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. “

May 23, 2010

Technical Solutions

Posted in Pre-World Cup Planning at 2:38 pm by kampala2capetown

K2CT is a technology savvy group, we searched long and hard for a technical solution to screening matches. With Open Air Cinema and their amazing inflatable screen we have selected a partner to help bring the World Cup to rural communities in Africa. Our attraction to Open Air Cinema was that they are already realizing the potential for more than just World Cup screenings to educate and inspire many.

From  openaircinema.us

“Open Air Cinema has turned its attention to communities throughout the world. We have created the Open Air Foundation to find socially progressive uses of our CineBox Global systems and inflatable screen technology to help solve some of the most critical problems faced by developing nations. We have already worked with organizations such as FilmAid to bring inspirational media to millions of people in East Africa. We have also joined with Shine Global and Fine Films to screen the Oscar-nominated documentary War/Dance to thousands of people living in northern Uganda’s most isolated refugee camp. At present, we are working with the Rwanda Cinema Center to take local films into the most remote corners of Rwanda. At Open Air Foundation we believe that large-scale outdoor media is an ideal catalyst prompting education social change.”

Open Air Cinema’s work with the Rwanda community is inspirational, it is fueling not just screenings, but new jobs in the form of the Rwanda Cinema Center and the K2CT planning team was lucky enough to also get counsel from Leah Warshowski, who has been documenting the growth film in Rwanda and the potential in the power of inflatable screens:

http://www.inflatablefilm.com/

18 Days to the World Cup…

May 13, 2010

Less Than 30 Days Until World Cup 2010

Posted in Pre-World Cup Planning at 1:48 am by kampala2capetown

The 2010 FIFA World Cup, its getting so close! The Kampala 2 Cape Town team is filled with amazing excitement! National Teams are on their way to South Africa for last minute training, and K2CT has completed it’s strategic planning, preparing for a big World Cup Launch Campaign.

As the 2010 World Cup gets near we will be offering all types of fun, socially conscious futbol gear. The patch was designed by a team including Botswana artist and a Nike ID Consultant.

Our T-shirt will feature the MDGs, and will be available by mail through donations handled by globalgiving.org. We hope that those who obtain a shirt or jersey can wear it as a statement.

With a soccer ball we’ll hopefully spread some joy and collaborate with the Alive & Kicking soccer stitchers in Kenya and Zambia. We’ll also offer youth soccer leagues around the world the opportunity to earn a limited edition ball if these if they can raise $100 for our June 16th Global Giving.org Match Day.

In the next month we will be expanding into some very special communities in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa, and we look forward to sharing more as the hype continues to build for the FIRST WORLD CUP IN AFRICA!

May 5, 2010

MDGs Goal Keeper

Posted in Pre-World Cup Planning at 10:54 pm by kampala2capetown

Kampala 2 Cape Town: MDGs Goal Keeper

Ghana National Team Goal Keeper Richard Kingston

As we enter the final stages of our project planning (and receive upgrades for the K2CT homepage and K2CT Global Giving Site!) the advance team has crystallized a vision after reviewing the 10 week planning trip. We had initially wanted to do a “Road Show”, to travel from Kampala to Cape Town during the 30 days of the World Cup towing a big screen and showcasing innovative technologies. What our advance trip taught us was that this idea was a bit too ambitious, and mobile screens a bit too expensive, and that setting up community screens for the 30 days of the World Cup for vulnerable youth in rural villages would have a lot more impact, more bang for the buck as they say!

With shifted the project concept and have narrowed our vision. We did a whole bunch of thinking about post-World Cup, what will Kampala 2 Cape Town after all the attention and the hype of the tournament in Africa is over. K2CT after the World Cup will strive to become for the Millennium Development Goals what Richard Kingston is for the Black Stars of Ghana the “MDGs Goal Keeper”

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world’s main development challenges. The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.

The MDGs:

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

The returns on reaching the MDGs by 2015 is having mixed results. Read Progress Reports Here

The truth is not all the goals of the MDGs will be met by the deadline of 2015, and Kampala 2 Cape Town wants to be there to help achieve the goals, in  Sub-Saharan Africa especially. K2CT will be supporting groups like One Goal, which making MDG #2 Achieve Primary Education it cause during the World Cup.

1GOAL is a campaign seizing the power of football to ensure that education for all is a lasting impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. By bringing together footballers and fans, charities and organisations around the world, together we can call on world leaders to make education a reality for 72 million children by 2015.

As for K2CT Stay tuned, on May 11th, one month to the World Cup, we will have a major update!

April 28, 2010

Advance Work Complete

Posted in Advance Trip at 12:42 am by kampala2capetown

Greetings Kampala 2 Cape Town super fans, thanks for being patient, we apologize for the delay between posts. We have completed the advance work and the planning team is happy to have traveled the 5,000 miles and come away healthy and with a great new understanding of technology and the power of football to move and inspire people. We are excited by what is forming as we grow closer and closer to the World Cup, but more on that for the next post.

The final steps on our Kampala 2 Cape Town advance trip journey consisted of short stopovers in Windhoek, Namibia and Cape Town, South Africa. It was in these two countries that a purpose for the project really clarified. The project vision sharpened when we got to meet with a potential group of beneficiaries.

One early afternoon in Namibia we came upon youth playing football on the outskirts of the informal settlements of Windhoek, a region called Katutura. The setting was in great contrast to what is found in the well developed downtown area of Windhoek.

Most of the homes in the area are tightly spaced tin homes without reliable electricity or running water. For the young soccer players who lived in these homes, we wanted to know, where would you watch the world cup? We were toured around the settlements and brought to the one of two places in Katutura where the games could be watched.

What we found gave the advance team shivers. We were taken to a stuffy and loud bar, that even In the middle of the day, was occupied with adults consuming alcohol. The TV was quite small, and the viewing space could possibly hold 75 people comfortably. We considered the viewing experience youth might have here and felt a renewed passion for the project.

After taking in the scene at bar and discussing with local community members.  We walked over to a wonderful community center at the heart of Katutura.  Inside the hall, which could hold close to 200 young people, we discussed the project with local residents, and the hard realizations of what it would be really like trying to put together world cup viewing venues became apparent. The dream of outdoor venues for thousands would raise incredible security risks, and there was possibilities for the party that we saw in the bar to easily take over a public venue. What we would need to plan for smaller gatherings that offered a safe and secure space.

As we headed out of Namibia our new friends posed for a picture, something of importance to take with us as we continued our planning for a once-in-a-lifetime world cup experience.

We landed in Cape Town a few days later then we had hoped and had only a few days to spare. However, we made the most of our time, visiting the new Green Point Stadium and finishing our trip symbolically at the FIFA Football for Hope Center.

Our team is now finalizing the plans for Kampala 2 Cape Town and our next post will be exciting and reveal our path forward…

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