Filed under: Project Updates | Tags: africa, co-op, Fort Portal, opportunity, participatory, participatory video, photovoice, poverty, social enterprise, uganda, villages connected
The melodic voices of dozens of girls accompanied the morning start of the first Saturday workshop facilitated by the Villages Connected team. The hymns sung in the background by the girls of St Maria Goretti Senior Secondary School welcomed the 20 media co-op members, their voices caressing and urging each person to feel at ease and to share.
Their video and still cameras had come back a couple days earlier and now they eagerly awaited their chance to talk about the results of the first media assignment they had been given. Half the group had taken photos or videos that demonstrated a particular community issue or solution that they found important. The other half had captured on camera something they felt truly represented the strength of the communities in and around Fort Portal.
Co-op members started the day by writing descriptions for some of their pictures and videos. These would serve as roadmaps for what they intended when filming, ensuring their meaning would be attached to any photograph shared with audiences outside the room.
However, as we all know, many audiences simply cannot sit through slideshows and film screenings lasting hours and hours. Therefore, each person was tasked with selecting just one shot or video clip that captured the issue they felt the group and community needed to hear about. They had to choose from hundreds of photos and videos they had shot.
Not an easy task.
This challenging editing endeavour meant that when co-op members gathered in a tight semi-circle in our classroom venue they were itching to share what they had produced!
You’ve met ten of the media co-op members here in Fort Portal.
You’ve heard ten of their stories.
Now see some of the photographs they took and read their explanations of why they took them.
Photo and Description by Stella
I took this photo from my village. Here I was trying to ask about the challenges faced by that village. I hear that the village is not developing. I asked why. You see here the woman is sitting with her children. I asked the problem. The people in the village do not want to work. That’s why you see her here it is morning time but a woman is siting she can’t go to the garden for work and the problem you can see is she does not have enough food for her children.
I tried to tell her the solution – she must work hard to get enough food for her children. As you can see in the other picture, she can try to dig as you see with this other woman. She’s digging, weeding the onions so that she can produce enough products to sustain her family.
This issue and solution is very important in the media co-op and even in the community because they can learn to work hard to have enough food and even to cater their children by giving them their needs. As people can learn how to generate their income. People can also avoid idleness by learning from them
Photo and Description by Lawrence
I took these pictures from different places but within my community.
I took picture 64 to show the problem of banana diseases faced by the people in my community so as to devise means of assisting them collectively.
I took picture 69 to show some of the solutions to the problem of banana diseases, ie., cutting the affected bananas down and after cutting them you can dispose of that land for other use. Planting trees, planting food crops, rearing animals and other stuff. This picture shows a variety of land use – this portion you put beans, there you put banana, in the same way you put avocado. Then at the end of it you find you have different foodstuffs for selling and for feeding well.
I took picture 75 to show some of the supporting or supportive NGOs that have advocated for the solutions towards community problems and challenges like giving hope through planting alternative crops other than banana and putting the land to alternative use.
I took picture 233 to bring out some of the improved banana plantations in the community and how people can benefit from such initiatives if they are established in their communities. Here there is this modern banana plantation – this one is a model plantation. You can cut all of them, clear the land and plant new ones and stretch them so that they do not spread [disease] to each other.
It is important to show that back there in the community there are challenges that the people there can’t solve by themselves. They need some technical personnel and some people who have some knowledge. There are some initiatives taken by non-governmental organizations to show them what they can do.
The solution & strength in the pictures are important for others to know – what has been done by other people and agencies towards solving community issues and challenges. They should also know how land can be used for different uses and the other media co-op members should find means of helping the affected communities while adding to those measures already taken.
Photo and Description by Best
In this picture I can see students sitting in a classroom reading their books. I took this picture in Senior 5 Arts class in St Maria Gorretti Girls School. I took this picture because I love reading books and being friends with my classmates. This picture is important for the media co-op to know because they can be attracted to this picture and tell people to bring their children at St Maria Gorreti Girls Secondary School.
Photo and Description by Annet
This picture shows an old lady with a piggery project and I took this picture from west-division in Fort Portal (Rwengomel). I took this picture because I was too much impressed by the old lady, aged 78 years of age, who still has strength to do some projects but on a small scale. And this is so important for the media co-operative to know about because people outside can understand that very many old ladies are capable of doing everything but the problem is that they don’t have enough capital and others lack information on the good methods of rearing these animals. And more to that, the old lady told me the reason why she selected this project was that one pig can produce many young ones at a time and this has market value.
Filed under: Fundraising, Project Updates, VC Team | Tags: africa, co-op, fundraising, media, microfinance, poverty, social enterprise, uganda, villages connected
Wow, in exactly three weeks we will be arriving in Fort Portal, Uganda. Today marks the deadline for applications from participants and businesses that want to benefit from our Fort Portal project. As I read through the applications, I can’t help but be amazed by the incredible courage and innovative spirit that exists within Fort Portal. We really need your support, not only to help the community gain exposure, but also to raise enough funds to invest in the incredible ideas of this African community. Lets get together and re-brand poverty!! (Please click the link to contribute)
Thanks for watching my video message.
