July 06, 2007

Citizen Media and New Media projects in Bangladesh

I knew little about the citizen media and new media projects in Bangladesh when I amplified about the Rising Voices outreach project micro loan grants in the Bangladeshi Blogosphere.

A total of 142 project proposals from over 40 different countries were submitted with more than five from Bangladesh alone. I am pleased to inform you that out of the five successful projects with a grant upto $5000 two are Bangla speaking and one is from Bangladesh. From Global Voices:
Kazi Rafiq Islam and Kathryn Ward - Dhaka, Bangladesh:

Kazi Rafiq Islam and Kathy Ward are the Coordinator and Executive Director of the Nari Jibon Project in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As you can see from the website, the organization is already involved in outstanding work with young women in Dhaka. With the help of the Rising Voices microgrant, they will introduce Bangladeshi girls and women to blogging, photography and video-blogging by incorporating blogging assignments into existing English, computer, and Bangla classes. You can see some examples of what is to come at Bangladesh from our View.
The other Bangla speaking project is Kalam: Margins Write, a creative writing program for marginalized youth in India based in Kolkata.

You'll be amazed with these projects and the wonderful initiative 'Rising Voices' has taken for promoting the underprivileged people:
...to enable their communities to tell their own stories, to write their own first draft of history, to document their traditions and culture before they are washed away by the tides of globalization.
Great Job David and congratulations to all the grantees.

And we have more surprises. Narijibon is not the only NGO who ventured into the new media initiative in Bangladesh. Md. Arafatul Islam informs:
Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangshtha (SSS), an innovative organisation, is imparting education on information technology to the deprived and poor people in North Bengal over 12 boats equipped with computers with Internet service, mobile phones and libraries. The organisation has been carrying out such activities in North Bengal for the last two years.

SSS recently won the Access to Learning Award-2005 of Gates Foundation as recognition of their innovative work. They got prize money worth about US$ 1 million from the Gates Foundation.
Voice of South reports:
A school based internet enabled telecenter in a Bangladeshi village has recently turned to a digital photo studio. As per its sustainability plan, Relief International -School Online helped the school to plan for income generation through providing basic ICT services.
There are really lots of possibilities how the rural people of Bangladesh can benefit from blogging and other new media tools. Kowshik has some relevant suggestions(in Bengali) stating the benefits of using community internet. The community can get mileage on fields such as education, health, economics, disaster management, culture and politics.

Update: Mikey Leung did ICT development work with some Bangladesh NGOs and thinks that the blogging tool Wordpress can be used as a content-management system (CMS) for these organizations.

His latest work on Wordpress (the local staff can add the contents) are better navigable than some of the sites of the big organizations:

* Ashar Alo Society, Dhaka
* Gram Bikash Kendra, Dinajpur


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