Voice of Kibera takes awareness of its platform to Mashinani “Grassroots”

by: December 3rd, 2012 Comments Off on Voice of Kibera takes awareness of its platform to Mashinani “Grassroots”

An Attentive Audience at the Meet-up

Introduction:

“I want to play a pivotal role in updating and sharing community generated information with the community and the world at large through citizen journalism. I say so because I witnessed an incident a few months ago during the oil shortage problem, where a CNN journalist came to Kibera slums and paid a woman stage manage some kind or a demonstration saying the price of Paraffin had gone up as he recorded her. I would like to know more about www.voiceofkibera.org so that I can challenge the perceptions and misrepresentations that Kibera goes through.” This was what Ann one of the participants had to say during the introductions session at the meet-up.

Before then, Map Kibera Trusts’ Voice of Kibera had organized a presentation in Soweto East village to engage the youth group leaders more on how they can get engaged with the platform. Having invited 30 representatives, 22 were able to turn up for the event that started at about 2:15pm on Saturday the 1st of December. 

Preparations for the day:

Adequate arrangements by the V.O.K team were made to ensure that the days program would run smoothly hence achieving its purpose. Below was the program flow.

  • Introduction of the entire Map Kibera Trust and Voice of Kibera.
  • The relationship between Map Kibera Trust programs.
  • The Voice of Kibera platform and how it works, what the participants think can be improved.
  • Question and Answer time to enable a brain storming session for better understanding.
  • Distribution of Maps on 3 themes; Education, Health and security to the line organizations that attended.
  • Refreshment and Networking
  • Conclusion

The voice of Kibera Presentation:

This was a step by step presentation done with Fredrick, one of the Map Kibera trust members. I could feel the mood in the hall, one with silence meaning the participants were keenly taking in what was being said. Some of the details that were shared are; How to submit a report, The ways with which you can send the report to the website, the details and importance of categories, editing, proof reading and approving or reports among others.

Fredrick Doing the Presentation in Soweto East

After the session Sande took over to reinforce what had been discussed even as he led the question and answer time.

Some of the questions:

  • How do you ensure authenticity of the reports you collect?
  • Now that we have new boundaries, what is your organization doing to that effect?
  • Do you have anywhere you advertise jobs for the youths in the slums?

 Our Response to the Questions:

That when you have a report and you are not sure about its’ contends, you can get call back the person who send it to get more clarification, if the news has been covered by a 2nd or 3rd parties you can use that as well as using your available networks to get confirmation or more information on the same. Map Kibera is currently remapping the new boundaries by IEBC including information on the location of polling stations so that this information can be available to the locals before the elections in March 2013. We are developing a plartform under the name organizational directory that will see advertisement of opportunities a reality in the sense that those who consume contend do it for free apart from profiling organizations in Kibera on the Platform.

The meet-up that took close to 3 hours came to an end with the p

Map Kibera Trust on a map distribution drive in Kibera Slums

by: December 3rd, 2012 comments: 0

Having been the first organization to put the entire Kibera slums on the world map, Map Kibera Trust; an organization that seeks to be a hub where access to open information contributes to positive community transformation was on the road again to ensure that the maps that were produced reached the community which in-turn would put them to use.

To achieve this, the program coordinators met for the preparation of distributing the maps; there intention of meeting was to bring the attention of the three programs on how they will be working together towards achieving the objective of the exercise and to come up with relevant locations for maps distribution. It was there that they agreed that members from the 3 programs; Mapping, Voice of Kibera and Kibera News Network were to go to the field to distribute the maps which had been developed based on themes. Maps on Education, Security and Health are the themes that were distributed.

 

The aim of the exercise was to give back to the community through the high quality printed maps that contain the informational that came from them during the first phase of the mapping exercise.

Villages covered.

For the 2 days that we were in the field, we were able to cover all the 13 villages; Gatwikera, Raila, Olympic, Soweto west&east, Kianda, Kambi muru, Kisumu ndogo, Lindi, Mashimoni, Makina, Silanga, and Laini Saba.   

Positive Feedback From the Field.

As we visited different places, we collected feedback from the people we found so that we could ascertain how the maps will be put to good used.

  1. The local administration appreciated our work and accepted to be interviewed i.e. Sarang’ombe and Laina Saba ward chiefs.
  2. Most of the institutions accepted to use the map for positive transfiguration most of the institution wanted more than one map so they can use it for informational purposes as well as Education especially the Schools we visited.
  3. We even had a chance to meet with D.O 1 (District Commissioner) who had a compliment for us saying that our map was outstanding compared to the one they had before.
  4. For those who were not able to access our maps online were able to access them on hard-copy something that was important for us since it was now realized.
  5. We ensured equal distribution of maps in at least all villages in Kibera.

Some of the Challenges.

Though most of the places we went to were very receptive, we experienced some hostility in a few areas where we were thought to be a different group out to just take advantage of the situations in Kibera by walking around to talk to people as we take photos to go and sell. After a few minutes of sharing our intentions with them, they understood us and we gave out the maps, something they congratulated us for showing a good example to organizations by sharing the findings of the work done with the community. We also found some schools that were to get maps already closed for holiday which means we will have to give them the maps when they resume school.

Conclusion.

In general, the exercise was a success only for the schools that had already closed. Going forward, we need to print big and more visible maps a suggestion that came from one of the places we visited.

