By the project Grassroots storytelling we aim at developing a better understanding of the main features of this community, both inside and outside it. By empowering the member with the online media tool, we can contribute to their visibility and other people awareness of this amazing mix of ethnies in harmony and peace. By trainings, Living Libraries with the old members of the community and social meeting of sharing knowledge on the history and traditions of the community, we can make the students of the local high-school have a real sense of belonging to something special as Macin.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Macin is a small city on the Danube border (8500 inhabitants).One of the members of the team is a girl who left this city for studies and who wants to come back and help the community grow.The team will also have the support of a local school which will gather the young people together in order to create group cohesion with the older people of the community.Most of the young people don’t come back after they finish their studies.Thus, the majority of the locals is older,and they don’t know how to use internet.We decided to work with the locals also because they have a interesting story from an inter-cultural point of view.The population is a mix of ethnic and religions,in this small community live together Romanian,Turcs,Greecs,Roma,Russians,Tatars and their olders have a lot of stories.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Aureliana Popa – facebook.com/aureliana.popa, twitter.com/AurelianaPopa
Simona Barbu – simoneciel.ro, facebook.com/simonebarbu, twitter.com/simonebarbu
Ana-Maria Anghelescu – facebook.com/anamaria.anghelescu, twitter.com/anaandreeaa
Delia Tudor – locuitoareainsuleidelos.wordpress.com, facebook.com/ delia.tudor.3, twitter.com/deliatudorflor
Teodora Vasile – facebook.com/ teo.ti.27, twitter.com/TeodoraAVasile
Cristi Georgian Cucu – facebook.com/ cristigeorgian.cucu
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
We really believe in micro-history and the fact that all the small stories create the big history. By the project Grassroots storytelling we aim to search, write and promote the local history of Macin and more than that, we will train young people from the community to make their own research and stories. It is our way to invest in the community and in its traditions. Storytelling through media tools it could be a great instrument to connect the past with the future.
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 do intent to establish a partnership with the local authorities in order to involve them more actively in the daily routine of the inhabitants inside the community.We want them to become more aware of the huge cultural potential they have to promote the local story of understanding and common history of these mix of ethnicities.We do have a partnership with the local school.We are also planning to create direct links with the leaders of local religious groups-Muslims,Orthodox Old Rite,Orthodox New Rite in order to connect them in creating the living together story of this local community.We plan to create an online platform.We will write informations about Măcin and its beauties,about interesting places for tourists.We will search successfull stories about people from their comunity.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We aim at promoting the sense of belonging among the members of the Macin community, by making them aware of their specificities and their diversity. The training activities are directed to the students of the local high-school and represent a tool of empowering them to share their stories. Their participation will be stimulated by involving them in the living libraries, where the old would share their experiences and the history of the community, after which the youth having to write for the blog. The necessary skills will be delivered by professionals in storytelling and creative writing technique, in assignments that aim at making the students aware of their potential of promoting the local values existing in the melting pot of Macin. We plan to train around 30 youngsters.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Most of this project team is behind another online project, a cultural website which aims at promoting a better image of Romania, by involving youth and empowering them and making them responsible of their own future. Our past experience will allow us to transfer our knowledge to the youth of the community, by making them aware of the tradition, history and diversity of their community and empowering them to become its ambassadors. The main media tool that we intend to use is the blog, where the participants will post their stories regarding the community. By involving them in this process of sharing, we try to (re)connect them with their roots, because writing and storytelling are the most useful way of persuading the target group of the benefits of living in such a diverse community.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
Facilities will be offered by the high-school from Macin – training room, tables, projector, flipchart, internet connection and computers and also by the city hall of Macin – a conference room to gather together young and old people to tell their stories and all the printed materials we will need.
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?
We are fond of history and we think that Măcin city is an impressive place.There folks of different ethnies live together in peace-Turks,Tartars,Romanians, Macedo-Romanians and so on.Since one of us was born in this city,she knows a lot about that people’s needs and can provide us with an insightful perspective.We think that this zone could and should be a more visited touristic spot for both Romanians and foreigners.We would like to learn the interesting stories of the old people from this community,which would make their youngsters proud of their origins and us,the outsiders,appreciate much more the region.We want to teach the young locals how to promote Măcin using technology.Also, we would like to form a group of gifted youngsters that will promote their city,alongside our own team.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
We are aware about the fact that the things may not work as planned, so we are taking into account the following risks:
•The bad weather, which may prevent us from reaching the target location of our project, due to flooding or heavy rains. This represents a highly improbable risk, because the main activities that are taking place in Macin are scheduled for July and August, a time where rains are not so problematic. The activities will follow their course as they may take place through the internet, via web conferences on Skype.
•Another risk could be the lack of involvement from the members of the community in our project. We intend to solve this problem by discussing and explaining in a friendly way what this project means and what benefits it can bring to them.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The measurement and evaluation of the project’s impact are the coordinates of success within the project itself. The project’s influence on the community needs to be evaluated not only at a local level, but also on a wider area (proceeding eventually onto our website). The basic instruments are the evaluative questionaries that will helpfully give us an explicative feedback on the project’s effects. Freely discussing with our participants will also help us to develop a better understanding of our activities’ outcome to a more emotional extent. Besides this, writing articles on our website about the various traditions, beliefs and folklore we would encounter will aid us into spreading the information worldwide, while also serving us in our purpose of evaluating the project’s impact.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
1st of August – 1st of October – reseach activities (we will visit the city and the community and we will make a research about their history and traditions)
15th – 20th of October – Our team will meet the community members in a special event; meeting the young people, select the creative writing team and make the training
1st – 20th of November – creating the website platform for the stories and the research materials
21st – 30th of November – Follow up event – we’ll meet again the community in a special event
December – making the documentary about this project and its impact in the community
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
- project manager – 200 $
– assistant project manager – 150 $
– transport for project team – 7 persons X 100 $ = 700 $
– camera for documentary – 200 $
– publishing and fitting the movie – 50 $
– promotional materials:
Presentation maps – 40 x 1 $ = 40 $
T-shirts – 40 x 10 $ = 400 $
– hosting and creating web content – 150 $
– workshops costs – 2 trainers X 200 $= 400 $
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Rising Voices has already helped us during the writing of the project, because we had access to the other stories and projects funded and we have had the chance to see which type of micro-grants you support.
It will be good for us to get the chance to talk with the people who implemented similar projects and to share experiences with them.
Asociatia Tinerii Uniti (United Youth Organization)