Azerbaijan: Green Voices of Qax
Media workshop empowering youth in Qax region to become agents of change and ambassadors of environmental awareness. Building rural youth’s competencies in using new media enables them to engage in global environmental activism but also advocate for sustainable development more effectively in local contexts – environmental sustainability poses a pressing matter Qax that is home to various minority groups struggling to preserve their culture and traditions. In Green Voices of Qax Project youth have an active role in tackling the urban bias in decision making and bridging the cultural divide
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The direct beneficiaries of “Green Voices of Qax” are 20 rural youth engaged in environmental action and five schools in Qax region. We have 3.5 years of experience of working with the community and supporting them to develop a range of environmental initiatives. Within the Green School project, the participants have expressed a strong interest in creative methods of communication and identified this as a crucial element in raising environmental awareness. For a socially, culturally and environmentally sustainable future it is vital that Qax youth are able to effectively communicate their views and share experiences with decision-makers and general public. Currently they have access to ICT tools but lack the competences to use them effectively
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Mike Raybourne support with technical training & Hanna Rajala assist with… (http://youngvoicesfromcaucasus.wordpress.com/)
Gultakin Allahverdiyeva, trainer on environment; (https://www.facebook.com/spareaze?ref=hl and http://spareaze.wordpress.com)
Vugar Safarov, media trainer at (https://www.facebook.com/ProsperCartoonStudio)
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The outputs will a blog run by young people themselves. While environmental topics represent the core of the training program, the final contents are in the hands of the bloggers. Participants are encouraged to use visual and audiovisual techniques, in particular, to communicate their views and everyday experiences. They will receive ongoing support from trainers and teachers.
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.
Five educational institutions in Qax region will be both beneficiaries and partners. We currently partner with these schools in the framework of extracurricular environmental clubs. As partners, the schools provide not only vital resources and facilities (equipment, technical support etc.) but also access to young people – school involvement is key to legitimising the activities in the eyes of the parents. As project beneficiaries, they will receive support in developing their capacity to use ICT tools in education. We’re hoping that the experience will serve as inspiration and as an example for other schools.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
Approximately 20 young people and five IT teachers will be trained. Call for the training program will be announced and Application form delivered among the educational institutions. Program team will select participants based their interest and motivation. The training aims to empower the young participants to act as peer-to-peer educators in the field of civic journalism and environmental action. The training will enable the teachers to provide ongoing support to young people after returning to their communities but also build their capacity to incorporate ICT in the curricular activities. Both groups also receive support from the trainers.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
There are two reasons for the choice. Participants have different interests and skills, and blogs allow to make use of a range of media according to participants’ wishes. Blog is also the media that can reach audiences both locally and nationally as well as internationally. The participants have basic computer skills. The role of the trainers is to motivate and train them how to use the tools for communication (particularly visual and audiovisual) in a compelling way. Thanks to networks and extensive experience in organising training programs for environmental leadership for youth, SPARE is able to deliver high quality trainings.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The trainings will be held at a computer room of one of our partner school, where each participant has a computer. Most participants will bring their own cameras/ mobile phones with camera. SPARE will provide three video cameras for the groups to use throughout the project. All the schools cooperating in the project have computers with the necessary software (photo and video editing) and internet access enabling blog teams to upload blog content during and after the trainings. The connection speed depends on the school, but cloud services and online editing tools will probably be inaccessible. Most young people also have internet access outside the training hours (home, internet cafes etc).
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?
SPARE Azerbaijan has been working with youth for 10 years focusing on environmental action. The biggest developmental challenges are faced in rural areas, which is also why capacity building in rural communities is one of our priorities.Currently our partner school network operates in 8 regions;the core activities include eco camps and teachers’ professional capacity building.In Qax region, we have worked for 3.5 years.In the framework of the project, schools in the region organised an energy efficiency campaign-this included, among other things, sessions in pre-schools led by young people.Recently we’ve started incorporated visual and audio-visual elements in ongoing training activities of our peer-to-peer learning programme.This has rendered positive outcomes in Qax region particularly.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
In Azerbaijan, civil society initiatives are few and little known. Parents’ mistrust poses a potential risk, which is addressed namely by involving schools in the process. Although space for civil society is limited (esp. civic journalism), environmental action is generally perceived as legitimate. Additionally staff or management changes may occur and change the project environment. For this reason the project includes various educational institutions rather than only one school or individual teachers.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The main objective is that young people feel motivated and competent to independently use new technologies for communication. This is assed mainly through self-evaluation: participants reflect on the learning process on personal and group level. Blog statistics (visitors, shares, comments etc.) as well as print and digital media references will help to determine the increase in visibility.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
May (3 and 4 weeks) – selection of participants. June (1 and 2 weeks) – preparation for summer school. June (3 and 4 week) – summer school and individual/group work. July (1 and 2 week) – follow up meeting. July (3 and 4 week) – posting/promote media materials through social networks. July (4 week) – reporting. Summer school: 5 days training (4 h + independent work) in Qax inviting young people from nearby villages.
– Sustainable development/environmental protection
– Youth participation in community /civic engagement
– Citizen journalism/social media
– Technical skills/using new media tools/blogging
– Individual/group work/tasks/projects for future
– Including new media tool to the school curriculum (session for teachers)
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Internet access – $50
Summer School costs – $1448
(including: Refreshment (20 participants+5teachers/5 training days) – $400. Stationary (20 participants+5 teachers)- $170)
Equipment (2 video cameras – Samsung HMX-F90) – $620
Follow up meeting – $250. Travel/accommodation for the trainers – $350
Translation/printing – $150
Coordinator expenses (trainers fee, including bank fee) – $380
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Thanks to the global reach, Rising Voices will increase the visibility of the project outputs. This will in turn motivate participants and serve as inspiration for other youth initiatives in the region. Provide interesting networking opportunities for all the actors involved.
Future Vision-Education Development Public Union