Filed under: Fundraising, Project Updates | Tags: africa, co-op, fundraising, media, microfinance, poverty, social enterprise, uganda, villages connected
The Villages Connected way of re-branding poverty doesn’t happen on its own. We need you – our supporters and fellow believers in the potential of Africa. We need you to help us spread the word of this initiative and also to help us set up the media co-op and microfinance loan fund.
Here’s what we had in mind…
Our fundraising plan has two milestones!
Milestone 1: $15,000 – June 1st: Heading to Uganda we need to have raised enough to outfit the media co-op.
Milestone 2: $5000 more! - July 1st, For when Fort Portal’s small businesses are ready to access their microloans.
Why two milestones? We thought you’d like to get to know the entrepreneurs! In June we’ll share the media co-op’s first videos, including interviews with them. Once you too see the potential of their business ideas, we think you’ll want to INCREASE your contribution.
What exactly will the funds be used for?
10 Video cameras <$200 each>
10 Digital cameras <$150 each>
01 Laptop computers <$1000 each>
01 Solar panels <$700 each>
01 Micro projector <$500 each>
02 1TB Harddrives <$150 each>
$5000 for microfinance fund
$9000 for training costs, production costs, travel & housing in Uganda
Help us exceed our goal and the extra will be added to the microfinance fund!
If your contributions don’t pile up as high as we’d hope, the project will still happen! The media co-op and microfinance fund will still happen – it will just be smaller. Help us make a bigger impact!
With each new media coop, Villages Connected will repeat the process – equip the media coop, set up the microfinance fund, train more citizen journalists, connect socially responsible businesses and deliver straight to the heart and mind media content. Lets work together and impact 5, 10 even 15 communities in the coming years.
Sharing our approach to re-branding poverty
If we want to re-brand poverty, it’s going to take more people than just us. We need to share our vision with as many people as we can. That’s where you come in!
There are 40 000 people living in Fort Portal. We want to see how fast we can have 40 000 people support this innovative community. So, help us match the number of people in Fort Portal! Help us reach 40 000 likes on Facebook!
Villages Connected will be posting updates, snap shots and bits of video from Fort Portal as the project gets underway.
So, follow along and share the stories produced by the media co-op!
Most importantly, spread our “Unlocking Potential – Re-branding Poverty” fundraising campaign to your friends and family. Here’s how you can help us do this:
Like the Villages Connected page on Facebook
Share our news with your friends on Facebook.
Retweet our “It’s time to re-brand poverty” launch message on Twitter
Subscribe to the Villages Connected blog
We can’t do this without you. So please contribute to our campaign and share this re-branding of poverty!
Filed under: Fundraising, Project Updates | Tags: africa, co-op, media, microfinance, poverty, social enterprise, uganda, villages connected
We believe in a world where business means mutual benefit.
We believe in a world where media means discovering potential.
We believe in a world where success means counting the lives added value to.
We believe it is time to start doing things a bit differently.
Ever feel like you’re bombarded with messages of African disaster and despair?
That’s because you are.
Africa is full of potential, but we’re only told about African poverty. Potential will come out loud and clear only if everyday Africans make the media. They can seize opportunity and even make media add value to all our lives.
We’ve been busy laying the groundwork for our innovative model that supports Africans to create media that unlocks the potential around them. The time has come to share some great news!
Today we are excited to announce the upcoming startup of the first Villages Connected media co-op – in the Ugandan town of Fort Portal. Together with 20 local citizen journalists we’re launching a collaborative effort:
How will Villages Connected’s make this happen?
Community Media – the media co-op will produce content to show Fort Portal’s reality and identify Ugandan opportunities.
Microfinance and business training: co-op members will use media to identify small business opportunities that will fight poverty and make a difference locally. We’ll support the community members they identified to unlock their entrepreneurial potential.
Community Advertising: We’ll link the media co-op with their first client – a carefully chosen socially responsible businesses – Tigh-na-Mara Resort and Spa. This is not charity. The co-op creates an ad that expresses joint values– values shared between Africans, the socially responsible business and you. An ad that helps drive our goal of making our world a better place.
To hear and see exactly how these concepts work and how you can contribute, click through to the Unlocking Potential: Re-branding Poverty campaign page
The Fort Portal project will start on June 3rd, 2011 and the Villages Connected team will be in Uganda for a month. During this time you will meet the media co-op’s founding members, see their first photographs and films, and get to know the opportunities and entrepreneurs around them.
The media coo-op members create will be yours to share. Keep an eye on the Villages Connected Blog where we’ll also share with you our vision for the project, personal stories and other preparations for the trip.
Like us on Facebook
Watch us on YouTube
Let’s get busy re-branding poverty!