Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Podcasts for Peace to Empower Youth in Nicaragua

Who could be more powerless than the children living at the municipal dump in Managua, Nicaragua?

One young college graduate has a plan to make their voices heard.

Reader to Reader is proud to support the Podcasts for Peace project, a recipient of the prestigious 100 Projects for Peace funding. The project received a grant of $10,000 from the Davis UWC Scholars Program to create a radio and digital storytelling program for youth who live in and around the municipal dump in Managua, Nicaragua.

Beginning June 2011, the program will teach media literacy and empower disadvantaged youth to tell their stories digitally, from brainstorm to final edit. By sharing personal and collective stories, they will foster dialogue about critical issues in their community.

The central component of Podcasts for Peace is its Youth Media Program, which promotes media literacy and production skills, social justice values, community connections, and leadership. Supported by local community leaders and volunteers from the United States, youth participants produce their own digital stories and radio diaries, learning hands-on skills in audio-visual technology, interview and narrative techniques, and digital editing.

Podcasts for Peace staff provide two hours of daily instruction and personalized coaching four days per week, in addition to weekly workshops led by guest instructors. Participants are encouraged to exchange feedback with their peers as they develop their own projects from brainstorm to final edit. Completed projects are screened at community meetings and posted on this the Podcast for Peace website to support broader conversations about the issues they raise.

The project is the inspiration of Mika Kie Weissbuch, a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Mika spent a semester abroad in Nicaragua researching privatization and the nonprofit culture in and around the municipal dump in Acahualinca, Managua. She worked with local community leaders in Acahualinca, many of whom are now involved with Podcasts for Peace. She and Yamileth PĂ©rez developed a vision of empowering youth through the digital storytelling process. The Davis Project for Peace award allowed the vision to become reality as Podcasts for Peace. Mika received training in digital storytelling at the Center for Digital Storytelling and from NPR reporter, Nancy Eve Cohen.

Reader to Reader is helping Podcasts for Peace with their fundraising, as their budget exceeds the $10,000 grant, and is donating books and computers to boost their resources.


Haeinn Woo said...

Go go Mika!!! Best of luck in Nicaragua! I can't wait to hear about how it goes.

Your fan,

Anonymous said...

I visited Mika's center on a Witness for Peace trip to Nicaragua this past July, and both she and Yamileth were wonderful, inspiring people who deserve all the support that they can get. They are bright lights in this community.