June 30, 2010

Half Time in Oyugis, Kenya

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:06 pm by kampala2capetown

Kampala 2 Cape Town Kenya has succeeded in hosting 600 viewers at a number of the viewings. They had particularly large crowds for the Ghana and Brazil games.

The project has now incorporated a half-time show, where the Society Empowerment Team discusses why the screen has been placed there; the greater K2CT network that is being built across Africa in partnership with the United States and international community. SEP has introduced the Female Empowerment Through Football component through introducing life skills and HIV/AIDS education.  The project will focus on reducing stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and methods for using football to empower girls and prevent the spread of the virus.

The viewers have responded positively to the project and Moving The Goal Posts from Kilifi has provided us with training materials for SEP’s girls life skills program.

June 29, 2010

World cup road trip to the Coast of Kenya

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:46 am by kampala2capetown

Last Thursday I headed to Kisumu to begin my world cup road show in Kenya. On Friday the director of Society Empowerment Project and I turned in a funding proposal for Kampala 2 Cape Town’s Female Empowerment Through Football program. The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with the US Department of State put out a call for concept papers for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. The award is part of the State Department’s continuing emphasis on public-private partnerships, and is administered by its office of Global Women’s Issues.

Our Concept is to use female empowerment in Oyugis, through life skills education as part of after-school sports programs. Young girls are highly vulnerable in our community. They lack equal opportunity to education, limited access to sources of income; they perform child labor and are being raised in a polygamous society. Teenage pregnancy is also highly prevalent. And girls are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS as a result of their situation. By involving young girls in football, they attain a better realization of their rights. Specifically, in terms of gender equity. SEP’s agricultural program provides an avenue to food production and income generation, thus reducing dependency and increasing food rations. By providing educational support, the girls are empowered to become more self-reliant. This approach fits well with SEP’s already established programs, and with increased financial support, the impact on the community will be tremendous.

Over the weekend the director, Festus and I were interviewed about the project on Kisumu’s Lake Victoria radio show by Richard Oyoo. He asked us to describe aspects of the project and our belief in its sustainability. The interview was conducted in both Swahili and English. Festus and I spoke for an hour and a recording of the interview will hopefully be posted as soon as possible!

Last Sunday morning I headed from Kisumu to Nairobi to begin my world cup road show in Kenya. On Monday morning I took a bus to Mombasa, the coast of Kenya. Our bus was fully packed and I was able to take the last seat in the corner of the back of the bus. Our bus broke down four hours later in rural Makindu, due to problems with the engine. We ended up being stuck for 5 hours in this rural Muslim/ Swahili town. Luckily, the local roadside pub was playing the world cup. I watched as Chile beat Switzerland! Kampala 2 Cape Town Oyugis reported as having had 600 viewers that night! Many African teams were playing this past week, which increased our number of viewers. After the game, the whole bus sat on the side of the road under a paraffin lamp, eating maize, chewing Mirra and bonding. We spoke a lot about the project and development work in Kenya; a few of the locals expressed their belief that sustainable development can only come from within Kenya. They expressed great interest in having the project expand across Kenya as well as visiting the site over the next few weeks!

I woke up the next morning and took a Matatu from Mombasa to Kilifi town to visit Moving The Goal Posts, the other site in Kenya that received an open air cinema screen donated for the World Cup. A team from the BBC, sponsored by Google from the UK, was running this project called “Field of Dreams,” where they were holding 3 day training sessions training students in Kilifi in computer technology, their program is also focusing on empowering girls through soccer and education. In the evenings they would move the screen to a new venue in the most interior rural areas of Kilifi town. They have had over 500 people at their screenings.

Yesterday I journeyed all the way back to Oyugis. I came back in the early evening and was able to catch the last game in Oyugis Town Brazil beat Chile 3-0. …more to come from our Oyugis site!

June 27, 2010

2010 World Cup Hits Stride – Same from Kampala 2 Cape Town

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:22 am by kampala2capetown

In Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia kids who otherwise would not have experienced the first World Cup in Africa are getting the experience on large open air cinema screens…and now its all happening simultaneously…

In Zambia – Kick Off at Lumulunga Primary School in Mongu

We were at the school at 4.30pm to start setting up. Sports in Action guys came with balls with which they engaged the kids in play with. Both boys and girls played the ball on the same ground and it was amazing to see the crowd of kids run from one goal post to the other and back again as they chased the ball. They even had two goal keepers as there were around 50 kids playing at the same time. At 6.30 when it got dark, we started screening “Sugar” a movie with HIV messages. It was a crowd puller.

The game between Ghana and Germany started at 8.30pm and went on up to 10.15pm. The whole time the game played there was silence apart from when there were attempts on goal or when there was a goal scored. The crowd was really carried away by the game. After the game, the crowd wanted more and we had to shut down everything for them to leave. They also wanted us to go back to the same venue the next day, but we informed them that we have a program we were following and so the next day we would be in Mandanga basic school.

