Mozambique: Our Community, Our Voice – Youth for Change
The project will train and mentor youth in the impoverished “townships” of Chamanculo and Xipamanine, Mozambique to use digital photography, community mapping techniques, videos, digital stories, and social media to document issues around poor governance, corruption, health hazards, property rights and crime prevention. This peri-urban community has a unique history, yet no media outlet of its own, and it inhabitants are virtually voiceless when it comes to non-existent service delivery and decisions taken by government (such a as new road that displaced large numbers of fami
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Chamanculo and Xipamanine are adjacent peri-urban communities, two of the most densely populated areas in the country, characterised by poverty, lack of employment, gender inequality, high crime and violence, and lack of services. At the same time, in recent years, the proximity of the community to the city centre means families are being displaced to make way for new roads or infrastructure. Many youth lack a sense of self-efficacy, the power to make change. The community is very much cut off from traditional or online media. Yet, a large number of young people have access to facebook and digital media through their smart phones, thanks to fairly low local rates. However, social media is being used for socialising only, and not at all as a way to voice opinion and advocate for change.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Daniel and Deborah Walter are the owners and founders of CMFD Productions, a media consultancy that works with communities, radio stations and media organisations to strengthen the use of media and communication for development. Daniel Walter is also the founder of Casa Sigauque, the media and cultural centre which will be the venue for this training.
https://www.facebook.com/sigauque.projeto (Daniel Walter)
https://www.facebook.com/deborah.walter.56 (Deborah walter)
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Key focus topics are governance, corruption, health hazards, property rights and crime prevention. Through hands on training and mentoring, we expect to produce a number of different kinds of content. As a first step we will use community mapping, digital photography and videos to identify and analyse crime hot spots, health hazards, and displacements (as a way to begin conversation about property rights). The resulting maps, photographs, videos, digital stories, and text will be shared through a facebook page and offline forums for discussion. As second step we will be to explore governance and corruption. Creative use of digital storytelling and generating facebook discussions will be used to counter reluctunce about speaking out. All produced content will be housed on a facebook page.
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.
CMFD Productions (www.cmfd.org) has been working in the community for over decade. Based in Johannesburg and Maputo, CMFD Productions provides media for development services to a wide range of clients and partners. 3 years ago we started Casa Sigauque, a community based arts and media centre in Chamanculo, the venue for a free music school, cultural events, and other activities for youth. We are also currently building a high end production studio, which will be used for CMFD's work. We have a strong footing in the community, as this is where we live and work, and we have been conducting activities for some time. As well, we have excellent NGO and organisational contacts who we can approach about collaboration.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We will work intensively with 10 youth, training them in digital photography, video production, digital stories, writing for online audiences, and using social and online media for change. 2 youth (1 male, 1 female) will take a leadership position and assit with managing the facebook presence. The 10 youth will work in teams of 2 to do at least 1 community workshop–at a school, clinic, workplace, community gathering, to teach people how to join the conversation, reaching an additional 50 people.(5 workshops with 10 people). They will also informally show peers and family members how to join the discussion on facebook. As well, by simply channelling existing usage into more socially constructive ways, hundreds of people will be “trained” in using social media for advocacy.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
As mentioned above, we will use digital photography, community mapping techniques, videos, digital stories, and social media. CMFD Productions are media consultants who have worked extensively to use multi-media to address issues such as good governnace, gender equality, human rights, disaster risk, HIV/AIDS etc. Our work generally is commissioned by large NGOS and United NationsaAgencies; this particular project is part of our ongoing community outreach. We bring 15 years of experience to the project, as well as multi-media production expertise and infrastructure.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The Casa Sigauque venue doubles as CMFD Productions offices, with a production studio currently being built, as well as a cultural centre. As part of our offices we have 4 computers that we can make available, 4 digit audio recorders, 2 digital cameras, 1 video camera and wireless internet with reasonable speed. Here there is ample space for workshopping and collaborative working.
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?
As mentioned above, we have a very strong relationship with the community. Casa Sigauque is a community based development and media centre that is currently the venue for a free music school, cultural events, and other activities for youth. We recently successfully crowd funded to equip the school with musical instruments. As an example of a past project, with the support from a PEPFAR small grant, CMFD worked with young people in Chamanculo to produce 12 wall comics and 2 songs about HIV prevention and testing.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Addressing issue of governance and corruption can be sensitive, which is why the initial stage of the project will focus on less sensitive issues. We are also aware that we may need to be creative in addressing technological challenges. For example if people are not using their phones as we think they ill. If this arises, we will consider a partnership with local internet cafes. We may also face challenges with low literacy, and ensuring that the low literate will be able to engage in the debates. This is one reason for using visual tools such as mapping, photos, and videos and digital stories.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
At the outset of the project we will develop our M & E plan. It will be key to measure increased levels of skills though pre and post surveys of the 15 youth. We will also measure the amount of dialogues that takes place, as well as community actions. While we are unlikely to solve every problem, we will deem our project a success if people have used the tools provided to voice their opinions, have gained a sense of self-empowerment and entitlement to be heard, and if the community have taken and concrete actiosn ot respond to isuues identified,
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
-Intensive training for the 10 youth.
-Identify 2 project leaders, provide further training in mentorship, facilitation, blogging, and management.
Month 2, 3, 4
-Conduct 3 mapping workshops (1 per month), led by the youth and involving the community – crime prevention, health hazards, displacement.
-Set up of facebook and promotion (team members have t-shirts, talk to others in the community, posters at internet cafes and other spots)
-Outreach and engagement with the community to encourage dialogue to these issues.
-Community workshops to provide basic training in social media.
Month 5, 6
-Start to look at issues of governance and corruption. The youth in teams to produce different forms of media to document this (some may choose to do videos, podcasts, photography, etc_
-Ongoing engagement with community to continue dialogue.
-Continued updating of facebook
Showcasing the best of – the content, actions that resulted.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Daniel and Deborah walter will provide their own expertise and time, as well as use of CMFD offices, studio, and equipment, at no costs, as a contribution to the project. We have 2 cameras, but feelthe documenting of the issues requires 2 more.
Youth Coordinator stipend 800
Refreshments for workshops 300
materials for workshops 200
T-shirts for team & promotional materials 200
Digital cameras 350
Falsh drive for each team member 140
Community Showcase 500
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
We would appreciate sharing ideas, mentorship, and assistance with publicising and making connection for the project. You may also have tips on free software or training tools that would be useful. We would love to share some of our outputs on the Rising Voice platform
CMFD Productions/ Casa Sigauque
Great idea, great project