Despite Challenges, 37 Western Saharan Activists Attend WITNESS Training

Sudanese activist and WITNESS trainee Nahla Mohaker reflects on her experience training Western Saharan activists at FiSahara 2014.

The Video-For-Change Africa Network is Born!

WITNESS is pleased to announce the formation of the Video for Change Africa Network, a network for video activists to share their knowledge, materials and challenges with others working for social change in Africa.

Activists Gather in Cape Town, South Africa for First Video-for-Change Convening in Sub-Saharan Africa

Activists from 13 different Sub-Saharan African countries are meeting today in Cape Town, South Africa to learn from one another during the first Video-for-Change Convening in Sub-Saharan Africa.

20 Citizen Journalists We Follow Who Covered Human Rights in 2013

On Human Rights Day, we’ve compiled a global list of citizen journalists we follow who cover human rights and share video. Please share the list and add to it!

Togolese Use Video to Reflect & Shape Elections

TogoVisions, a West African citizen video organization, has mobilized to document contentious elections, pushing them into the worldwide news cycle.

Progress for Kenya through the Lens of a Camera

Having kept peace throughout the 2013 presidential elections, Kenyans look forward. Bukeni Waruzi explains the current situation, and how incorporating video can help to resolve remaining tensions.

All Eyes on Kenya–and Cameras, too.

As polling stations close their doors today after huge voter turnout in, everyone is wondering: will this election remain peaceful, or will it follow in the path of the turbulent 2007 election? Kenyan citizen journalists, trained by WITNESS, weigh in.

Can Cell Phones Save Kenya’s Elections?

Across the country, pockets of Kenyans are determined to use video to protect their democracy during the March 4th elections. Bukeni Waruzi just returned from training these activists and citizen journalists, and here’s what he taught.

“Half the Sky,” or Half the Story?

I was disturbed by PBS’s new film, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women. The two-part series is inspired by the 2010 book of the same name written by New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn. Accompanied by high profile celebrities, Kristof takes viewers on a tour of the dangers that women face in the developing world.

Video Advocacy Example: LGBT and Transgender Awareness in the Anglican Church

This video is an example by activists to bring an under-represented “voice” to the discussion of human sexuality to a group of leaders charged with making decisions on a global scale.

Actions against land-grabbing in Cambodia shared in Africa

At an international conference for African communities facing land-grabbing, LICADHO presented a video showing how communities in Cambodia are resisting forced evictions and land grabbing. The three-day conference, Land grabbing in Africa – Dangers and Challenges, was hosted by Caritas Senegal in cooperation with other groups like, FIAN – that is FoodFirst Information and Action Network.

LGBT Rights in Africa: Malawi

My last post on ‘LGBT Rights in Africa’ focused on Uganda’s pending anti-homosexuality law and how it caused international outrage and expressions of support for LGBT community in Uganda. Now we will look slightly over 1,000 miles south of Uganda to Malawi.

LGBT Rights in Africa: Uganda

I’m the IT coordinator here and will occasionally blog about issues relating to tech inside a non-profit organization that uses technology all the time. I am also going to be sharing thoughts about human rights issues that are of personal import.

Youssou N’Dour and local activists call for response to HIV/AIDS epidemic in Congo

Our colleagues Becky Lichtenfeld and Bukeni Waruzi traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo last week to work with local organizations and government officials and help catalyze action in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region. Watch this short video with a roundup of their time in Kinshasa and then read the string of blog posts for Becky’s daily reports and for links on how to take action!

Kenya in crisis: a search for citizen cameras…

The crisis in Kenya may ultimately stem from a democratic failure, corruption and tribalism, or poverty and inequality, but either way, evidence of brutal violence continues to emerge, both in terms of killings and of violence against women and girls, and there’s news of an impending health crisis. For a quick tour d’horizon, including ways to act, click “more” below.

Some of the top Kenyan bloggers have been providing compelling updates since the beginning of the election campaign – of those that I read regularly, Kenyan Pundit and Mental Acrobatics particularly stand out – and it’s worth keeping an eye on Global Voices’ Kenya Elections page. That said, we’ve been finding it difficult to track down much citizen video or audio at all from Kenya thusfar – if you come across any, or we’re missing something obvious, please let me know via the comments, or upload it to the Hub. I’ve been wondering why it’s taking time for video to emerge – is the footage out there, but just not online yet? Was it just too insecure and dangerous to film during the first few days? Here’s a by no means comprehensive scour for video, audio and photos out of Kenya in recent days…

Video / Audio / Photos:

The only source providing genuine street-level citizen reporting that I can find is AfricaNews’ Voices Of Africa, which equips local reporters with cellphones, and dubs them “camjos”. It’s a general news site, using traditional media reporters, and the range of post-election reports includes police turning back protesters, and an interview with a Somali refugee, as well as an interview with a tourist industry representative and signs of daily life returning to normal in Nairobi. The reports are of varying quality and interest, but they provide a much more street-level view, and point to the potential video-enabled cellphones might bring to human rights reporting.

It’s not quite clear to me whether this is related to an initiative by Media Focus on Africa, a Dutch-Kenyan NGO, equipped several reporters around the country with high-end video-enabled mobile phones – the reports on this site appear to end on 21st December, before the election.

Over at YouTube, another Kenyan online effort, Kenya Votes, conducted vox pops with ordinary Kenyans in the run-up to the elections, including this young woman expressing her fears about tribalism:

As you might expect, there’s plenty of traditional media coverage on YouTube – Kenya’s own Nation TV, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, and CNN are all putting video reports and interviews online. Rocketboom’s Ruud Elmendorp has a short video report from the days before the election. Currently individual users, like YouTube newbie theweepingsoul, seem to be using news images culled from the web in homages to the photojournalists and other journalists getting images out and in pleas to end the violence.

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