To make a Facebook group named Drug Addiction Diaries and through which; to provide a voice to the suffering drug addicts , who are very much stigmatized and dehumanized.They would use the Facebook group to publish their stories, how they suffered , how they fought the drug addiction and came out of it. In addition Scientific fact based information would be published in the group with facts and evidence. So that others who join the group would know the reality of the disease of addiction and how people suffer to get out of it. 3 computers would be placed at the drop-center for this purpose.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
We have been serving the community for the past 7 years, and currently through the computer we provide at the drop in center, they get information and are acquainted. In Maldives almost 80% of the households in “MALE’” the capital city have computers.
We would provide Wifi internet service so that most of them do not have to sit beside a computer, but can use their phones as well;
Furthermore the peers which the users add to the group, don't have to necessarily come to our drop in center, to use the service, they could use their mobile phones or connections available at other locations to access the group as well. Around 85% the 50-70 users who come to our drop in center have their own Facebook pages and are familiar.
Despite that we will conduct a training for the drop in users
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The stories of the drug users, how they have suffered while in addiction – the hard-ships they went through – the discrimination they faced – the dehumanizing suffering they suffered in jail or other places because of drug addiction- the difficulty in staying at a job when addicted to drugs- How they got clean – information about preventing a relapse – how not to use drugs- Why youngsters should never ever use drugs based on their own experience – Furthermore:-the youth who have achieved would share their personnel stories what they did to achieve so that new youth who get joined to the group would get inspiration. In-addition proper scientific based knowledge, facts and evidence will be published (links included) , so that proper information would be available to all who access the group.
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.
Currently the organization operates a drop-in-center for the drug users, recovering drug users and who are on substitution therapies. Around 50-70 individuals take the service from the drop-in-center every day. We provide free of cost services for all of them; and we are counting the 8th year of proving these services to them. This drug using community is very close to us as we provide, free counseling, free testing for HIV, free drug education and relapse prevention classes , free drop-in-services in a very stigma free, non judgmental environment. furthermore our counselors visit their homes if any of their loved one or parents need help in drug related issues. In addition to that the volunteer Peer groups we had trained through the past years would be indeed added to the group as well.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
We would be training all the individual who comes to the Drop-in-center; On how to use the internet, how to join the face-book group, sharing docs in face-book and sharing pictures and videos. The 50 – 70 individual will be specifically trained to use Facebook , but information on how to join other social groups would also be provided. As most of them are very eager to use internet and join groups it would be easy to teach or train them. From our experience of providing the drop-in-services we have found that, it is always easy to sustain the participation of the youth when we listen and care for them and furthermore when we delegate the ownership of the project to them; we make the project as not a project of the NGO but a project by them for them. This kind of approach gives sustenance.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
How to use basic computing ; connecting and using internet ; using social media ; taking videos or pictures from phone or camera and uploading them.
We as the project organizers , would provide camera , 1 computer , place ( drop-in-center ) , reference books.
Our Staff will guide on any needed help.
Our staff are professionally trained of all areas of drugs, HIV and counseling.
Furthermore all the staff are very technology friendly; That is 90% of the staff knows how to use computers ,problem shooting , setting up accounts , software and hardware issues as well.
The technology friendliness of the youth who drop in to the services will also help a lot, if such a need arises.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The drop-in-center space in quite spacious , currently there is a pool snooker table , 1 computer , 1 Garlando soccer table , 1 flat TV with cable channels , 1 Sofa set , 1 flip-chart holder, 50 plastic chairs and 8 fold-able plastic tables.
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?
As the NGO was formed by drug users , who went sober and who needed a support system for their survival in community. Because of this for the past 7 and a half years we (the NGO) has a very good relation ship with the youth who come here and their parents as well. They trust us and share their personnel problems with us. The NGO is a walking stick for these service seekers. Furthermore we had been to almost 85% of the Atolls of Maldives, on missions trips to conduct drugs and HIV activities for youth and the community. As we are the first NGO of its kind to come out of the shell of stigma in-front of the public, providing help, support , guidance , HIV testing & HIV counseling and 24 Hrs Phone help services , entirely for free; It makes us the most appropriate NGO to implement the project.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
In the initial planing of proposal of the project, the service seekers were included , as to provide an ownership for them and to include their ideas and suggestions.
So in the future when planing and implementing , the challenges we expect are to implement a strong safe monitoring system of how they use …Currently 1 staff always stays at the drop-in-center , just for that reason
Another challenge would be computers getting infected with Virus – for which we would install a proper anti-virus package..
Another challenge is the speed of internet is low in these areas and the cost is very high.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Primary participants- Service seekers of drop-in-center; we would know how many post or documents each has published, how frequently and what they publish;and we can see how many young people each have added to the group, and what read (can see it from their posts) and how they start getting socialized by finding new friends.
The wider regional community:-we can see from the group how many are posting, who are from other islands of Maldives, or who aren't service seekers of the drop-in-center.
From different conversation of the groups we would know , whether the users are getting proper information, if needed we could directly post on the group providing facts and evidence.
We would know we have achieved, when the total of the face book group rise to a 1000.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
May – Training the groups who comes to drop in center.
Training will be facilitated by one of our technical staff on a volunteer basis.
May – Create Facebook Group.
May – Add Drop-in service seekers to the group.
In Mid of May —->>>> Posting on group
August—- >>> Basic simple evaluation – what to be changed in the group & make adjustments.
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
2 computer sets for drop in :- = 2500 USD.
Monthly internet access charges : for 9 months:- = 900 USD.
Networking & Cables:- = 300 USD
Administration & Coordinating & Logistics = 200 USD
( currently we have 1 Computer in drop-in , we want to make 3 computer cyber )
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
We would appreciate if you could advocate on providing sustainable means to conduct such type of centers to these groups , furthermore we would appreciate if you could provide online based free capacity building training for the youth groups which take services from this center.
In addition; if you could guide us in starting a sustainable means of service delivery mechanism.
Every year we have to propose for projects ( in other terms professional begging ) to help the devastated communities in the society.
Arranging a sustainable approach of self fund generating mechanism would greatly increase our time towards providing quality service.