The Reel Time Project is a school of citizen journalism focusing on equipping young girls aged 13 to 18 from marginalised Zimbabwean Communities with the necessary skills and technology to document and share innovative stories. The objective is to increase the diversity and plurality of information in and from around Zimbabwe through the use of an application called StoryMaker while teaching the girls how to develop and edit short stories using mobile phones. This will enable the girls to engage the world in discussions about issues affecting them.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
25 girls from Mabvuku, Hatcliffe, Seke, Domboshava and Arcadia communities will participate in the project. Approximately 40% of the Zimbabwean population has internet access. Mobile phones are currently the cheapest mode of internet access in Zimbabwe. The communities we have chosen have little or no access to the internet, due to the relatively high cost of internet access, the schools are under – equipped such that ICT resources are limited. The communities were investigated in preliminary research conducted by The Pink Butterfly Trust (TPBT) who are the initiators of the Reel Time Project. The research revealed that girls in these communities face various impediments to their obtaining an education, including lack of access to information due to poverty.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
1. Lawrence Tonderai Mawoni
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lmawoni. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/lawrence.mawoni?ref=ts&fref=ts
2. Dr Sithabiso Alice Dube
3. Joseph Munda
4. Natsai Mutezo
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The girls will create short films. These will be shared on a YouTube channel and links to these videos will be shared on Facebook. Facebook is the most popular social network in Zimbabwe with about 1.6 million users. This self – produced media for and by our target group will be a step – change in Education programming in Zimbabwe; it will not only enhance the learning experiences of the youth but present them with a relevant method of communication while also providing a platform for them to have a voice. The project will create dialogue within the communities the girls reside in, and at a local, national and international level, we anticipate that this will effect positive change in the communities in terms of awareness around issues that affect our target group.
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.
TPBT has engaged SAYWHAT to build its capacity to be more effective in implementing its programmes. http://www.saywhat.org.zw/. This is an organisation dealing with students at a tertiary level. SAYWHAT will assist TPBT in an advisory capacity and in providing the link with mentors for our girls from tertiary institutions. The organisation is a crucial in the work of TPBT as we have plans for future media projects on different platforms.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
Initially 25 participants will be trained. We plan to approach High Schools within the selected communities and have girls sign up voluntarily to participate in the project. We will then select 5 girls from each community. We believe the innovation of our project will attract interested girls and we will sustain their participation through the ongoing TPBT Health and Education Programme which will facilitate our presence in their schools and within the communities as we will be conducting other workshops in the communities in the future. We will establish ‘Reel Time Clubs” within the schools which will allow the girls trained by the pilot project to train other girls, creating a ripple effect.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Mobile phones will be tools used to produce videos to be broadcast on a YouTube channel. Links to these videos will be shared on Facebook, this is the most popular social network in Zimbabwe. We will also use a laptop for editing. The team responsible for training comprises Dr Sithabiso A. Dube, Lawrence T. Mawoni and Joseph Munda. Dr Dube has been involved in Film production, and produced an educational film called Kina Must in Uganda. She has also run peer projects and has trained young people in kenya in film production. Lawrence is a media specialist, his background in Media and Society makes him a skilled strategist in terms of development of our media content and dissemination of the information. Joseph is a media consultant with script writer who has experience in film production.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops will be conducted within the schools. All that is required is a room to set up computer equipment and charge mobile phones. 1 laptop will be used during all the workshops. A USB Modem will be used, internet connection speeds of approximately 1MB per second will be used.
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?
Our organisation comprises individuals who grew up in some of the communities. As a result they have links with the secondary schools and can relate well to the people in these communities. The passion and commitment of the group responsible for the formation of TPBT to improving the current situation of girls in marginalized communities in Zimbabwe resulted in the establishment of the organization. We believe this makes us the most appropriate organisation to implement The Reel Time Project.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
The age of the girls participating in the project will require parental consent for the media content to be broadcast. We plan to mitigate this by involving the parents from the onset and seeking their permission to use the content.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Use of Participatory Video to present stories in a lively way will bolster the girls’ self esteem. It will also highlight their capabilities within the community. We will measure this by follow ups through the clubs to monitor their progress in terms of their personal development as a result of the project, whether they will make more films and how many other girls they train in the clubs. We will measure online viewership of the films, Facebook Views and Comments and YouTube hits to assess the reach to the regional community and the global digital community.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
June 2014 – Creation of the TPBT Website
1 – 8 July 2014 – Approaching Schools to Initiate The Reel Time Project
8 – 31 July 2014 – signing up and selcting participants for the project
August 2014 – Commencement of workshops
October 2014 – End of workshops.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
25 mobile phones – $1750
1 laptop – $600
USB Modem – $60
Refreshments during workshops – $120
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
We are a new organisation with limited resources. Rising Voices can provide links with other organisations with similar objectives. Risaing Voices could also assist us by viewing and sharing our videos with the online society once they are broadcast on YouTube.
The Pink Butterfly Trust