Newsletter: How Can We Help You?

Making Your Group Heard

Not to worry, the “how you can help us” newsletter is coming soon. 🙂

As I mentioned briefly yesterday, we received over 270 proposals for this last round of microgrant funding. That is really an extraordinary testament to just how many NGO's, teachers, activists, and community organizers want to use citizen media to empower and engage with the groups they work with. We received proposals from Burkina Faso, Brazil, China, Cameroon, and beyond. They aim to work with older persons in Kenya, HIV positive individuals in Yemen, musicians in Paraguay, the Roma population of Hungary, and conflict resolution groups in Sri Lanka, Serbia, Palestine and Azerbaijan.

What stands out in a large majority of the proposals we received is the desire not just for funding, but to be part of a network of support and exposure. Sometime at the end of February or the beginning of March we will announce the five newest Rising Voices grantees. But I would also like to know how we can be of service to the 265 applicants who won't receive funding this round. How can the Rising Voices network best support organizations and individuals who aren't official grantees? That is, what can we do for you?

Here are a few ideas. Please respond with your thoughts, criticisms, and additions.

  1. Discussion forum: One of the disadvantages of having such a large mailing list is that it discourages conversations that may only apply to 10 – 15 people despite the relevance and importance to those individuals. By setting up a Rising Voices discussion forum we hope to encourage more inclusive conversations focused on specific topics. It would be a place for you to ask your own questions and answer the questions of others.
  2. Directory of New Media Trainers: Organizations often write to me asking for references to individuals who have experience in training groups how to start blogs, make videos, and upload photographs. This directory would serve as a place where experienced trainers could gain more exposure and groups in need of help could search by location and topic.
  3. Citizen Media Training Curriculum: We are in the process of hiring a curriculum editor whose responsibility it will be to find and put together the best tutorials, guides, and resources related to teaching citizen media tools and techniques. Our goal is a single page which provides all of the guides and tutorials necessary to teach how to blog, podcast, edit and upload video and photographs, and how to make the most of the resulting content.

More Funding Opportunities

A surprising number of the applications we received proposed working with under-represented communities in the United States. I encourage all US-based applicants to submit proposals to the New Voices grant competition. Deadline: February 12.

For those of you who are already creating content, you can apply for the World Summit Youth Awards. Three winners will be selected from five categories including poverty, education, women, culture, and environment.

Another award competition for those of you producing content is the World Bank's 2009 international essay competition on climate change. Open to youth ages of 18 and 25, from all countries of the world. Prizes range from US$200-US$3,000 for winning entries. Deadline to enter: February 22, 2009.

Engaging with Global Voices

Lastly, for groups who are currently producing content and want to gain more exposure, make sure to reach out to the authors, translators, and editors at Global Voices.

Rising Voices is a training project of Global Voices that aims to diversify the global blogosphere by providing resources and support to under-represented communities. Global Voices is one of the largest and most respected global citizen media websites. You can contact the editor of your region and let him or her know about your citizen media project on Global Voices’ contact page.

Have a great weekend!



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