October 31, 2010

Final Field Reflection: Uganda

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:19 pm by kampala2capetown

By Michael Zuckerman, Uganda Field Coordinator

For the 2010 World Cup program I was stationed in a slum of Kampala the capital of Uganda. The first thing I noticed as we embarked on the grassroots program was that there was plastic (they call it poly) EVERYWHERE!!!  Around the community screening site and across the city they just throw plastic on the ground not thinking anything of it – I asked a food vendor if he had a bin to take my trash and he lost it laughing was clapping and hitting his knee.  But that is the consciousness here.

With this ground reality I decided to give environmental sustainability as the theme working with our community host, the Kybando Vocational Training Center, a vocational school that is helping kids gain technical skills in the Kyebando section of Kampala. They never considered poly being something to tackle.  They burn it all or it goes on the street or in the streams. With hundreds of attendees to our live screenings of the World Cup matches within the community center we saw it was an opportunity to organize an environmental clean-up.

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 success.  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.

We were able to do so many cool things around the environmental cleanups and World Cup screenings. A local community member started making soccer balls out of plastic and giving them out to kids. What started as a small idea turned into a craze around the community with hundreds of balls being made. I also gave speeches during half time about environmental issues and later found an even more effective to feature local citizens in talks.

Through the excitement of the World Cup program and our ability in providing the community with a safe space to watch the matches empowered me to make meaningful political and media contacts. Through these high level contacts and connection to the grassroots community, the Kampala 2 Cape Town enabled powerful civic engagement. The culmination of this was the protest over an unsafe crossing space on a new road nearby the community screening site. Many lives were being lost due to a lack of road safety rules and so I was able to organize a massive protest which included me being interviewed on the most popular morning show in Uganda.

Overall the Kampala 2 Cape Town experience was special for me as an American and the Kyebando community as we both utilized the first World Cup in Africa as an entry point to engage and then ultimately change the community for the better.   The clean ups, plastic soccer balls and a crossing guard have continued since the project ended.  Additional funds to support the legecy projects of Kampala to Capetown  will show the community that progress can continue.  The crossing Guard has greatly reduced the number of deaths at the deadliest intersection in Uganda.  He required just $2.20 US and is appreciated by old and young.  Plastic Bag Balls (Buevera Balls) are continuing to be made and purchased form children for $0.40 each.



October 23, 2010

World Cup in My Village Field Report – Mongu, Zambia

Posted in Final Reports at 4:44 pm by kampala2capetown

By George Githuma, Zambia Site Coordinator

Crowd waiting for World Cup screen to go up near Mongu, Zambia

Mongu is a small town situated in the Western part of Zambia, 600kms from Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. It is the administrative town of the western province of Zambia and it is home to the Lozi people. It is a 6 to 8 hour drive from Lusaka to this town which is known for the Kwomboka ceremony. The Kwomboka ceremony is an annual event where the tribal king (also known as the Litunga), moves from his palace in the flood plain using a large canoe, to his other palace in the high land. World Cup in My Village (WCIMV) project took the World Cup to this remote town of Zambia.

Sunset in Zambia village outside Mongu

The project which was a partnership between UNICEF, Children’s Radio Foundation (CRF) and local partners aimed to show the World Cup in remote areas of the Western province using a projector and a large inflatable screen. WCIMV was a great experience for Mongu residence and especially the children. The project reached out to more than 6,000 (60%-70% being children) people in seven villages of Mongu over a weeks time. The screening of the matches took place between 4.00pm and 10.30pm and this happened at community schools in these villages.

Kids in Mongu, Zambia

This made it easy for most people to attend as the schools were considered central venues by the residents. It was also easy to get the word out about the matches, using the school administration. Most of the residents in these villages did not have television sets in homes, neither did they have electricity.

In one of the villages we went to, most of the kids had been watching the World Cup at the school head teacher residence as he was the only person with a television set in the area, and they had to pay for that. For others, they had been depending on radio for results of matches and updates on the tournament.Before the start of the project, CRF held a two day radio workshop with 17 youth journalists. The journalist who were between 12 and 18 years old were given training on interviews and on doing stories for radio. The youth journalist would help in documenting the project using radio.

Some of the stories they produced can be found on www.childrensradiofoundation.org or http://www.unicef.org.

Laz, a wonderful Grassroots Soccer Facilitator

They were also trained to carry out talk shows which happened during half time of matches. The youth journalists involved in the project were really excited to acquire radio skills and carry out interviews with their fellow youths and opinion leaders in the community. They also visited two community radio stations, Radio Liseli and Radio Liambai, who were willing to work with them after the project. Zambia is generally a peaceful country and thus security was not a big concern. We however had two armed police officers every day for the security of our equipment.

The police officers also helped in controlling the crowd around the equipment. For our electricity, we had a 2000watts generator, since the community schools we went to, did not have power. We had a technician on site every day to make sure we had quality signal and any electrical hitches were sorted out.However the project was organised in a short span of time, most of the stake holders including the local partners, District Education Department and the schools where the matches were held, felt that they more time was need to prepare.

The timing of the games was also not the best for the children as the games ran up to 10.30pm which is quite late for the children. Some of the children were not accompanied by parents to the event and it was really hard to establish if they would get home safely after the matches. Most of the kids also, did not have proper dressing for the cold night. It was also hard for the parents of the youth journalists, who were still in school, to allow them to stay out all that late.

October 9, 2010

K2CT Kenya Field Coordinator: Final Reflection

Posted in Final Reports at 11:05 pm by kampala2capetown

The second in a series of reflections on our K2CT launch from Kenya Coordinator Aliza Waxman!

