Since 2010, Kenya took the route of devolved governance which has since been offering governance of the country at two levels; the national and county governments. Devolution has brought services and governance closer to the people but the people still know very little about it. We are taking advantage of the Devolved set up of Counties as our Main Organizing system of our Group Chatting for the people to educate themselves. We will then use the existing Youth, Women and People Living with Disabilities Groups, to start on-line discussions through the web.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Wote Town of Makueni County
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
My project will be based in Makueni County which has an approximate population of about one million. Although they did not participate in the development of this proposal, they requested it through Face Book. We have a group on face book called Makueni County Sharing Forum (MCSF) which belongs my organization called Rural Connect Network.
They complained that its not easy to keep records of face book of their Posts. so, we came up with this other chatting through this Media Center. https://www.ruralvoicesafrica.info.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
I am the Director of Rural Connect Network and will be working with them. https//www.ruralconnectkenya.org
Rural Connect Network (RCN) is non-profit making organization, non political and non partisan. RCN is registered by the registrar of non-governmental organizations under the NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS CO-ORDINATION ACT 1990 Section 7 (b) as a National NGO.
The Organization started in the year 2011 in Kibwezi East Sub County and got registered in January 1st 2013. RCN currently operates in Makueni county with its roots in Kibwezi East sub county, plans are there to expand its operation to its immediate neighboring counties ie. Kitui, Machakos and Taita Taveta
VISION: A socially and economically stable society
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
4) RCN has developed an on-line media centre where Journalists can volunteer news articles and pre-recorded educative programs for rural media station to broadcast for free. https://www.ruralvoicesafrica.info.
Our audience will also have the opportunity to chat and give their voice on the burning issues through the media centre. This include giving their input/output in the programs they have listened from the web or Rural Media Stations.
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.
RCN is in the process of Partnering with the County Governments they are operating in and other like minded Organizations working in the areas of our operation, so as to achieve this, and also their specific Objectives.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
RCN is operating within Counties and using the Wards in the County as the Network Nuclear. We are having five (5) Volunteers in every Ward and because Makueni County has got 30 Wards, we have 150 participants to be trained
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We readily insist on using Laptop Computers, Mobile Internet connection, Mobile Phones and the Web. Most of our participants are trained Journalist and Computer Literates, we will emphasise on how to administer Chatting, Researching On-line and other on-line services like emails, Skype and Social Media because they will helping Computer Illiterate Community members.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We need an Hall that can accommodate 150 participants, 150 Laptops, 150 Modems and an Internet Connection Speed of 3G
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 am a Quadriplegic Journalist from Makueni County, the County of our operation. I have worked with the Community for over ten years as a Community Radio Producer and presenter. I am also the Founder of Rural Connect Network, after realizing the potential in the Internet in Development and wanted to empower the Community to join the World on exploiting the new trend. This qualifies me as the best individual to implement this project because its my brain Child.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The main and the biggest challenge am expecting is Internet Connectivity but will be working with the service providers on the issue. Most of our participants are from the Wards they are operating and are well known to the area, thus the issue of security is known to them.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Our Network has the best data collection set up as divined below and can even do live on-line evaluation.
We have field coordinators at ward level who provide technical assistance to community institutions and other organized groups. They work hand in hand with the media coordinator at the County level, who are responsible for all the updates at the media center as well as coordinating group chatting and discussions.
Our MEDIA CENTER (www.ruralvoicesafrica.info) is the main communication center and operates with the help of Media coordinators.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
We will take duration of about six months to collect the exact data of the operational area so that we can present it to the interested donors. This is because the project needs over USD. 23,500 per year for its full operations. We are also very confident that the idea is very unique and it’ll attract lots of support locally and internationally.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
13) RCN needs over USD. 23,500 per year for its full operations. This means we have to fundraise for the implementation of the Project. We will use this Grant to collect the exact data of the operational area so that we can present it to the interested donors.
Our proposed Budget is as follows:-
1) 3 Computers in a cost of USD 1,000
2) 3 Internet Connection Modems and Airtime for six months USD 350
3) Local Transport and Lunch for six 3 Volunteers in month USD 850
4) Office USD 2500
Totaling USD. 2,450
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can help us in finding or recommending us Donors for more funding. This include trainings, equipments and financial support.
Dominic Mutua Maweu
Rural Connect Network