Kyrgyzstan: Education for All
The project advocates for educational rights of youth with disabilities by the disabled youth themselves. In general, interests, rights and needs of youth and people with disabilities are advocated by disability organizations. Yet, there are very few self-advocates and youth with disabilities advocating for their own rights. By means of video-making, social media and blogging the youth with disabilities will raise awareness of the educational rights and existing barriers, and create empowerment stories to challenge community’s perception of people with disabilities.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Bishkek and surrounding villages (at least 5)
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The main target group is youth with disabilities who study at an educational institution and who don’t study, but can, due to physical, social and institutional barriers. Representation of people with disabilities is often colored by philanthropic or charity motives and not from an empowerment perspective. Online pages such as in Facebook can be powerful awareness-raising and outreach instruments, especially if content is evidence-based and effectively designed. Most importantly, participants will learn not only about how to open such pages, but they will be also taught effective communication techniques to strengthen the content they will be creating (a good heading, text design basics). The project aims to target youth who have average or lower level of computer or internet familiarity.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Besides staff of the Center, the project will have support of members of a Disabled Girls’ Organization “Nazik Kyz”, 3 student volunteers and an IT professor of social work faculty of Bishkek Humanities University, volunteer camera operator and editor, Melis Abdibaitov.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The stories will be created in the form of video (short films), and will be about youth with disabilities who study, so to empower other youth and challenge the medical and stigmatized perception of people with disabilities (which mostly focuses on person’s illness and physical deficiencies). At the same the project aims to create short stories about experiences of youth with disabilities, who cannot study due to architectural or physical barriers – so to visualize barriers faced by people with disabilities which limit their movement and fundamental right to receive education. The video will have references to the legal documents such as the Constitution, UN Child's Convention, which obliges states’ parties to make education, especially compulsory primary education, available to all.
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 Center has strong partnership with the Faculty of Social Work of Bishkek Humanities University and can rely on its support. Furthermore, the Center’s staff has connections with representatives of various NGOs in the disability area and organizations run by parents of children with disabilities in the city of Bishkek and a in a few surrounding villages. Volunteer specialists, such as operator and editor and IT specialists of the university, will help to implement the project. The university provides study rooms for the trainings and meetings.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
The project aims to attract at least 15 youth with disabilities, from 17 years old to 25. they will be trained and will be directly participating in making videos and blogs. As some of them come from rural areas, they will be provided with financial support to cover their costs. The social workers of the partner University will accompany as transportation is one of the first important barriers. The Center will provide open access to the computer facilities at the center. Importantly, the trained youth will have opportunities to present the results of the training to wider community. In the second phase, the trained youth will need to train other youth with and without disabilities about the skills they learnt during the project.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Text design basics, social media skills, video making and blog creation and maintenance. Facebook will be the primary social media as many organizations, groups and activists can be attracted as audience. Blog will be created on open local website ( http://kloop.kg/ ) which allows to have a free blog and has other socially relevant blogs. Furthermore, the participants will be taught presentation skills as the project also aims to disseminate project's results (videos and blogs). The participants will be taught about using power point, prezi and other important presentation skills.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The Center has one big room, where two computers are available. But the Center secured partnership with the Bishkek Humanities University, which will provide access to its Resource room. There are more computers which will be sufficient for the participants. The center doesn't have internet connection and therefore, it reserved some portion of the grant to be used for connecting to internet. The Center would also like to acquire a projector and screen by means of which trainings will be delivered. The projector and screen will be used for showing videos.
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 Center has quite good relationships with various disability organizations. The staff also provides psychological services to vulnerable populations, including youth with disabilities. Especially, the project coordinator has strong relationships with disabled people's organizations in the City, region. The Center as a service provider aims also to contribute to the advocacy efforts and it has great potentials as it has direct contact with the target population. Families of children with disabilities rely on the Center's support, social workers, and psychologists.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
There were not any specific and significant challenges.
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 will be determined by popularity of the created page and blog (number of members of group page, commentaries), number of created videos, number of dissemination meetings (categorized by government and non-government bodies), number of established partnership advocacy agreements, number of children or youth started being interested in studying, number of participants trained by the trained youth with disabilities, number of individual active blogs or other pages. Monitoring of opened blogs will be done by the project coordinator. Randomly selected government organizations will be invited to participate in monitoring of the blog or page for measuring effectiveness of advocacy, problem understanding, relevance of content. The project coordinator will monitor media appearances.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
May 5 – 31 Beginning of the project, implementation of all preparation activities. June–Oct'14 – Trainings, with practical sessions, including the field work. Making empowerment videos and videos about barriers for blog’s content. August – May'15– social media page and blog designing, field working – making new videos and blog content Nov'14 – Feb'15 – dissemination of created content among relevant government and NGO structures, schools and universities by trained youth, project coordinator and student volunteers. The team will also attend meetings of a nation-wide network to further disseminate throughout the country as it has representatives from each region. The team will get in touch with “Network” of women’s disability organizations (run by people with disabilities). Feb’15 – May’15 trained youth with disabilities together with volunteers will be collecting new stories for their blog and page. Feb’15 – May’15 Trainees will train new interested individuals.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
camera for shooting videos – 320 USD
projector – 430 USD
screen for projector- 95 USD
110 USD – for travel expenses of trainees (for training,
field work); 460 USD for dissemination expenses (leaflets production,
travel expenses); internet access – 220 USD (18 USDx 12 months)
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Any leaflets about designing content for blogs or information about additional online platforms, effective presentation skills