This project aims to highlight the challenges that former cattle rustlers are facing following the forceful disarmament exercise that the Government of Uganda carried out in the remote Karamoja sub-region. Most of the youths locally known as ‘karacunas’ depended on cattle rustling as an economic activity but following the disarmament exercise the practice has been curtailed. However nothing is known about how they are now copying up with life having lost their part of livelihood ( cattle rustling). This project will equip them with skills to report issues that affect them in the social media
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Local community leaders in Lorengdwat parish, Nakapiripirit district contributed in project identification basing on the fact this community is the most under represented among the ethnic communities in Uganda. The community is however willing to adopt to new technology and among the former cattle rustlers others have gone to school and have basic knowledge in internet usage. Its this group that we intend to train as mentees to pass the knowledge to others. The former cattle rustlers access to phones which are connected to the social media and this we will build on to amplify their voices to the world using the social networks like twitter, face book and we also want to train them on blogging.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Joseph Elunya will be the project coordinator & social Media trainer https://www.facebook.com/jelunya www.jelunya.blogspot.com
Patrick Ogwang ICT trainer https://www.facebook.com/pogwang?fref=ts
Losur Sisto Parish Chief Loregdwat Sub-county social worker
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The beneficiaries will be trained on how to report on issues that affect their communities. These issues are those that have not been reported in the mainstream media. Looking at the current situation, Karamoja barely gets news coverage. What's reported is mostly about calamities like hunger or floods. The focus of the stories that will be generated will be on daily issues that affect the community. This will help highlight the real issues that affect the people like HIV/AIDS, land disputes, poverty, drought since it will be news gathered by members of the community. Karamoja region currently has only two journalists who report for the mainstream media and these two are based in Urban centers and the place being hard to reach. They end up reporting from the towns where they are based.
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.
The project coordinator Joseph Elunya has worked as a journalist covering Karamoja sub-region for more than 13 years. We have strong partnership with The Continent Observer www.thecontinentobserver.com where some of the stories will be published. Our Organization Media Initiative for Open Governance in Uganda-MIFOGU a registered not for profit organization has experience in training citizen journalists and on data driven journalism. Some of the stories will also feature daily on our website www.politicalcheck.ug.org which is currently under construction. We have also strong links with African Center for Media Excellence-ACME
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We will train 30 citizen journalists drawn from 15 selected sub-counties from five districts in Karamoja. These 30 are former cattle rustlers who returned to school and have acquired a level of education that enables them to use computers. We will ensure they continue participating in citizen journalism even after the project duration through our official website www.politicalcheck.ug.org which is currently under construction and also through social media like facebook, twitter and blogs which we will train the mentees on how to use. Since we have strong links with radio stations in the area we will link them so that they become part of network of community reporters for those radio stations.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We will use mostly phones because they are the most widely used in Karamoja sub-region. Most phones have web applications that connects to the social networking like facebook and twitter. We will also train them on internet use because some of the youths live in towns where there are internet cafes. They will be able to post their stories from there as well as use their phones.
We have experience as Media Initiative for Open Governance in training citizen journalists as well as the use of data driven journalism. Some of the members of the team worked a Bill Gate funded Farmer Voice Radio which trained farmers on the use of ICT
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The participants will be trained from Moroto High School Computer Laboratory which can accommodate up to 60 participants and uses ASL connection.
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 worked in this area for more than a decade right from the time when the area was in secure due to cattle rustling through the disarmament exercise to the post disarmament. I have widely interacted with the community and they have helped me in identifying the problem that affect them. I also have wide contacts of former cattle rustlers having operated as a journalist in the area for a long time. We have long term plans of continuing to interface with them on our mobile website www.politicalcheck.ug.org which is under construction. They will continue posting issues that affect them on the website and we as Media Initiative for Open Governance in Uganda will direct their plight to the relevant authorities. We will open and help them to manage a social media page.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The challenge we are likely to face is that most of the members of the community in the region are computer illiterate. The access to computers is low even among the educated people.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The success of the project will be measured basing on the number of stories that will be generated and posted after the training and also the level of awareness the project will create in Karamoja, Uganda and the world as a whole.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
If we are selected we will start our activities in May 2014 and our activities will include mobilization of the community, identifying the 30 participants, training them, coordinating posting of stories, monitoring and evaluation.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Accommodation for three night s for 30 participants us$ 700, Transport us$300, meals for 3 days 500, expenses for coordinator and two trainers us$ 600 hiring computer training lab us$300
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Raising Voice can support us in terms of playing advisory role and how the project can be successfully implemented based on their experience.
Media Initiative for Open Governance in Uganda-MIFOGU