Archive for the ‘VSA’ tag
The VSA is an official partner of Peace One Day. POD is building the biggest call for peace the world has ever seen. Each year, 21 September marks Peace Day; a day for wide-scale community action, and a day for UN agencies and aid organisations to safely carry out life-saving work.
This year on Peace Day, we have organised a music event in Grahamstown, South Africa, that combined education, fun, communication and practical skills, all on awareNet. Subsequently, we made a video about the run up to the event (watch on YouTube), which POD liked so much that they have featured it on their official website. Have a look at their Global Truce 2012 partners, the VSA is listed under NGO&INGOs and the short film can be watched under Youth&Education.
We see this project as a pilot and want to repeat it next year for Global Truce!
Anna and Ron Wertlen went to the SANGONet Conference this week (01-03/11/11), at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg to present the awareNet social network to an international audience of educators, politicians, funders and activists.
SANGONet brings together everyone interested in ICT for rural development (#ICT4RD). The conference was very well organised and it was made sure that the different parties exchanged important information about their programmes, products, funding methods, initiatives and reasons for failure or success.
The VSA demonstrated how awareNet works, and eKhaya ICT additionally introduced the concept of Reed House Systems’ Teleweaver. Especially, the awareNet demonstration attracted three large groups of listeners. We were approached with requests for installations of awareNet at schools (in local mesh networks) as well as the usage of awareNet as a service delivery platform for specific content from potential partners. We are looking forward to follow up on all those offers and ideas.
RU Community Engagement held a function for all their volunteers, in which they received awards for their special involvement in the various organisations in Grahamstown that work for or with the community. CE is committed to social and individual transformation, sustainable community development, student civic responsibility and scholarship of engagement. The VSA is one of the many host organisations within the CE network.
In the course of this year, about 8 students engaged themselves in the ICT4D work of the VSA by means of teaching computer and Internet literacy in conjunction with our community coordinators by means of awareNet. three of them received an award for their effort: Lesego Moshikaro, Philisiwe Mbogwana and Eva Zake.
The mutual benefit of this is evident: The volunteers generally enjoy the experience, gain personal growth and get an insight to life after University. They do make a difference and stand out from the rest. Thank you very much for your passion and commitment!
Lesego Moshikaro assisted us during the awareNet Theme Song Project. She was very proactive, helpful and patient with the learners. We hope that she will come back to the VSA next year.
Within the scope of a professionalisation drive at the VSA, we are examining our relationships with close partners and making these explicit. The organisations that have signed and will soon be signing such agreements are close partners, Village Scribe Association Belgium-South Africa, eKhaya ICT and exPressive imPressions. The reason for these agreements are manifold:
* Formal agreements explain the organisational structure more clearly to potential funders.
* Avoidance of misunderstandings and expectation management are much easier to accomplish when one has a basic understanding of use of shared resources, as well as issues of ownership, etc.
* When drafting an MoU, one gets to think a little more deeply about how the relationship should look in the future.
We are very fortunate to have the wise counsel of our trustee Craig Renaud on such matters.
These memoranda of understanding are available to all members, and they may also be amended. We welcome any interest on your behalf.
The VSA was encouraged by Riana Meiring (Director of Local Economic Development) to apply for funding from the Local and Regional Economic Development (LRED) Fund of the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT).
The DEDEAT is very interested in stimulating local economic development in partnership with municipalities, so the VSA went into partnership with the Makana Local Municipality (MLM) and signed a partnership agreement. This was followed by the grant proposal, in which the VSA is the main applicant and grant beneficiary and the MLM is the assisting partner.
We applied for funding for our ECSPIRT Project, which facilitates awareNet workshops and builds partnerships with various organisations for educational content. This is very exciting and we are holding our thumbs for a positive feedback.
We had a fantastic music event at Peace Day yesterday, here in Grahamstown-South Africa! We celebrated Peace and awareNet with great HipHop music that was composed especially for this event. It took us only 2 months to get five groups together and train them to perform their own song in the contest while they learned how to use computers and the Internet in a productive and creative manner.
In the beginning, we showed Jeremy Gilley’s short movie about Peace One Day to give everyone the background about our cooperation. Then, there was a motivational message from Sakhile Moleshe, a musician who also grew up in the Eastern Cape and is now an international celebrity. We had great guest artists: Inyaniso, the Boys in Motion, Keegan Too Chilled Prince and Roddy Zipp. The judges, Erika Wertlen from Left2Write, Jared Lang and the latter two guest artists who all took their duty very seriously. And last but not least the prizes for the best song (Mary Waters High School: professional music video), best rapper (Benjamin Mahlasela SS: head phones and an Inyaniso CD) and best singers (also MWHS: Inyaniso CDs), sponsored by SonicArtStudio, the Makana Municipality, well and us. We even had to quickly hand out an additional certificate for the best group who showed us true heart and peaceful awareness: Victoria Girls High School. Thank you all for putting so much energy, money and passion into the training, songs and judging! You were fantastic!
We loved all the songs so much that we decided that they will all be recorded. We will make an awareNet Peace Day album and turn this into a new tradition here in Grahamstown. Watch out for more next year on Peace Day, 21/09/12, the Day of Global Truce!
We have worked very hard the last weeks to train learners how to use computers and the Internet using awareNet while training them how to rhyme, sing and rap a HipHop song. All of this is now documented in a short film which will be screened on Peace Day at both, Noluthando Hall in Grahamstown and at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Today, we had a first rehearsal at a school assembly which gave us a first taste of what the Peace Day Celebration might look like. Amazing!
Ron Wertlen from eKhaya ICT has created a video about the idea and functionality of awareNet, the online social networking site for learners that was co-developed by eKhaya ICT and the VSA.
You can find the video on the eKhaya ICT website and on YouTube. Please, have a look at it! We would be interested to get your feed back: Did you like the video, did you understand what it is about, what would you welcome to be different?
The VSA thanks Ron Wertlen for making this short film. We hope you enjoy the film, too!
- The Makana Municipality has agreed to sponsor Noluthando Hall for the Peace Day Celebration = song competition. Thank you to the Special Programmes Unit!
- Erika Wertlen, Jared Lang, Keagan Prince and Roderick Zipp have agreed to be the judges for the song competition. Thank you very much for your involvement and interest!
- There will be special guests artists who are going to perform one or a few songs: Inyaniso, Keagan Prince and Roderick Zipp! We are very much looking forward to your performance!
- Corinne Cooper and the Village Scribe Association will provide the prizes for the winners: a professional recording of the best song combined with a music music video on YouTube, and for the best rapper and singer an Inyaniso CD and a pair of head phones.
- A short film about the awareNet Peace Day Project will be screened at the official Peace One Day Concert at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
- There will be articles about this event in the Grocott’s Mail issue on the 20/09/11 and after the show.
- Y4Y Radio Grahamstown designated two shows to our music event. Listen to us on both Thursdays, 15/09/11 and 22/09/11 at 5pm!
On 11/8/11 the Village Scribe Association was officially registered as a Non-Profit Organisation.