Ex -prisoners have often faced discrimination and called damning names in by communities and people. Thus this project seeks to remove this stigma from the community by allowing ex-prisoners to document their stories, challenges and success in the community through the use of a blog. This blog will allow ex-prisoners to create a voice in the community, to share their talents in story writing, to showcase their poems and life changing issues they want to discuss. This will increase their visibility and participation in the community.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Prison Friends Network ( PFN) an organization working with prisoners and ex-prisoners has been in touch with released prisoners and they expressed the desire to implement this project in telling their stories and also showcasing their work of art and the poems that tell their side of the story and the challenges that they are facing in life. Zimbabwe has mobile internet and mobile phones have become common even among marginalized groups thus this group is familiar with internet on their mobile phones. Prisoners are stigmatized and their side of the story unheard hence it is important that they also find a voice and a space to express themselves online.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
The people that will help this project through are:
1. Nixon Nembaware https://www.facebook.com/nixon.nembaware.9?fref=ts
2. Rotina Mafume https://www.facebook.com/rotina.mafume
3. Rindai Claire Muringi https://www.facebook.com/missmuringi?fref=ts
4. Josephine Kamanthe https://www.facebook.com/josekamanthe
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The participants will share their stories aimed at
1. Crime preventions stories
2. Poems that they wrote while in prison and out
3. Challenges they face while trying to integrate into the society.
4.Ex-prisoners will write stories on how they found their homes destroyed and cannot locate their children or relatives thus they will use this platform to locate relatives
5. They will write on success stories of how they managed their lives
The idea is that a voice be created for this marginalized group. As time goes on, the ex- prisoners will great a drama group that will also feature on the online platform.
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.
1. Prison Friends Network already has a face book group with more than 1000 members and we will use as a medium.https://www.facebook.com/groups/190559697693700/ and these members are ready to support the work of PFN
2. Prison Friends Network will collaborate with The Herald a local newspaper to also publish one story per month this will direct people to the blog
3. Prison Friends Network will organize a stakeholder workshop to disseminate the information of the blog to its various networks.
4. PFN will also engage in a debate with various schools and thus this will also put the blog on public with various student bodies.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
The project will seek to train 20 ex-prisoners in essential writing skills and train 10 prisoners in blogging. However all those ex-prisoners not trained are allowed to submit their stories and issues.The 10 prisoners, 6 females and 4 men will be trained in the blogging experience so that they will be bale to share their story. The bloggers will also be responsible for assessing the stories and encouraging other network members to share their issues and stories. Prison Friends Network will also share the winning story of the month with one of the local newspapers in order to motivate and keep the participation high. This network will help ex-prisoners to mobilize themselves and also come together to talk about the challenges and issues they want to bring to the attention of policy makers.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
The team has vast experience in blogging and I as one of the team members have received training in Social Media Course at the Coady Institute ( St Francis Xavier University) in Canada. Though the participants will receive computer training support, Zimbabwe is now rampant with mobile internet from various mobile network providers and thus such platforms as facebook will also be used to attract audience to the blog. Josephine Kamanthe is the co-founder of Legue of Young Proffessionals in Kenya which has an oline membership of over 20000 youths thus her expertise in collaborating online platforms will be greatly used. Nixon Nembaware has vast experiences working with marginalised men who have faced abuse and his skills will help in coaching the ex-prisoners to write their stories.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops will be held at the PFN offices. The Office has four computers for training and hence will need 1 extra as we will be training 10 ex-prisoners in batches of 5. The Internet connection will make use of USB Broadband modems with a flat rate and unlimited data transfers. The average speed is 200-800 kilobits per second.
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?
Prison Friends Network( PFN) is an organisation working with prisoners and ex-prisoners since 2010 up to date. We have created a network of over 100 ex-prisoners who exhibit talent in writing stories, poems and performing art. We are familiar with their challenges to be accepted in the communities, some have lost their families, wealth and belongings while in prison and some cannot locate their children. They find it hard to find employment and even for their voices to be heard. The stigma associated with prisons render them misfits in the society. PFN has long term plans to have a skills training center and the paper work is underway. The training center is specifically targeted for ex-prisoners, this will help them to be economically independent and raise their voices in the community.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
1.The challenge faced in this project is that ex-prisoners have been viewed negatively and in most times their esteem crushed. Hence this project will help in psychosocial support to those participating.
2. The are also security concerns in terms of ethical issues, hence this project will not submit names of the stories if the participants are not comfortable sharing their real names and pictures. Prior written approval will be sought for to protect the participants.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Monitoring and Evaluation
1.The project's impact will be evaluated by the number of people visiting the blog
2. The level of participation of the ex-prisoners in the project
3. Its ability to attract a wider and varied audience
4. What policy implications are drawn out of this program through the stakeholder workshop.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
June 2014 – Selection of Participants
July 2014- First Introductory Training Workshop ( 1 week) Blogging
August2014 – Second Training Workshop on Blogging /Stories Online
September2014- Information Dissemination Workshops with Various Stakeholders
October 2014 -May 2015 Monthly blog of Stories/poems/music etc
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Computers X 2 450 USD
Workshop x 3 750
Internet/per month 50 x 12 600
Coordination fee/per month 50 x12 600
TOTAL BUDGET = 2400 USD
JUSTIFICATION OF BUDGET
1. Computer 450The computer will be used to train the ex-prisoners who will be responsible for posting different stories from their community on the blog site and also on other social platforms such as face book and twitter
2. 3 workshops will be held to train the contact persons who will be responsible for manning the blog on how to make a successful blog
3. Internet connection costs 50USD per month and hence as the program will run for 12 months a total of 600 will be needed, stories will be posted per month inorder to attract audience
4. Coordination of the program will be done on a monthly basis for 12 months hence the person solely responsible for this activity will get 50 USD per month for coordination.
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can link our blog with other international organizations working on same issues.
Prison Friends Network