Grassroots Technology Initiative Thrives in Kenya

January 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm 2 comments

A new grassroots technology initiative inspired by Rebekah Sosa and supported by CHOICE Humanitarian and Trivani is taking off in Kenya!  The CHOICE-Trivani Kenya team worked closely with Rebekah Sosa for four months in 2009 learning how to document the projects of several rural villages.   The village projects vary widely from a focus on education and leadership to establishing local NGOs and income-generating businesses, such as the Mariakani Dairy Co-Operative.  Given the importance of these projects, it was critical that they be documented in a way that gives voice to the local community, acknowledges the significance of the development work and calls the global community into action.  

The 2009 technology initiative had a clear objective, which was to train the CHOICE-Trivani team to utilize technology for the purpose of documenting the progress of the projects and highlighting their significance.   According to Megan McMillan of Trivani, the key to sustainable projects is ensuring that they are community-run and community-driven.  This includes empowering those involved in the projects with the ability to share their story using their own voice, rather than relying solely on the reporting abilities of in-country directors and expedition participants.  For Rebekah, the obvious change agents for strengthening the local voice and inspiring the global community to get involved are photography and video.  The following video segment, shot by the Kenya team and Rebekah, shows how video allows the community to tell their own story!

In Kenya, Rebekah worked closely with Rita Lugogo, Juma Kitenji, Sudi Mwakilesho and Bati Jaffar.  They collaborated on creating story boards about the various projects in the region.  In the process, they worked with village leaders to decide which community members they would interview and how they could present the projects in a way that would be interesting and educational.  They also had to decide who the audience for the videos would be.  Generally, the video footage targets a wide audience, including the local community, CHOICE-Trivani stakeholders and others who are interested in issues pertaining to life in rural Kenya.  The next video has a specific target audience – individuals who might be interested in joining CHOICE Humanitarian on an expedition to Kenya.  In-country director, Rita Lugogo describes the typical CHOICE expedition so that participants will know what to expect from their experience. 

Everyone on the team had a specific role within the technology initiative – Juma worked as the editor, Bati worked as the director and Sudi conducted the interviews and facilitated demonstrations to show how various projects unfolded.  Rebekah used a MAC computer and video editing software to show the team how to edit the footage, subtitle the film in English and add music.  The following video highlights the challenges facing the women of Chanzou village, who walk a great distance three times a day to collect water for their family.  Focusing on this challenge situates the development work carried out by CHOICE-Trivani in Kenya to improve access to drinking water in the local villages.

By the time Rebekah was ready to go home, she felt confident that the team had developed a strong skill set and looked forward to seeing the video footage that they would continue to direct, edit, produce and release in the future.  The final video below, which focuses on the Mariakani Dairy Co-Operative, was created by the Kenya team using their newly established technological skills!  Way to go team! 

Next stop for Rebekah Sosa and the grassroots technology initiative – Nepal!  Stay tuned for more great video footage by the Nepal team documenting their sustainable development efforts!


Entry filed under: Trivani HQ. Tags: , .

Introducing Rebekah Sosa and her Grassroots Technology Intiative! Teresa Lindsay collects 35,000 books for Trivani sponsored schools!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sudi mwakilesho  |  January 29, 2010 at 6:02 am

    This is wonderful ,,,,Am huppy to see the project on web,,,.
    This has realy assisted alot in iforming the doners what is huppening on the ground.

    • 2. Rai Farrelly  |  February 3, 2010 at 3:12 am

      I agree, Sudi! I’m glad you had a chance to see your work posted. It’s so wonderful to see what you’re continuing to do with the technology since last Spring. Let us know when you have more video projects completed. Kwaheri.


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Trivani Field Notes is your connection to the people on the ground engaged in the humanitarian work supported by Trivani Foundation.
Each week, new updates and stories from the field will be posted to share the accomplishments, needs, and gratitude from those who can best report the difference Trivani Foundation is making in the fight against poverty.

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