The place was fully packed with kids and adults, the estimated number I can say is 1200 people with 60% of them being kids. The school had informed the kids of the activity the previous day and had invited them to come with their parents. The kids arrived earlier than the adults so they had the privilege of having the front area or front “seats”. Most of them sat down on the sand and you could tell they were having a great time. The coca cola advert (the one with the kid looking for freedom) was their favourite and they sang along to
the advert song every time it played.

In Uganda…

Between World Cup matches we mobilized a massive crowd to go around Kyebando and clean up all the plastic and trash that is everywhere.  We had over 150 people including students, community workers, local politicians, street kids, youth elders… everyone.  We gathered 30 rice sacks of trash.  Things don’t always go according to plan in Africa, but this was such a sucess.  When trying to talk to people about plastic it often feels like they don’t see the big deal, but today with a united force we did an amazing amount of work to clean but even more to raise consciousness.  We named the street the center is on, put in signs that say litter free zone, imagine a better future.

The plastic World Cup balls continue to be made in Uganda….

In Rwanda…

Crowds continue to swell in Gisenyi Rwanda, with kids huddling on the grass to fight off evening chills to enjoy the matches. UNICEF led a video production training for 15 young people and over their 5 day training each produced a one minute video.

Update from Kenya soon!

June 19, 2010

From the Rwandan World Cup Village – Preparing Voices of Youth for Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:50 am by kampala2capetown

In the week leading up to the World Cup, UNICEF, One UN in Rwanda, and the Children’s Radio Foundation worked with the  K2CT Rwanda community host, Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle to select a cohort of 15 young people to learn how to become radio journalists who could then launch their journalist careers during the World Cup.

The trainings were set to be hosted by Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle (VN) is an ideal partner for the project; having started in 2002 and in its 8 years the organization and its facilities has become a beehive of youth activity. There is always something going on, be it a basketball game on their indoor court, an HIV/AIDS education seminar, or traditional dance troupe working on choreography.  VJN was looking to expand for a program in youth journalism and even launch community radio station, so the timing was perfect. However, before bringing in the youth to be trained at VJN, a local group of Rwandan’s were selected for a “trainer of trainers” session. A trainer of trainers session is to prepare adults in the community to assist in training youth journalists and also to be the leaders of developing youth journalism and training other youth journalists after the international trainer leaves.

(Sue Valentine, CRF Executive Director playing example radio reports for trainees)

So exactly one week before the World Cup Sue Valentine, director of the Children’s Radio Foundation arrived into the village of Gisenyi and set-out to lead 6 local Rwandans to become versed on how to give youth a voice through radio broadcasting. The training group included 3 local community radio personalities, 2 VJN Staff and on technical expert from the Rwandan Film Festival.

(Ayuub, a trainee, learning how to use the digital recorder)

Immediately the group took to Sue’s hand’s on approach to learning about radio. They listened to children’s programs that Sue had produced in South Africa and were inspired by how clear and vibrant a child’s voice can come through audio alone.  They worked with the digital recorders to learn the technology and

(Florence and Jean Claude, local radio personalities, practice the talk show format)

Sue explained the different formats the children can use, commentary, talk show format, public service announcements and then the trainees recorded samples and listened back to improve their technical skills.  At the end of the two days the trainees has a basic understanding of how to conduct the different formats and great insights into how children can be given a unique voice through radio journalism.

(The VJN Youth Journalists)

With the arrival of the 15 youth  there was an instant energizing the trainees with their enthusiasm and motivation. The youth, aged 14-20 sat attentive and literally would hang on Sue’s every word and demonstration.  “Getting to know you” exercises put everyone at ease, and by the end of the first day the youth  were expressing themselves on issues ranging from what it means to be a Rwandan to how much school prepares them for the world outside the classroom.

(Two youth journalists, practicing interviewing at a local soccer match)

By the final day of youth training, the youth journalists were ready to test out their new skills in the field. The group went to a “Football for Peace” event organized by the German Embassy in Rwanda. By the end of trainings the kids were starting to see themselves as journalists and are ready to be reporting from the field so stay tuned!

June 17, 2010

Environmental Clean-Up @ Uganda K2CT Screenings

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:25 am by kampala2capetown

I am in a slum of Kampala the captial of Uganda – there is plastic (they call it poly) EVERYWHERE!!!  They just throw it on the ground not thinking anything of it – I asked a food venor if he had a bin to take my trash and he lost it laughing was clapping and hitting his knee.  But that is the conciousness here.  I am working with a great center helping kids but they never concidered poly being something to tackle.  They burn it all or it goes on the street or in the streams.

