Kenya has over 40 tribes that make a rich and diverse culture. Each of these have distinctive rich stories that have been passed on from generation to generation around fireplaces in the rural areas. These stories were used to teach morals, etiquette, and other social norms, to preserve traditions, and to act as oral historic records of family migrations, significant occurrences and so on.Since most of these stories were passed on orally, there are very few written or recorded accounts in existence. We therefore want to capture these stories and preserve a large knowledgebase of our stories.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
We will work with 5 young people drawn from the five major regions in Kenya, our pilot African country. These are drawn from Masaai, Taita/Giriama, Somali from Northern Kenya, the Turkana/Samburu and the Kalenjin. These were among the last communities in Kenya to embrace western civilization, and rich in historical and cultural stories that can be learnt from and passed on.
This population is marginally represented online, as they are in the most rural of Kenya, where internet penetration is low, or in other areas, non-existent. These communities have a long history of culture and have withstood urbanization pressures to retain strong traditions. This is fast changing however, as most are trading their old way of life for the cities.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Co-Founders, Naleke Kaapei- twitter @Naleke
Lillian Nduati twitter @NanaNduati
Christine Wanjiru twitter @WanjiruNduati
Alex Orenge twitter @Alexorenge
Abu Okari twitter @Abuokari
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Stories told in short videos, illustrated stories, and that all link to different categories of content. That is: folk-tales, traditional songs, proverbs, folklore, myths and legend stories, stories of origin, way of life and customs.
The community will shoot their own videos, and once a month, we shall have an open-air cinema in the community to show the stories they have shot. We will also distribute short storybooks published with stories told by the community elders , and distribute them to pupils in schools in these communities.
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.
We have established contact with Ford Foundation and are in the process of putting together a proposal that will see us benefit from their grants.
We also plan to establish partnerships with:
Ministry of Sports Culture and the Arts – Kenya www.minspoca.go.ke
Omidyar Network – www.omidyar.com
KMP Kenya – http://www.kmp.or.ke/
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We will start with 5 young people (Trainer of Trainers) who we will first train, who will then go out to the communities to train 50 participants, drawn from each of the 5 communities we have highlighted. In total, conservatively, 55 participants for this pilot phase. We will seek their participation from interested individuals who are already working on heritage and culture related projects and activities, who are passionate about preserving culture in their communities. To sustain their participation, we will recognize their efforts, for example, by publishing their work with their by-lines, crediting their work on all published work, train them additional skills, provide their travel, communication (air-time) and daily stipend needs.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Lillian Nduati – Former Business Journalist with the regions largest media group, Nation Media Group and Techie, Content Strategist and Editor with the iHub Nairobi, Nairobi’s first tech hub, and Entrepreneur, trainer and philanthropist.
Michael Kimani – Over four years in the digital multimedia space, including experience leading animation, web design and social enterprise and community film projects.
This technology is the most appropriate because it is the least intrusive, and captures everything in one instance. It is necessary as we feel it will capture best the feeling, mood, spirit and elements of stories as they are told – sound, video clips and images. From these, audio podcasts, blog posts, and images can be gleaned from one video.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The five individuals Trainers will be trained at a workshop in Nairobi. The space has a sitting capacity of 20, 5 laptops and is located along Ngong road, a central location just 10kilometers from the Central Business District, which is convenient for individuals coming from different parts of Nairobi. Each trainer has a computer and fiber Internet connectivity of up to 4Mbps.
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?
For example, the Maasai community is my community, and I am in constant communication with them, I am also involved in several community projects in and thus have already established trust and rapport within this community.
Our partners have close community ties with the other five communities , and we would like to leverage these to achieve a link, and establish long-term commitment with the people in these villages.
Our organization’s approach to the collection, preservation and archiving of African stories, especially in the pilot country, Kenya, has not been implemented before in Africa. It is our organization’s vision to ensure these stories, which have important cultural influences and impact, continue to be told and to build a database of oral stories.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Uptake of skills – citizens working with unfamiliar tools may delay the project timelines. Thus, efficient training, having very simple training material and lots of practice to overcome this will be crucial
Adjusting Challenges – these communities are in very rural areas, whose living conditions are harsh. Thus the trainers adapting quickly to these environments will be key, in successful implementation·
Hesitance by community to participate – as they may see the project as taking advantage of them. Quick wins will go a long way in showing the community that projects such as these are of value to preserving their community, and that their participation will be very important and will be a way of leaving a legacy.
Security – Some of these areas are prone to ethnic raids and clashes.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Number or percentage of people who were trained, that can now shoot videos, post/blog stories and have them published.
Number of stories collected and published in different content formats: audio podcasts, blogs, images, and videos
Buy in and engagement from community, both the community on the ground, and the digital community. What is the participation and interest in the project? This is key to attracting volunteers and members.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
May 2014 – Winners Announced
MAY 12 – JUNE 2nd:
Online Platform Building for the stories to be published on
Online campaigns on Social Media, and on the Africa Stories Project Blog
June: Travel to communities to establish rapport with community elders, and the general community, and carry out a needs assessment and to assess security levels
July – Training of Trainers
Develop Curriculum for Community Participants
Assemble Training Materials
Develop Content Editorial Schedules
Plan story collections, Plan Travel, Book locations/venues/households/interviewees/participants, any licenses required
August – Take advantage of the School Holiday breaks in Kenya, to do the training and story collections. (Take advantage of the fact that the school going children are home with their elders, and shoot the stories in this natural setting)
September/October – Collate the stories for publishing, Editing, Categorizing
Publishing, posts on blog, campaign
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
(July)Training of 3 Trainers: 3-day workshop – $150
(August)Workshops: 1-day workshop for community – $500
1 Solar laptops – $300
1 Modem – $30
3 Feature Phones (that can record audio, and access the internet) – $350
Internet Access (Data Bundles)- $80
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices can give our project can give us feedback on our proposal, both positive and negative feedback. We're open to constructive criticism. Also it would be helpful if Rising Voices could share stories of similar projects implemented elsewhere which have been successful. To learn from.