According to a study by Babita Basnet, only about 14% of the media industry in Nepal is comprised of women. In a country of over 50% females, nearly half of the country is being unrepresented. Our project aims to empower the female youth to rebuild this representation. Hamro Voice, Hamro Media is a 9-week, program focused on empowering young women with the necessary critical thinking skills to consume targeted, modern media responsibly. Participants will create their own media messages—using computers, software, cameras, audio recorders and printers—to be shared globally from the Kathmandu.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
The participants will be young, urban Nepali women in the 16–19 age range that are computer literate, bilingual (Nepalese and English) and hold an interest in media and women’s issues. To develop the curriculum, we surveyed this demographic with an online survey. Over 93% of the responders indicated that they had noticed a skewed or negative representation of women in media. We would like to work with this demographic because although they are a target audience of the media, they are not represented within the media industry. With access to the latest educational tools in a classroom where creativity and critical thinking is encouraged, students will be creating and publishing their messages not only to the local Kathmandu community, but globally via social media.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
- Anya Vaverko, Sattya Executive Director
– Priti Sherchan, Sattya Programs Director
– Suraj Shakya, Sattya Media Manager/Producer
– Emily Long, The LAMP (thelampnyc.org, twitter.com/thelampnyc, facebook.com/thelampnyc)
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The content will include blog posts, images, videos, audio recordings, and print/digital advertisements. The weekly workshops will be broken up into project units that include: creating and updating a project blog, “breaking” a print ad and a TV commercial, interviewing local women in media, reporting on a local story, producing a public service announcement, and presenting a final video on their work. Throughout the program, the collective work of the group will be digitally published via Sattya and The LAMP, which includes a combined network of over 7,000 followers. The result of this content creation will be a more critical female youth: girls that question the media messages they consume daily and who are empowered to give a voice to their ideas and create media themselves.
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 LAMP: a New York City-based media literacy non-profit, will be supporting this project. As a mobile organization, the LAMP travels to low-income communities most in need of its services, and has reached over 2,500 since 2007. They will be developing the curriculum, sending an instructor, and providing access to an open source, online video editor called Media Breaker.
Women LEAD: a local NGO that advocates for Nepali women in leadership, will be supporting our effort to find the students for the program. They will put the call out to the girls in their network and to other organizations they are affiliated with. Sattya has worked with this organization in the past for an activism-related street art project and a public film screening, both of which centered on women’s rights.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
Fifteen young women will participant in the program. We will publicize the application process online, and printed materials will be directly distributed in the community. We will sustain their participation by delivering hands-on workshops 2-3 times per week and offering a certificate of completion. They will have computers and cameras in their hands and/or being reporting at all times, and all projects will be group-oriented and collaborative between peers, instructors and the local community. In addition, students will have control over the topics to report on. Their commitment will be a major factor in their admission into the program. In order to monitor their engagement, we will constantly evaluate each workshop’s outcome and solicit student feedback.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
Open source publishing tools, such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Media Breaker (online video editor), will be utilized. All of these are accessible, user-friendly tools that can be easily used after the program commences. In addition, students will be working with the Adobe Creative Suite and Apple software to expose them to the professional tools used in the media industry. Sattya has both the technical staff and equipment to support this project in Kathmandu. The workshops will be delivered by Cristina Stoll, a publishing professional with over 7 years of experience in teaching publishing technology, in collaboration with an assistant. The assistant will be a bilingual Nepalese woman with an interest in media and women’s issues.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops will be held at the media labs at the Sattya Media Arts Collective headquarters in Kathmandu, Nepal. The equipment specifications will include: 1Mbps cable internet connection, 8 Mac laptops, 6 cameras (5 Canon DSLRs with video recording, 1 DSLR with photo only), 2 professional audio recorders and 1 multimedia projector with HD video and sound.
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?
Sattya Media Arts Collective was founded in early 2011. By supporting emerging media makers through technical trainings, providing resources, and creating a community of passionate people, the organization has established itself as a unique hub of creative youth culture in Kathmandu. Previous program experience includes Bato Ko Cinema (documentary street screenings), Kolor Kathmandu (public murals), free workshops for underprivileged youth, and community cleanups. In addition, we have a long history of supporting local women as artists, activists and leaders. Currently, we are working on a program to further extend our impact of work with this demographic through a local college. Sattya is staffed by young Nepali professionals, but hosts international interns and volunteers.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Challenges may include (1) recruiting a group of 15 female students that can be committed for 9 weeks, (2) potentially being interrupted by electricity outages and city strikes, and (3) getting the support of the students’ families. To focus on the recruitment challenge, we will be working closely with Women LEAD to help us find and select the 15 students that can be committed to the project for the full 9 weeks. Once the students are selected, we will initiate a dialogue with their parents and/or guardians to explain the project and how the weekly workshops will be run. Although power outages and strikes are not within our control, we will do our best to be prepared with alternative plans (back-up generator, off-the-grid projects, etc.), should we encounter these challenges.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Our criteria for success will be based on the following metrics: (1) 90% of students complete program and final presentation, (2) 90% of students report heightened awareness of how media impact the way they feel about themselves, (3) 80% of students report learning a new media production skill, and (4) 80% of students report learning skills they can benefit from in the future. At the beginning, students will be surveyed on their current opinions and technical abilities. At the end of each project unit, students will be asked to evaluate the unit how effective the teaching was. These results will be used to analyze the change that has occurred from the first week to the last week of the program. Six months after the project, we will contact each student to follow up on their current status.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
May – June 2014: Student Recruitment, Curriculum Planning and Preparation
July 2014: Project Start
July – August 2014: Workshops (2 or 3 per week to work on these projects units: Create Project Blog, Broken Print Ad, Break a Commercial, Create/Publish Local News Story, and Create/Publish a PSA)
September 2014: Final Presentation (public screening at Sattya)
October 2014: Project Report
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Classroom rent: $300
1 Mac laptop: $1200
3 hard drives: $150 (replacements for 3 laptops)
1 camera (with video recording): $600
1 audio recorder: $90
Printing services/supplies: $50
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
Additional support may include workshop publicity via social media and program development advice.
Sattya Media Arts Collective