WOES-Walking On Egg Shells is an initiative that seeks to promote progressive re-integration of ex-prisoners in their communities through micro-blogging that will highlight their struggles to fit in the community.This micro-blogs will unravel the journey from the first day they were released from prison in an effort to confront stigma, bring about acceptance and to avoid the situation whereby they feel like they are walking on eggs shells because every one looks at them suspiciously once they know that they were once offenders.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
Most of the participants of this project are people who have been in prison for more that 10 years and when they are finally out they find out that the society has technologically evolved and even those who were literate find themselves helpless in front of a computer.Of the 50 persons that will be a prototype for this project do not have email accounts, are not in the social media and have no practical knowledge on the internet operations.There is a stigma attached to people who have been in prison and sometimes as a result they tend to shy away from interactions and online interactions would be the safest avenue to start with.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
They will cover their struggles in the society by narrating through mirco-blogs, photos and even video posted online , will seek out mentors and allies who can support their integration in the society and encourage de-stigmatisation of ex-offenders. They will create a blog and social media pages where they can post their stories in form of photos and video. They will use this opportunity to market their skills, talents and create online conversation networks.
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 already coordinate some volunteers who assist inmates in prison with legal issues and through this I have established rapport with prison authorities so that I will be able to know the people who have finished serving their sentences and have been released so that they join the initiative.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
Initially I will target 50(18 of these are women) to teach them on how to use internet, computer and social media then they will induct others as time goes by through the ‘each one teach one’ strategy.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
I have been trained on the use of social media for advocacy as well as video advocacy.I have also great writing skills that will come in handy when assisting the beneficiaries in packaging their stories.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
Option 1: The probation services department has promised to give space for this training for initial training that can handle 10 persons. I have in disposal a computer and a modem that can be used.
Option 2: Hiring to have these trainings in a cyber cafe where we have 10 computers that are connected through ADSL.
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 also have connections with a group of ex-prisoners who are struggling to fit in the society after many years in prison. Most of them I met them when they were in the prison even before they were released through a different project. They are already excited and ready for this idea of documenting their struggles online.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Through experience I realized that the society do not think that anything good can come out from the ex-offenders and they are usually looked down upon regardless of time and type of the crime they committed . Because of this I anticipate to get an online backlash when the stories, videos and photos starting featuring online. I intend through my lobbying and networking skills to create a strong base of online allies that will create a wave that shall subdue slowly subdue prejudices.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The first indicator of this project will be how many persons from the primary participants are active online and how many others are they able to invite in their online networks.
The second indicator would be the how the issues being discussed are trending among the population that is online in the Coast region, is the discussion on ex-offenders re-integration live and how many people are showing positive attitude towards this.
Globally it would be when the primary participants are able to interact and persuade interactions beyond Kenya or even the continent.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
May-Setting up a training facility and mapping of participants.
June-Training computer and it's application.
July-Training on online navigation and internet applications plus signing up with online facilities.
August- and Training on story writing for micro-blogs and social media.
September-Posting of stories,photos, videos online.Midterm review of the project will take part during this time as well.
October- Building support online networks and prompting of discussions on ex-offenders and responding the reactions.
November-The primary participants inducting other new ex-prisoners to join the network through the ‘each one teach one’ strategy.
December-The new inducted group of ex-prisoners guided to follow on the established steps of the project to build on the online anti-stigma discussion.Reporting and review of the project.
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
5 Internet Modems @$10=$50
Internet bundles for 10 modems @100=$1,000
Project Coordination and administrative costs-$800
Purchase of 4 Computers@400 = $1600.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Technical support on identifying best practices information on possible linkages projects similar to this one.
Mwanzo Mpya(New Beggining)
April 5, 2013
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