The project will empower over 30 children in Lusaka Districts with technology skills in order to communicate challenges affecting them to institutions that can address them. The children will make use of phones, Internet and radio packages to reach their councilors, Members of Parliament, traditional leaders and government on suggestions for improved access to education or health. The children will be part of the Children's News Agency (CNA), as correspondents from remote rural areas after being trained in writing and radio/digital skills.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) organized children from three districts of Zambia come up with the proposal during their media trainings. The children included the enhancement of their work to ensure through access to digital media through phones and recordings that can be used on radio, social media and websites linked to MNCRD. The children were made to go through an exercise to list their priorities to build their capacity to implement the ‘Child participation in the media project’ and concluded that the inadequate access to information, communication technologies was hindering their capacity to influence other communities and leaders who are supposed to respond to their challenges. The children, who run the agency, decided which programs to add the country.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
The people that were involved in crafting involved in crafting the project included teachers, journalists, children and Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) staff. The teachers were involved to identify needs that children go through at local level, while the children accessed their own needs. Some of the participants links are
Ngandwe Ngandwe – Children's News Agency (CNA) – Lusaka District
Shalom Mwape – Children's News Agency (CNA) – Kitwe District
Patrick Daka – Station Manager, Explorers Radio, Petauke District
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The children will produce news reports that will be sent to community radio stations, national radio, television and newspaper publications, and the social media and websites. The Children News Agency (CNA) has programs running on over 10 community radio stations and seven radio stations which will be linked to them through Facebook and recorded transmissions of news items to bring to attention of leaders on happenings within their communities. The children will also write articles to be published on Facebook, the MNCRD website, the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper and the Junior Reporters magazine, which is produced by MNCRD. The children will also post their messages on issues affecting them on the MNCRD YouTube and Twitter accounts. The children will record all promises made by leaders.
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 organization has worked through other organizations based in Zambia. Its partnership with Save the Children International Zambia office has made it reach the whole country. It will work with the Bloggers Network because of the project. It is part of the Children in Need Network (CHIN), which has members. The membership to the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction helps it have information on budget tracking. It is also a member of Media Institute of Southern Africa, the Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC), the Child Budget Network, the End Corporal Punishment Coalition, Child Rights Committee of the Human Rights Commission, the National Child Rights Forum (NCRF), the Day of the African Child Commemoration and theWorld Day Against Child Labor Commemoration.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
Before commencing the project, MNCRD will mobilize the children to host meetings with local radio stations and other stakeholders for them to introduce the project. During the meetings and other interactions, the Children's News Agency members will interact with other panelists from international and local organisations to provide the information that would be used as articles by the children for their online blogs and other media outlets. The media outlets will sign MoUs with MNCRD to enable them ‘own’ the reporters attached to them. The local structures will use their local resources to make sure that they incorporate the work of the children in the media within their activities. The project will also make children connect with the corporate world for further support.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The trainings will prepare children to produce radio programs and write articles for national daily newspapers, blogs, social media such as Facebook and various newsletters on issues affecting them, especially child rights implementation in Zambia. The children will be introduced to advocacy journalism, basic writing skills, interviewing skills, broadcasting for radio, use of online media, and ensuring that social media is used to effect change. The project will have representatives of the Zambia Community Media Forum (ZaCoMeF) and the Bloggers Network who will show children how to use the two channels to bring development in their communities. In Zambia, 90 percent of the population have access to radio. Additionally, social media is influencing elected and government leaders.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
MNCRD has eight computers in the Children's News Agency editorial room where the trainings will be held. The connectivity 150 megabytes and runs on wireless connectivity.
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?
The Children's News Agency, which MNCRD runs, has children and local coordinators in the districts where the children are found. The local coordinators have linked the project to the local media institutions such as community radio stations for them to run programs on a regular basis and gain skills from experienced professionals. MNCRD is the only media house that has given children an opportunity to broadcast their issues in a formal way and provides a platform for them to interview other stakeholders to fulfill child rights in Zambia.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The Children's News Agency members’ lives may be endangered if the disseminated information against politically sensitive entities. MNCRD will make sure that media ethics component is addressed during the training sessions for children. There could be entrenched attitudes of adult stakeholders that children should be seen and not heard may become an obstacle to the work of CNA members. To address this, MNCRD has worked with some targeted media houses where children have done programs which will be used to show that they are capable. Interactions journalists will also address their limited understanding of children’s rights to articulate their opinions.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
MNCRD has in place the results based management system that focuses on using tools to achieve objectives as opposed to checking processes from the end. In this particular case, the members of the project led by the Executive Director will set weekly and monthly targets in implementing the project using the attached format. The members of the CNA will also set benchmarks for their stories on a weekly basis through their diary meetings – where they come up with ideas. The children will also attend meetings with the local councilors and Members of Parliament where they will get targeted projects for them to follow up. The results based management will be targeting the outcomes of the project.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
The project will involve training of children in use of gadgets for enhanced advocacy around the country. After the training, the children will be using the gadgets for recording and broadcasting on radio. The phones that will used will have high quality cameras, sound recorders and internet connectivity.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Training of children – US$1,100
Phones @350 x 3 – US$1,050
Coordinator allowance – US$300
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
The project would benefit from i-pads that children can use to communicate