Kampala 2 Cape Town (K2CT) partnered with Society Empowerment Project (SEP), a Community-Based Organization in Oyugis, Kenya to set up a community World Cup viewing venue from June – July 10th, 2010. The Two-Wheeled Foundation (a 501c3) provided SEP with an open air cinema screen, a blower, a DVD player and sufficient funds to establish the site and screen the games for all 30 days of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

From day one, SEP and the community took full ownership and responsibility over the donated equipment and maintenance of the site. They used a local technician, security guard, community chief and volunteers to set up and operate the site throughout the 30 days. The games were screened every evening on the soccer field at Kotieno Primary School, when at its height, hosted 500 viewers for the Ghana and Brazil games. During half time, K2CT Kenya organized educational activities , where SEP’s staff introduced the concept of K2CT, ‘a network of youth soccer leagues built across Africa in partnership with the United States and international community as a legacy to Africa’s first soccer World Cup’.

All of the activities were documented and shared with youth on the East Coast to engage them in philanthropic activity with the children in the rural sites.The K2CT Kenya partnership was further developed through the introduction of SEP’s Female Empowerment Through Football, a project focused on incorporating locally introduced life skills training into SEP’s girls soccer league. The goal of Female Empowerment Through Football is to train girls in leadership skills, inspire them to use football for overcoming challenges experienced by women in their local community, and create clubs where girls feel comfortable openly discussing personal issues and seeking advice from one another.

The training will educate girls on their basic human rights and equip them with knowledge and self esteem that will enable them to make healthy choices, empowering them at home and in their future relationships. In addition, the project will focus on connecting the girls to their peers in the East Coast of the United States.

On the final day of the world cup, the K2CT Kenya field coordinator and SEP organized a girls soccer tournament where they introduced the Female Empowerment project to the community, and elected the eldest girls soccer captain to lead the program. The project was introduced to the girls after the tournament by the Kenya Field Coordinator and translated into Luo, the local language.Young women, you are the future leaders of Kenya. Your talent in football and team building has equipped you with the necessary skills to strengthen this community and your country at large. By motivating young girls you will not only share your leadership skills, but inspire talent that can be used to strengthen the girls program and promote international recognition.

The network that has been built by Kampala 2 Cape town will be used to build international awareness, and bring in resources for this community, for economic and sustainable development. However, it is up to you girls to make this happen.When I return to America, I want to hear stories of female leadership, ones that can be shared for generations of women in Africa to come, to strengthen this continent and allow for the world to see what I discovered long ago, Africa as the future; the future for peace, humanity and environmental sustainability.Since the end of the world cup, SEP has reported on the progress of the project.

They have allocated US $1,315.00 USD to Female Empowerment and are currently working with the Kenya field coordinator to apply for grants and seek volunteers from Right to Play in Uganda and medical students from the University of Cape Town in South Africa to bring in life skills training for the youth and SEP’s staff. We are awaiting a the funds for follow up and our photos, videos and stories have been submitted to Two Wheeled Foundation for integrating into educational materials.

October 5, 2010

Final Reflection Report from the Field: Rwanda

Posted in Final Reports at 2:33 am by kampala2capetown

This is one in a series of 4 final reflection reports! They are written by the on site coordinator who ran the screen and managed the overall programs.

The FIFA World Cup 2010 will always be a memorable event for many children of Rubavu district formerly known as Gisenyi in the North West of Rwanda. They watched three quarters of the matches live on a giant inflatable screen courtesy of UNICEF NY and One UN Rwanda.

The majority of children (70%) had not access to any other means of watching the World Cup matches. But there is a good number of others who simply enjoyed the atmosphere of watching the matches and the other video messages that were being screened.

The local authorities were very supportive and since this location was near the Congo it meant that security was the most important issue on the staff’s mind.

The local community host VJN was very well suited for the challenge. They had facilities, motivation and passion to entertain the audience between and before the matches. The audience enjoyed dances and contemporary music performances and this added to the entertainment and educational value of the whole occasion. This could have been even better if there was a way of involving national music and comedy stars to perform and pass on the messages live.

Football remains the most popular game here and anything to do with it is sure to draw huge crowds especially of the young. And they are very aware of football news that all international, regional and national tournaments are followed closely. For example the European tournaments that are currently beginning are already generating much excitement with the youth.

Rwanda is such a small country and communication is very efficient. The national radio covers the whole little country. What is said or communicated on radio is heard by the entire population. The young journalist trainees’ recordings should find their way on national radio and use this as way of the youth engaging fellow youth and even their leaders. The training is a fantastic idea that should be encouraged and made sustainable by advocating for the children to voice/air their views on the national radio since it is the one in which everyone Rwandan has confidence and trust.

Videos are always popular with the youth and all messages will be readily consumed if well packaged and in Kinyarwanda and especially if they have a funny angle to them. People, the youth in Rwanda are so starved of laughter that they cling to anything remotely funny in a video. And for that matter, live stand-up comedy can definitely be used for messaging.

A lot can be done in terms of getting the people’s attention so long it is well organized and information based. There is always a huge number of curious onlookers who are bored especially in late afternoons when they are free and have finished work on their land. The total absence of any entertainment in the rural areas guarantees a good audience of both young and old in the rural areas especially if it is based around an inflatable screen and a loudspeaker. People are known to immensely enjoy Western made movies so long as they are dubbed over in Kinyarwanda. The young men who do the dubbing hardly understand English themselves. So they fabricate stories around these movies just to entertain the masses. This is a booming business. They are called “the explained’ movies.

The next World Cup feels distant to most Rwandan kids. But this is only because they know they have enough football in between. There is the CAN, UEFA, the British, Spanish, Italian and other Italian leagues. However all these are only accessible to those young people leaving in townships where there is electricity and satellite tv. On the whole about 1% of the Rwandan population have access to a television set and about 10% have access to electricity.

So a huge number of young people can still benefit from entertainment and education if they are reached.