Onicha-Olona is a community in Nigeria with very poor network coverage for both telecommunication and ICT. I desire a better representation for the indigenes so that their voices will be heard, communicate more with their relations in urban areas and overseas, and share their culture and challenges (electricity and water supply) to the world. I intend to create computer literacy/usage among the indigenes especially the youths; then liaise with the network providers to improve their service delivery to the region where the community falls.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
onich-olona, delta state
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The people of Onicha-Olona are very welcoming to change and are not so rigid in terms of their way of life. This shows that the project will be successful in the community because it is going to be accepted by willing hearts.
Onicha-Olona is a rural community in which farming is the major occupation of the dwellers. They rarely have electricity, depend on storing rain water for use, migrate to urban areas leaving the elderly and a few youths. The network providers therefore see the community as bad business.
I want to work with this community because it is where I originate from and I want a better life for them.
The community does not have access to high speed internet and browsing in the area can be so frustrating. The indigenes have very little familiarity with computer and internet.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
I will be working with my friend Joseph Stephen. He is a student computer science and is skillful at web design and computer programming. His facebook address is: http://facebook.com/Jguy007
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The aim of this project is to make the voice of the people heard not just within their environs but on a global scale. The content of the project will bring out Onicha-Olona in its fullness. Areas that will be covered fall under the culture and social challenges of the indigenes. The community has a very rich culture which is only pronounced within the community. For instance, they have special attire they wear on festivals and occasions, and have a traditional system of government. These are only parts of the rich culture of Onicha-Olona people. However, the community faces some social challenges such as; water scarcity in dry seasons, bad road in some quarters (streets), poor electricity supply, and of course poor network coverage. All these and more will form the citizens media output.
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.
For the project to be successful beyond making the people of Onicha-Olona have representation online, I intend to partner with the local and state governments under which the community falls (Aniocha-Local Government and Delta State Governments respectively). This would be easier because an indigene of the community is currently the speaker of the State’s house of assembly. The Governments will help in tackling the social challenges of the people. I also intend to partner with the local network providers to help improve telephone and internet services to the area. The names of the companies include; MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat. I would also partner with the secondary schools in the area so as to get to the students of the schools. The leaders of the community will also be involved.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
I would like to start with about 500 participants who are mainly youths. For project sustainability, these 500 will also teach at least one person each, making the total number at least 1000. The trend will continue in this manner. When the project has been fully accomplished in Onicha-Olona, it will be introduced to other communities around Onicha-Olona. These communities include; Ezi, Atuma, Iselle-Uku, Ukala, Iselle-Mpitime etc.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
In terms of expertise, I am going to be playing mainly managerial and administrative roles with some technical input, while my partner and the invited experts will be conducting most of the technical trainings. The participants will be thought computer appreciation, safe and positive use of internet, social media usage e.g. facebook, twitter and blogging. They will be thought how to use these media to reach out to the world and showcase their culture as well as letting the world know their local challenges. These expertise and technology are appropriate for the community because the community is rural and require such to arouse their interest.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops for this project will be held at the community’s town hall. It is a building that can take about 200 participants at once. The building is mostly used for special occasions such as weddings, birthday parties and anniversaries. No event such as this project has been conducted there before and this means that the hall does not have technical features. Every technical feature for the project will be brought into the hall by the organisers (my partner and I). We will be providing at least two laptops and the internet connection will be via USB modems.
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?
Onicha-Olona community is my home of origin. This is where I was born and a little part of my childhood was spent there. I am the most appropriate individual to implement this project because I love the place and desire a better life for my people. The opportunities I have today may not have come to me if I was left to grow up in the community. I desire to bring in opportunities such as this to Onicha-Olona so that the indigenes will stop going to urban areas but stay back to develop their own land.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The only problem this project may face is the availability of sufficient number of youths to be trained. This problem arises from the fact that majority of the youths leave the community for greener pastures outside. This problem will be tackled by the use of timing. The youths usually return home during special occasions and special festivals. Therefore, the project will kick off in such a period.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
I will know the project is achieving success when it starts yielding positive results. These results include; when there will be improved telephone and ICT networks in Onica-Olona and the indigenes can reach out to the world as well as their loved ones in diaspora. When this is accomplished, the government will be attracted to the area and respond to the needs of the people. Also, I will count it success when people from neighbouring communities hear of the changes in Onicha-Olona and come in to tap from the benefits of this project. I also intend to persuade the government to bring in a cyber café to the community where the indigenes who cannot afford personal computers can get access to the internet.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
If this project is selected as a rising voices grantee; activities will start up almost immediately. June and July, 2014 will be used to advertise the project and make the necessary connections with the local and state governments, the network providers, and contacting the experts to be invited. This period will be the time to plan and strategize how the project will be implemented.
In August, 2014; the project proper will start. The workshops will be held this period and will run for a four days stretch. After the workshops have been concluded, the participants will then be encouraged to implement all they have learnt.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Here is a list of the cost to run the workshop. All values in USD.
Renting of the town hall (for four days) 431
Decoration of the hall 62
Renting of chairs and tables (for four days) 493
Renting Projector and Screen, Microphones and Speakers 124
Light Refreshments for Invited Guests 247
Production of certificates for Participants 431
Internet Access 62
Miscellaneous Expenses 308
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Apart from the micro grant funding, I will need advisory support from Rising Voices as well as a delegate to grace the workshop.