising Voices could provide a platform for the exchange of videos of similar projects of indigenous communities so they can each learn from their realities and how they have been adapting and managing. One possible way for this is by directing us to Social Networking pages, webpages and blog sites of other project participants.
National Trust of Fiji Islands
April 5, 2013