The Right to Speak Ik will mobilize, build capacity and create awareness for a handful of remaining Ik speakers in Karamoja sub region (one of the least developed and under-reported areas in the World) to use Digital technologies particularly mobile phones, digital cameras and micro blogs to not only document and preserve important ancestral knowledge and cultural wealth found in the endangered Ik language but also encourage the next generation of speakers. Invisible even in their own country, this project will bring the lives of ordinary Ik, to the global digital community.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
Reviled as the worst and most depraved beings on Earth, and recommended that their culture be destroyed for its own good by anthropologist Colin Turnbull, the Ik live exclusively on top of a remote mountain escarpment in Kaabong District in Karamoja Subregion. Ik is listed among the severely endangered languages by the UNESCO Atlas of World’s Languages in danger. Considered unique, vital, and prestigious, Ik is spoken by a hand full of Ik people who are subsistence farmers; Only few Ik are educated and can speak English due to lack of food, poverty, insecurity, long distance to schools, and few teachers. Ik villages have never heard of or had access to a computer, internet, electricity and television. All content about the Ik people available online has been written or compiled by outsider
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
According to the Ik Language Assessment Report conducted by SIL International in 2007, the Ik not only express interest in developing their language but also have a strong desire that the children learn how to read and write in Ik so that the language would last for many generations to come. The project will therefore focus on participants creating content in three categories: things and objects around the Ik community (images of objects, people, plants and animals with their descriptions in Ik), stories of the Ik people (short stories, history, cultural practices, traditional festivities/events and interviews captured through audio podcasts and micro blogs) and Word list (focusing on the 200 most popular words and words that have been lost by the use of other languages).
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.
Open Space Centre the implementing organization has experience working in Abim and Pader which border the target district. Through this connection we have already been offered a free training centre at the local government administration in Kabong district. The newly initiated BloggersUG working group of bloggers including Grace Atuhaire, James Propa, Maureen Agena and Rosebell Kagumire will be utilized as part of the trainers, moderators of content and provide ongoing support. We plan to identify local NGOs and local catholic mission to partner with them to provide ongoing support, assist in identification of participants in the trainings, introductions with local leaders and heads of families. we also plan to work with the Makerere University Institute of languages for technical support
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
15 participants including teachers, community elders, women and youth will be carefully selected and engaged in the project. The selection criteria will among others focus on previous track record in volunteer projects in the community and proximity to the training centre. This information will mainly be sourced through consultations with local community leaders and institutions already working in the area such as local government administration, catholic mission, NGOs. We will sustain their participation through periodic refresher/ongoing support trainings and recognitions in content produced; Transport will be provided for those traveling long distances and meals for participants during trainings. Clear participant expectation setting will be undertaken for broader benefit to society
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We will mainly focus on photography which will focus on taking everyday images using a digital cameras. These will be facilitated by Cyrus Kawalya and Gilbert Frank Daniels experienced photographers who have in the past been contracted to cover various youth projects and social documentaries. Modems and laptops will be used for micro-blogs training workshops and these will be facilitated by myself – Wakibu Bunnya (experienced micro-blogger and previously won a rising voices travel scholarship), Kagumire Rosebell, James Propa, Maureen Agena (experienced bloggers previously been blogging for global voices). Audio recording devices will be used for facilitating audio podcasts trainings by Grace Atuhaire (micro-blogger, co-founder of Early Life online radio)
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We will be using the district local government administration offices as venue for the trainings. The centre can accommodate up to 50 individuals. Unfortunately the centre has no computers. We will therefore be using laptops from Open spa Centre which will be used for the trainings. The training centre has no access to internet connection but we will be working with the telephone network available in the area to set up a temporary remote internet connection with a speed of about 20mbps which will be accessed using the USB modems.
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 been working in the Abim and Pader districts in the Karamoja Sub-region for the last three years with Open Space Centre on a program geared towards promoting active youth participation in leadership and community development activities. During this time I have come to appreciate and understand the culture and way of life of the people in the area and I can speak basic Karamajong. I have also been actively involved in supporting two local community youth organizations to start up operating in the Karamajong sub-region. Our plan as Open Space Centre is to expand our youth program in the future to be able to reach the Ik villages in Kabong district. I have also been privileged to attend the rising voices workshop on endangered languages
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Government may attempt to limit our activities as they are sensitize to community empowerment programs in the region. We will ensure that we meet all necessary district and local government administrators in advance and clearly explain the objectives of the project
The project activities might be disrupted by cattle raids or political instability in the region. In this case the project activities will be pushed to another date or venue or cancelled and clear communications sent out to the project participants in advance.
Poor internet connection; the plan is set up a remote connection using the existing telephone network but incase this fails then we will have to focus on the hands on trainings and have a few participants travel to neighboring district in Pader to access internet
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 carry out baseline and end line surveys with the primary participants to assess their level of confidence in using the media tools and technologies provided. We will also assess the quality of content produced by the primary participants such as quality of photographs, news stories and comments among others. We will further assess the interest generated from both the regional and global digital community in the content generated from the project by looking at number of posts, comments, views and feedback generated by these audiences from their interactions with the content produced by the primary participants
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
Contact/meetings with local authorities
Contact/meetings with partners
Conduct first training workshop
Set up micro-blog platforms
Conduct follow on training workshop
October – December
Monitoring and evaluation
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Car Hire to Ik Village in Karamoja for 3 days $250
Fuel to Ik Village(175 litres @ $2 per litre) $200
Per diem: 1 staff @ $45 per day for 3 days $135
Lunch: 1 @ $5 each for 15 people $75
Fuel for generator (20 litres @ $2 per litre) $40
Transport Refund: 15 participants @ $10 each $150
Refreshments: 15 participants @ $2 each $30
Honoraria for local coordinator $50
Mobilisation airtime $30
Facilitator Accomodation/meals(2 facilitators @ $32 each) $64
Honoraria for facilitators (2 trainers @ $50 each) $100
Total cost for one training workshop $1,124
Total cost for two training workshop $2,248
Laptop (1 laptop @ 500$) $500
Digital Camera (1 Digital Camera) $200
Audio recorder $150
internet connection (router &3 modems) $500
Coordination (travel, airtime and internet) $100
Honoraria for Coordinator $250
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can support the program through providing links to free training guides from past similar trainings, access and contacts to rising voices grantees who are doing similar work for sharing good case practices and help feature and promote the content generated from the project to the global online community. I would also be interested in attending the Global Voices Summit 2013 to share my project with other bloggers doing similar work and get more strategic insights.
Open Space Centre