Nowadays, the internet started to become a multicultural storage place containing information of various nations, cultures, customs and identities. Living in the age of the internet, vulnerable groups such as Roma face the risk of losing their own cultural narrative, identity, customs and tradition, without participating in 2.0 web interaction or in other words to store digital information about their culture. Our aim is to build the capacity of young Roma to collect, store and upload their own cultural information using open source technology and challenge society.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
This project invests to build capacity of 10 young Roma (18-30)as “culture collectors” in collecting, processing and uploading data that contains information about the Roma culture, identity, customs and tradition using social media, especially blogging. In this way, we also challenging and changing the negative image of Roma by stimulating intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma. The youth suggested to use blogging or wikipages, as there are no blogs in existence that give or share information on Roma culture and tradition. We will build up on the knowledge of the younger people about social media such as Facebook and introduce blogging as a tool to achieve our goal to digitalize or have Roma culture online.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Mustafa Jakupov – will help delivering the training about using web 2.0 tools, social media, blogging and creativity. Researcher, Roma activist. https://www.facebook.com/mustafa.jakupov
Sunai Sabrioski – a young journalist that will help in training the youth, especially in processing the data and making it reader-friendly.https://www.facebook.com/Bi0nIcK
Urmeta Arifovska – will help delivering the training about data collection, interviewing people and processing data.https://www.facebook.com/urmeta.arifovska
Daniela Janevska – will help with the logistics and administration of the project. https://www.facebook.com/daniela.janevska.5
Dimitrij Mihajlovski – graphic designer https://www.facebook.com/D1M1TR1J
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The project invests in various ways to create mechanisms-for one of the most disadvantaged and underrepresented minority in Europe-to collect and upload data about their culture and tradition online. We want to have online data about Roma tradition and values, but also representing the shift and “assimilation” of Roma culture during the ages of migration. The blog will be containing text, video and audio materials.The project offers skills, tools and an online platform with an expected outcome of 30 texts, 15 videos and 10 audio podcasts in a time-frame of 16 months.
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 Regional Roma Educational Youth Association-RROMA (https://www.facebook.com/rroma.org) has already establish partnerships with 12 municipalities across Macedonia. The partnerships are in a form of memorandums for cooperation, which will make it a lot of easier to approach the local institutions during the phases of data collections, such as the house of cultures and libraries. Working with the Roma community on previous researches and data collection, RROMA already has establish contacts within the communities which will make the process much easier. During this project, we expect to formalize an already existing collaboration with Toxic comics for the parts of graphic designing. As well with the RCSD for using their facilities for the training.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We want to train two groups of 5 young Roma as “culture collectors”. The first group will be selected by creating an open call for applying, after 6 month another call will be published to select the second group. The first group will help in training the second group of collectors and together they will under go a process of learning by doing. By the end of the project, we will have 10 young Roma trained in data collection and transforming them into civic journalists that can later on challenge and change the negative image of Roma by stimulating intercultural dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding between Roma and non-Roma. The ultimate goal is to have a multiplier effect by having young Roma join the blog as contributors.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
For each training we will be using internet, a projector and at least 5 computers. We will record the trainings and create personal statements that are going to be uploaded on the internet. Also, we will focus on photography and creative manipulation (story telling by comic creation) that are going to accompany our stories about Roma culture. We are going to use wordpress blogs as part of our training for learning and later on create together with the participants and the graphic designer the final look of the Roma culture online platform (blog).
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
We are going to rent the space of RCSD, which has facilities that are going to fit our needs for the training. A computer room with 5 computers, large meeting room, lcd projects, flipchart table, even easels that can be used for the creative designing.
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?
RROMA works from 2007 with the younger generation of Roma, always with new methods to foster the intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma. We promote the diversity of languages, cultures, identities and forms of artistic expressions as strength. In the past, the organization became the first Roma NGO to be appointed of the MK National Agency as a National contact point for promoting the Youth in Action programme among Roma youngsters in Macedonia. As well, the organization received the MTV Staying Alive Award in 2010 for its creative action to raise awareness among Roma youngsters regarding HIV/AIDS, thus making it the first Roma and macedonian organization in the world to receive such award.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The biggest challenge would be to keep up the motivation of the participants regarding this important project. Although, we believe that the young people will be eager to work, since they are having the opportunity to work with new creative methods and internet. Another challenge would be to record people from the grassroots that are going to talk about Roma culture. And the last challenge would be probably to compare and verify the collected data with already existing data, since we don't want to neglect the efforts of others. This is why we will promote the importance of having Roma culture online.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Before the first training, we will have a baseline of what has been done already on Roma culture online, so we can already have something to build up on. Pre and post survey will be provided to all partcipants to measure the impact of the trainings. A clear M&E plan will be elaborated containing clear milestones to be reached, as well efficiency and effectiveness measurements will be done. A mid term evaluation will be conducted during the 7-th month of the project to check progress and do interventions, if necessary. The blog will be open for feedback and comments from the public. Our intention is the blog to become a valid and reliable source on Roma culture on 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?
May: -Verify with partners
– Open call for participants
– Selection of participants
– First training
June: – Testing of the blog
– final design of the blog
-blog gets official
end of June till end of November: Roma culture data collection
December: Mid term evaluation
January 2015: Open call for participants
-Selection of the participants
February 2015-June 2015: Roma culture online data collection, publishing online
July 2015: -Final evaluation
August 2015: -Presentation of blog with content during international youth day
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Human resources: 760 $
Coordinator= 300 $ (total amount for 16 months)
Administrator= 160 $ (total amount for 16 months)
2 Trainers-I and II training= 2×150 $= 300$
I training (4days) for 5 participants=700 $
II training (4days) for 5 participants=700 $
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Pointing out to organizations with similar projects could benefit our project and give the necessary exchange of experience and knowledge, as well establish channels of communication and create a wider outreach and exchange of information between organizations.
Regional Roma Educational Youth Association-RROMA