I intend to work on digital cultural preservation and assisting our local cultural communities to both share their cultural wealth of knowledge with current and future generations and to also give them an opportunity to learn about the benefits of the internet. To achieve this, 2 workshops will be conducted to practically help with the implementation of aspects patterning to internet usage and its revelence in these communities.I will work with communities involved in the making and presentation of mbira music for the purposes of preserving the mbira heritage for current and future references
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Harare & Murehwa
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
I have interacted with a traditional Mbira group who have expressed immence interest in knowing about the internet.This group consists of people from around the country.It was started in Murehwa and mainly operates in Murehwa and Harare.This community is quiet conservative but have expressed that the actual core cultural elements of the mbira (a musical instrument ) havent had much digital exposure yet their stories are mysterious and interesting especially for the youth.I think it is important for them to leave a legacy so that this culture wont be unknown or extinct.Several members of this community have used the internet but mostly for casual interaction with friends and relatives.Most know it, have never used it but are keen to know more about it.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Larry Kwirirayi – A renowned local Writer , Podcaster, Storyteller,Poet , Actor,Digital Strategist,Social Media Manager
Anderson Nyamande – A systems engineer who has vast experience with video and voip implementations.He has a passion for filming and will help with video creation and uploading.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Participants will showcase the core historical cultural elements of the mbira musical instrument .This will showcase stories on its uses ie entertainment and its mysteriously interesting religious uses ie for rain making and then the current activities hosted by the mbira group for all mbira lovers and in all this leaving the stories as a special heritage for the youth .Videos of current activities will be uploaded on different social media platforms namely facebook , and youtube in Engish, Shona and Ndebele which are the most used languages in Zimbabawe.
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.
Being a member of another Internet related organisation, ISOC , i had been doing surveys in the Zimbabwean community on the representation of certain groups and communities on the internet.I identified this group among a list of other under represented groups but also noticed that no one had been actively involved in trying to bridge the digital gap in this community.Though i made interactions with them about internet usage, it was a very informal platform with no funding hense not very effective.I was thrilled to find an opportunity to enable these people to share their experiences and tap into the global fountain of information both for cultural and educational purposes
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
I would like to train a maximum of 20 participants .Though the main objective is centered on the cultural preservation of information about the mbira instrument, the internet is very broad.I still would like them to appreciate and share the same information with other people in their communities who may not have access to this workshop but are equally interested in learning about the internet.In their specific communities, there are farmers, small arts groups, students and other people who can learn the information they will get from this workshop.To make their participation sustainable, i will ensure practical implementation of workshop material.There is no way they will not realise the benefits of internet usage
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Since these are social groups, social media is the most appropriate platform.Also because the local population have so much appreciation for social networking platforms .There is need to then enable the mbira group to optimize on the various aspects of using social media and with that i come with experience from constructing and managing an interctive facebook page for the Isoc chapter in Zimbabawe https://www.facebook.com/isoczim?ref=hl .I also constructed and am managing the isoc Zimbabawe Chapter Website www.isoc.org.zw.
Twitter is also a platform i would also want to introduce to them .Lastly i would like them to learn how to upload their activities on youtube
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops will be hosted at an indoor facility in Eastlea, Harare.The facility has a 2MB CIR broadband link on a fiber optic medum and a refreshment area.I have 2 laptops which will be available to use in addition to the 6 desktops that are offered by the facility..I also have a 4G USB modem which i will use as a backup link for the purposes of the workshops.I work for an ISP so i will be able to access additional bandwidth if need be.The workshop facility also has a projector , speakers and a telephone.
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?
Through one of my colleges on this prospective project, and another one of my associates who owns and operates a local technical website called Techzim, i would like to help this community by having their stories published so that they may be one of the local examples of underrepresented groups who are now using the internet as one of their tools for success.Furthermore, using the same community, i would like to work with other communities using their story as an exhibit.All this requires that the community still be active and participating on the several social media platforms which i will endeavor to ensure are operational and being used at full capacity.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
I may face the misconception of the objectives behind the project.This is something i have learnt to address in all the work i have done which is related to this project.Our country is extremely sensitive about foreign donations for unfavorable political purposes.To address this, i will just be transparent in expressing the mission and objective of my project.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Success will come from our first signup on any of the social media platforms but the best success will come from the number of people who will follow the mbira groups and their ability to keep posting activities and interacting with people .I think for me the ultimate success would be to know that someone else has managed to learn about the internet by virtue of being inspired and even taught by the group.Being part of social media is being part of the global digital community but most importantly, this will also help create local content for local internet users.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
It will be a 6 month project.
(08 – 09 – 2014)- Host workshop 1 which is more introductory and informative.
This will start with The internet as a general topic, the global collaborative internet governance framework, the benefits of the internet .We will introduce the Global voices organisations, its objective and how we are involved and hear the participants’ stories and what they expect to gain from the workshop.We will then introduce the various means of interactions on the internet and the platforms available for interaction.We will then discuss about the particular social media platforms and how these platforms can be used by these communities.We will then have a session where we teach about information collection for the purposes of populating the platforms
proceeding 2 months (10 – 11 – 2014) – Workshop focused on project implementation and detailed information with hands-on work
last 2 months (12 2014 – 01 – 2015) – Project management and plans for longev
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Website creation – small donation to creator $100
Workshop logistics (transport and planning) for participants $300
Workshop costs venue&facilities(refreshments,lunch) for 2 workshops @450 each: $900
Coordinator expenses including progression assessment for 6 months $550
Stationary and training & promotional material $200
digital smart camera for YouTube uploads $300
Trainer per Diem $200
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Project management tips and Facebook page promotions.
Nomsa Muswai Mwayenga