On the first day of workshops at the Hill Park hotel the first excercise we conducted with the students was a scenario based learning excercise. In this excercise the students were asked to respond to various questions designed to prompt an informal discussion about community media centre’s and the potential that community media outreach programs could realise in their various communities. The students were prompted by 5 questions but in some cases discussion evolved beyond these parameters.
Q.1 What was your motivation to be involved today?
– To meet people with the same interest and share information with one another.
– To develop more knowledge for both personal and communal gain, knowledge is power.
– To learn more about how my skills can be utilized for the benefit of my community.
– To develop more pratical knowledge.
Q.2 What does a community media centre (CMC) mean to you? Share Ideas of how you think it might be of benefit to your particular communities.
– It can be used as a designated meeting place for the community, to come together in one place to share the wealth of knowledge they have between them.
– Computer systems would be useful for documenting the heritage of the community, archiving information about people in the community will be useful to better understand ourselves and then see how we can develop what we already have.
– Developing stronger information systems within CMC’s will be of great benefit for local buisness’s such as farmers who could use the technology to learn more about the weather patterns and adjust their crop accordingly.
– From within the CMC social awareness campaigns can be developed based on the contributions from the community to adhere to localised issues and reach those area’s affected.
– Overall a CMC space would develop a stronger sense of community togetherness which could ease local conflicts and create a safe space for people to interact and exchange stories.
Q.3 What resources would be needed to establish and sustain a (CMC)? How might that be aquired?
– Community participation from the ground up will be a must in order to sustain the developments that take place. The community must be actively involved from the beginning else it will be an external element that might not necessarily fully understand the needs of the community.
– Initial contributions will need to be sought in order to build the CMC and to put computers and equipment into the building. These contributions could be found in donations from philanthropists and possibly from the government funding parts of the project. The hardest part will be getting people to involve themselves for free. With the right incentives and demonstration of what the CMC could become this could be possible.
– In terms of practical sustainability, energy from solar panels could be a good self sustaining source. In order to sustain funding perhaps there could be a minor charge for specific activities within the CMC that are not part of a larger community project, such as casual use of the internet and personal use of equipment.
Q.4 What skills/knowledge/expertise do you possess?
– Computer systems management.
– Information Science.
– Computer programming.
Q.5 How do you plan to contribute to a) A CMC in your community? B) The network of CMC’s?
– I plan to work with faculty inside the university such as the school of agriculture and various other departments that could contribute to the building and implementation of a CMC as well as within my community, talking to prominant figures and contacts within my reach to see what can be done.
– In the network of CMC’s I plan to contribute and participate within the online spaces and perhaps developing some of the spaces using my computer knowledge.
– Not everyone in the community necessarily has access to computers when they go back to their homestead, so perhaps to sustain the network some type of space that could be accessed through a mobile phone could be useful, and something that I could develop using my IT knowledge.
I was impressed by the eagerness of the students I worked with. They had no dilusions about how hard it would be specifically in the rural areas to develop a CMC centre. But they thought practically and thought well about how these area’s could be reached. As was brought up in the sessions, the most important area’s to reach would be these rural communities, these are the communities that make up the majority population in Kenya, and with some of the richest and untapped knowledge.