So I am oganizing a clean up with the kids one block in front of the center.  I spoke with the slum chairman and told him that we are going to clean 1 block, install a chained metal bin and put signs up that says please no poly on the street we have a bin.  The supplies I need to get for the clean up are thick gloves because the trash is nasty, rakes to get the plastic out of the dirt and garbabge bags.  They don’t even have garbage bags!!!  It took us 5 minutes to communicate to the owner of a HARDWARE store what a large garbage bag was… that is how bad it is.  They don’t bother collecting it – they throw it on the street or burn it – no need for big bags, crazy right?

I showed the kids the gloves and they were soo excited to see somthing newly bought, they don’t even have shoes.  We will do it between the WC games on friday and feed them fruit when they are done.

We are doing so many cool things.  Making soccer balls out of plastic and giving them out to kids, I am giving speeches during half time about environmental issues.  Can’t even begin to explain my days and I have only been here for 5 days!

– Michael Zuckerman

http://mikezuckerman.posterous.com/

June 15, 2010

Female Empowerment Through Football

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:23 am by kampala2capetown

06/14/2010

As most of you may know, the official World Cup games began this past Friday June 11th beginning with South Africa vs. Mexico.

Preparing for this event came with a number of challenges. Beginning with the hiring of a “self-proclaimed faulty” technician, which became the going joke for the rest of the day. However, by Saturday evening we were broadcasting the game on our open air cinema at Kotieno Primary School.

It’s incredible how much the community has taken ownership over the project. Their commitment to get the screen up and running was remarkable. From Friday morning until Saturday evening they were working hard to get the screen going. So many complicated pieces had to be placed in exact order from connecting the satellite dish and specific wires to ensuring that our DSTV subscriber had enabled our subscription from Kisumu, which is 2 hours away.

You should have seen the crowd on Saturday night. The screen was finally working just in time for the England vs. USA match. I was standing there as they were reciting the Star Spangled Banner, observing a crowd of 200 children and adults cheering from the rural village of Oyugis, Kenya. It is moments like this when you see the fruits of community-based work that make international development such an inspiring profession. Of course there are daily challenges to the project; but ones that when overcome, allow for sustainability.  The community has jointly been working through the process, which has given them ownership over their work.

On Sunday morning Juma Festus (the director) and I traveled to Kisi, a nearby town, to purchase a tarp to cover the screen from the rain and lights to light up the field (for safety purposes) during the evening games. It is rainy season in Kenya, which has posed a number of challenges to the project. But our technical team from the community is committed to improving the project as the days carry on.

The local chief from the community has been appointed to oversee the site during the 30 days. He is a proud man of 40 with 6 beautiful children. He has taught me a lot about the Luo tribe that inhabits this area of Western Kenya.

We have a DVD recorder for recording the day games, which can then be viewed on the screen at nightfall just before we play the night game, live.

Of course there are great frustrations at times and the lack of food choices, the bugs, the dirt and extreme poverty really makes life back home seem so luxurious and tedious. People’s problems are so different.

I will be running a female empowerment session for the girl’s soccer league this week. The mission of Kampala 2 Cape Town Kenya is: “Female Empowerment Through Football,” with a vision of improving the lives of the girls in Oyugis through the post-world cup network in Africa.

Lala Salaama

Aliza

June 12, 2010

K2CT World Cup in My Village Kick Off in Rwanda

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:40 am by kampala2capetown

In Rwanda the World Cup in my Village kicked off with excitement and a local flavor. The United Nations family has reserved the football stadium in Gisenyi for all 30 days so kids from the village will be enjoying games on the the large inflatable screen every night.

The crowed arrived early and was greeted by a live band on a specially built stage thanks to local community host Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle.

Over 3,000 people showed up and were treated to traditional and modern dance, acrobats and a local band playing Rwandan and International Music.

By the time the sun set and darkness fell, a few local and UN diginataries gave opening remarks and the cheered as the France vs Uruguay game. A great start for World Cup in my Village!

June 9, 2010

World Cup Prep in Oyugis, Kenya!

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:17 am by kampala2capetown

06/09/2010

2 days until the world cup…….

The first soccer world cup in Africa will begin this Friday in Johannesburg, where South Africa’s Bafana Bafana soccer team will be playing against Mexico.

Of all my trips to Africa this is surely one of the most remarkable, an opportunity for individuals and organizations across the African continent to use the world cup as a forum for developmental initiatives.

I arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last Friday with a duffle bag filled with a 9”12 inch projector screen, a DVD player, a blower for the screen, as well as a letter from the UN explaining why I was delivering expensive technological equipment to Kenya.  On Sunday morning I met the director of Society Empowerment Project (SEP), Mr. Juma Festus, at Nairobi’s central bus station, where we proceeded on our 6 hour journey to the village of Oyugis.