We hope that the maps distributed will not only be put to good use but also help Map Kibera Trust bond more with the community so that even as we get ready to cover the vents before, during and after the elections, we can work together to achieve optimum results and that Kibera and the other slums we are currently working with (Mathare and Mukuru) will never be the same again.

and if you’re curious, a little more detailed Report

and a video documentary by KNN

Digital mapping and governance: the stories behind the maps

by: January 28th, 2012 comments: 0

Throughout October and November 2011, Plan Kwale worked through Map Kibera Trust with Primoz Kovacic and I, along with 4 young people from Kibera (Zack Wambua and Maureen Omino) and Mathare (Jeff Mohammed and Javin Ochieng), to conduct digital mapping exercises to support ongoing youth-led development processes in Kwale county. One of the important lessons learned through the Trust’s work in Kibera and Mathare is that the stories behind the mapping work are important for understanding the processes that contribute to a situation as represented on a map. To tell these stories and to complement the data collection and mapping work done by the youth in Kwale, the Map Kibera Trust team worked with the Kwale youth to set up platforms to share this information nationally and internationally. Sharing the important work being done in Kwale will hopefully bring greater visibility to the issues which may in the longer term lead to greater impact.

Sharing stories of local governance

To support their work on social accountability, the Kwale Youth and Governance Consortium mapped over 100 publicly and privately funded community-based projects. The projects were supported by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Local Area Development Fund (LATF), NGOs and private donors. As one channel of sharing this information, the Consortium set up a blog called Nuru ya Kwale (Light of Kwale). According to KYGC the blog “features and addresses issues concerning promotion of demystified participatory community involvement in the governance processes towards sustainable development. We therefore expect interactivity on issues accruing around social accountability.” This involves sharing evidence about various projects and stories from the community.

One example is the documentation of the Jorori Water project in Kwale; through the mapping work, the Governance team collected details of the constituency development fund (CDF) project. The funding allocated to upgrade the water supply for the community was 6,182,960 ksh (approximately 73,000.00 USD). From their research the KYGC identified that the Kenya Open Data site reported that the full funding amount has been spent. A field visit to the site however revealed that project was incomplete and the community is still without a stable water supply, despite the fact that the funding has been “spent.”

Read more about the questions the team raised in terms of the governance of CDF projects, including the detailed the project implementation process and some reflections on why the project stalled. This is information on community experiences (tacit information) that is well-known in a localized context but has not been documented and shared widely. New media tools, a blog in this case, provide free (if you have access to a computer and the internet) platforms for sharing this information with national and international audiences.

Addressing violence against children and child protection

Another blog was set up by the Kwale Young Journalists. The Young Journalists, registered in 2009, have been working with Plan Kwale on various projects, including Violence against Children campaigns. The group has been working to set up a community radio station in Kwale to report on children’s issues. Thus far, their application for a community radio frequency has encountered several challenges – new media provides an interim solution and will allow the team to share their stories and network with partners on a national and internal stage.

The Kwale Young Journalists worked with Jeff Mohammed, a young award-winning filmmaker from Mathare Valley. The YETAM project not only equips young people with skills, but through peer-learn establishes connections between young people working on community issues throughout Kenya. The programme also provides young people with life skills through experiential learning – Jeff reflects on his experience in Kwale and says:

“My knowledge didn’t come from books and lecturers it came from interest, determination and persistence to know about filmmaking and this is what I was seeing in these Kwale youths. They numbered 12 and they were me. They are all in their twenties and all looking very energetic, they had the same spirit as mine and it was like looking at a mirror. I had to do the best I could to make sure that they grasp whatever I taught.”

Jeff worked with the Young Journalists on a short film called “the Enemy Within.” The film, shot with flip-cameras, tells the story of 12-year-old girl who is sold into indentured labour by her parents to earn money for her family. During the time she spends working, the young girl “falls prey of her employer (Mr.Mtie) who impregnates her when she is only 12 years old.” Jeff reflects that “early pregnancies are a norm in the rural Kwale area and what the young filmmakers wanted to do is to raise awareness to the people that its morally unacceptable to impregnate a very young girl, in Enemy Within the case didn’t go as far because the village chairman was bribed into silence and didn’t report the matter to higher authorities.” This is a common scenario in Kwale, and the young journalists plan to use the film in public screenings and debates as part of their advocacy work in the coming months.

Jeff and the Kwale Young Journalists shot the film in four days – they travelled to Penzamwenye, Kikoneni and also to Shimba Hills national park to shoot 7 scenes for the movie. Read more about Jeff’s reflections on working with the Kwale Young Journalists on his blog.

Sharing ecotourism resources

The Dzilaz ecotourism team – a group that encourages eco-cultural tourism in Samburu region of Kwale count – also integrated social media into their work. During the last week (November 8th-12th) the group set up a blog to market the community resources, services and products. They also plan to document eco-culture sites and the impact that eco-tourism can have on the community. As of November 10th, 2011 the Dzilaz team had already directed potential clients to their website and thus secured a booking through the information they had posted.

The importance of telling the stories behind the maps

One important component to mapping work is to tell the stories behind the map. The three groups in Kwale are working to build platforms to amplify their grassroots level work in order to share stories and lessons learned; the information documented on the various platforms will hopefully develop over time and contribute to a greater understanding of the processes at a local level – and where youth as young leaders can intervene to begin to change the dynamics of community development.

Cross posted on Linda Raftree’s blog Wait…What? and my health geography blog.

 

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