In the Southern Hemisphere spring flowers are out in full effect and summer is near. Rising Voices citizen media outreach projects – old and new – are hard at work.
First, I am pleased to announce our newest grantee, the Serbian Web Journalism School:
Founded earlier this year in Belgrade by Serbian citizen media enthusiast and veteran blogger, Ljubisa Bojic, the Serbian Web Journalism School gathers local new media experts like Danica Radovanovic and Lidija Kujundzic to teach the fundamentals of citizen media to traditional journalists and everyday Serbians. The support from Rising Voices will allow the Serbian Web Journalism School to focus on “training the trainers.” The majority of participants in the program are journalists and professionals who want to gain new media skills, but as a Rising Voices grant recipient, Ljubisa and his team will now encourage their students to share their new skills with marginalized Serbian communities including the blind and orphaned youth.
In Bolivia the Voces Bolivianas bloggers engaged in some serious citizen journalism as they documented the tens of thousands of peasants, miners, coca-growers, and other supporters of the government of Evo Morales who gathered in La Paz last month.
We also recently heard from one of our newest health-focused citizen media projects in Kiev, Ukraine. In a post translated from Russian by Veronica Khokhlova, Rising Voices grantee Pavel Kutsev describes his experience educating Ukrainian police officers about the objectives and methods of harm reduction centers.
We have seen an increase in the amount of collaboration across Rising Voices projects. The Voces Bolivianas project, for example, has introduced the young women bloggers from Nari Jibon to its Aymara-speaking readers. Similarly, the Foko bloggers in Madagascar have introduced the “Blogging Since Infancy” project, which is training Uruguayan children how to blog from their XO laptops that were distributed throughout the country by the government. And newly trained bloggers from various projects based in Colombia, Kenya, and Bolivia weighed in on Barack Obama's victory in the recent US elections.
There is a lot more to look forward to in the coming week as our Health Editor, Juhie Bhatia, publishes a two-part introduction to the AIDS Rights Congo project based in and around Brazzaville. We will also see some of the first videos published by the Iran Inside Out project, which is teaching video-blogging to up-and-coming filmmakers based in Iran.
Don't forget to check out the website for recently published videos, project updates, photographs, and links to resources and funding opportunities for citizen media training projects, including USAID's Development 2.0 Challenge.
All the best and have a great weekend,