Ghana: You Care Voice Platform
Youth Concern and Responsive to Environment (YOU CARE) Voice Platform is a platform of youth representing the 12 rural areas of Wa Municipal where environment has been degraded so bad. They will be trained how to use a simple digital camera, basic journalism tips and take photos of environmental degradation and post it on a Facebook group they will create to build awareness amongst their peers who has no qualms of environmental care. The platform will be a pilot project to create community journalism using Facebook where most of the youth in this part of the world is familiar with.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Youth aged 15-32 years old. Living in rural areas where there is a presence of environmental degradation but has knowledge in Facebook and with a phone that can access Facebook. Willing to learn to use digital camera, has the courage to take photos and has a leadership skills and most of all has concern for the environment. One of the proposed participants suggested the process on how to get the rest of his peers. The media only focus on the politicians and political issues and disregard the youth voice. I want to work with them because I have been living in the area for almost five years and the situation with the youth is getting worst and many are doing nothing due to under-employment and unemployment. The population is familiar with computer and internet and its basic features.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Carmel Mabao (Drex Mabs)
Jacob Akisbadek Agyakinla
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
They will create news, stories and photos on environmental degradation and the way forward from their own perspective as the next generation living in a very erratic weather condition. The participants will be able to create a photo collection of how degraded their environment is and it will be a way to reflect on their situation and as youth what can they do to save what they have now if it is not too late. This will be a youth environmental platform where they can create awareness amongst their peers to campaign against cutting of trees without planting new ones and encourage their peers to plant trees. This is a platform of youth concern with the environment.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
All are future partnerships.
My organization, Coalition for Change will be the one to train them on how to use digital camera/ photography as well as small tips on community journalism. My other colleagues will teach them on valuing the environment and leadership skills. We will basically managed the project and take care of the maintenance of the Platform.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
12 youth to represent the rural areas where heavy environmental degradation is seen. They will be selected on criteria we set and we will advertise and select the top 12 and signed an MOU with them and each will be given a digital camera (the simplest one) and we will train them for a week on camera usage, community journalism, leadership skills and environmental care. As motivation, we will print their pictures in hard copy and do a photo exhibit in the community center during the National Youth Week Celebration and launch the Platform publicly during the celebration as a way also to campaign on the environment and create awareness amongst their peers.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
As a project organizer, I will be using the simplest digital camera to teach the participants to capture the subject. Second, I will be using mobile phones to subscribe Facebook and they will create a Facebook account, which now becomes the third tool they will be using to reach the target audience. We will be teaching them how to browse Facebook in their mobile and how to use Facebook. We will also be teaching them how to use internet in the Desktop and Laptop. As a journalist, I will be teaching them the basic community journalism and some skills in photography. Digital Camera is easier to use and gives them creativity with their young mind. Facebook is the only application they are very familiar with and most has mobile phones which had easy access to Facebook.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We will hold the workshops for the internet session with Facebook, downloading and uploading of photos in an Internet Café which is owned by one of our patrons. The other trainings such as photography, digital camera usage, leadership, environment and community journalism will be held in one of the budget hotel conference room which is good for 15 people. The internet café where we proposed to hold the training has about 15 computers and all are broadband connected.
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 live in this community for the last six years and I have a good relationship with them since the NGO I founded is serving the community. We are capable of implementing this project because we have the technical capacity to teach them the basics with our expertise in management, technology and I am a practicing journalist. We in the organization are all youth and we have most of all the passion to care for the environment and the youth. We have been looking for funds to develop the youth in our area but unfortunately not much funding is available. We have a long standing relationship with the community since our NGO is based in the area since 2009. Two of our program areas are youth development and environment and the community we are proposing to work is our target communities.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The applicant youth might be too many since we are only getting 12 for a start, so there might be problems with it and also the participants in the long run will spoil the digital camera we will issue them.
In terms of the number of applicants we have to be firmed and stick with our criteria. For the possible spoilage of the camera, we will sign an agreement with them that within the period the project is implemented they should take care of the camera and once the project is finished they have to own it and not sell it. We do not have security concern in our area.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
We are going to measure and evaluate our project’s impact when the selected participants has a changed behavior towards caring the environment, learn from our workshops on leadership and community journalism and most of all capturing scenes on environmental degradation, put it up on their Facebook account, create a media blitz where the FM stations talks about it, their peers started liking their page and planting of trees will be practiced. The regional community will be able to accept what the participants were doing and attend to their photo exhibits and pledge to help protect the environment by campaigning to plant trees. These are our measurement to achieve our success. Youth started caring the environment on their own and using their technology based knowledge to create that voice.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
May 2014- Selection of participants/Purchase of equipments
June 2014- Training of participants on photography, leadership, environmental care, internet-Facebook, etc.
July 2014- Back to their communities and practice the photography
August 2014- Back to town and compile all pictures and upload on Facebook
September 2014- Planting trees, media campaign- regular update on Facebook
October 2014- Community visits- regular update on Facebook
November 2014- National Youth Week celebration, Photo Exhibit on Environmental Degradation and Launching of the YOU CARE VOICE PLATFORM.
December 2014- March 2015- Back to communities (December to March are the worst months for the dry season) and take photos with regular update on Facebook.
April 2015- YOU CARE VOICE PLATFORM Year end conference and project assessment.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Purchase of Digital Camera= 12 digital camera @ 50.00 = 600.00 USD
Purchase of 1 DSLR= 300.00 USD
Coordinator Fee= 12 months @ 50.00= 600.00 USD
Internet Usage= 100.00 USD
Workshop costs (handouts, facilitators, refreshment, venue)= 600.00 USD
Seedlings= 50.00 USD
Media launching, Photo exhibit= 200.00 USD
Travel and Transport= 50.00 USD
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Social network promotion of our project and tips on the topics we are discussing with the participants especially handouts on photography, leadership skills and environment and most of all basic facts on computer usage.
Coalition for Change