A couple of months ago I spent a day on Skype calling various soccer and youth empowerment projects in East Africa in order to determine which would best fit the project. Of the 10 organizations I interviewed I was instantly drawn to Mr. Festus for his commitment to youth empowerment and strong leadership qualities.

Our first meeting was with the community organizer and soccer coaches that help run the SEP programs. We were able to inflate the screen in a few minutes and the entire group, including myself was glowing with excitement. We expect 1000 kids from the community to show at the opening ceremony of the world cup. This massive, nylon, weather-proof screen will be mounted on a big field overlooking the horizon in Western Kenya. The location is ideal for the project as these kids would not otherwise have the opportunity to watch the games.

The next morning Festus and I head on a 3 day journey to Kisumu, the home city of the Obama lineage.

Kisumu is about an hour and half from Oyugis, located on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria. Festus and I spend the first day at an electronics store negotiating the price for various pieces for the project, including cables, a power generator, DSTV and speakers.

Yesterday, Festus kindly took me on a journey to the village of Mama Sarah Obama, the grandmother of our president. The two-hour Matatu ride over pot-holes, and dirt roads was well worth the journey. We arrived at the senator Obama Primary School and hitched a ride through the dirt village for about 15 kilometers until we reached the gate of the Obama farm. In front of the house laid the grave of the president’s father and grandfather. We sat outside the house and waited under the beautiful mango tree to be invited into her home. As we entered her home we were greeted by Mama Sarah in her living room, which was covered in pictures of her and her grandson, Barack. Her home was overflowing with African warmth, untainted by her fame and international recognition. Her warm Swahili words and grace were that of a true African woman, her eyes filled with years of wisdom and life.

On our way back to Kisumu we hitched a ride with a man who happened to be a former soccer player for Kenya’s international team. His kindness and willingness to give us a ride back to Kisumu is typical of Africans, especially in rural areas. We made a stop at his village where he has built a house for his family in an idyllic remote location just a few K’s from the city.  The village is quite poor and traditional and in order to be accepted he has asked the village elders to bless his land. His home has a well, which provides water to the entire community. We exchanged numbers and he offered to come speak to the children of Oyugis about his experience as Kenya’s leading soccer player.

Tomorrow, Festus and I will head back to Oyugis, where we will set up the world cup viewing venue in preparation for opening day!

Karibu from Kenya!

Aliza

June 5, 2010

Enormous Expectation

Posted in Pre-World Cup Planning at 5:11 pm by kampala2capetown

With less than a week to go in the 2010 World Cup, expectations are rising. For Kampala 2 Cape Town, our change agents are arriving on site and preparing for the big event. We have finalized our community sites and are proud to announce them to the world:

Gisenyi, Rwanda

Kampala, Uganda

Oyugis, Kenya

Mongu, Zambia

At each site there will be an inflatable screen and a variety of community activities. Each site will be a little different, but we hope to learn from the different sites what works in bringing community together around sports. We believe that reaching towards Millennium Development Goals can be a fun and engaging process.

Each site also has a local community member taking the lead. In Rwanda, Ayuub Mago, has shared a little about the final stages of the planning phase.

“I am a Rwandan amateur film maker. My passion and job is to make videos in the local language, Kinyarwanda and to take them to the rural areas and screen them for free to young people there. About 2% of the 10 Million Rwandans have access to a television. There is not a single Cinema hall in the true sense of the word. I work for the Rwanda Cinema Centre and every year we host a film festival of which Hillywood is part. Hillywood is therefore my baby. I co-ordinate. We have a giant inflatable screen that was donated to the centre by Rosenthals which we use to screen and enjoy local videos with the rural youth.

Recently a project from heaven landed itself on my doorstep. From heaven because my passion as is to entertain and engage with the Rwandan rural youth and this project is about just that. A young man called Joe Agoada called me and asked me if I wanted to help coordinate something called TheKampala 2 Cape Town project. It basically required me to do what I do in Hillywood. A few emails and phone calls later, Joe landed in Kigali on 25th may. We started working to prepare the historic exciting event. The idea is to screen the world cup matches live to an audience that would otherwise never have the chance to see the games. To them and Africa in general, it is a dream come true.

After identifying the location and choosing a local community organization to act as partner in this, it was time to test the equipment. Joe had used his genius to fly a 16feet inflatable screen complete with it’s blower and recording device. Part of my job is to find a good reliable technical team of Rwandans to operate and train the local partners on how to use the equipment.

So as the excitement reaches fever pitch in the whole of Africa and Rwanda in general, so it is for me and Joe and his partners. We tested the equipment and are sure it works prted looking through the timetable to chose which matches we think our audience will enjoy most. We plan to record those matches that will happen before dark. One of the main constraint is that we can only screen after 6.30pm when it is dark enough to project on the screen.

Everything seems to be in order now and we are planning to travel to the location which is in the North Western part of Rwanda in a district bordering Goma in the Congo. “