Friday, January 18, 2008

Community video empowers rural India

Based in New York and Ahmedabad, India, Video Volunteers and their partners have developed a community media initiative in India that is using video to empower communities to take action around critical issues relevant to development.

This “Community Video Unit” initiative, in which the disenfranchised produce and distribute their own locally relevant video programmes, is undertaken in partnership with leading NGOs around the world.

In the last 16 months they have produced 45 video magazines reaching 130,000 people living in 200 slums and villages.

What is a Community Video Unit?

It is a local production company run by up to 10 community members trained in all aspects of video production and distribution, producing multiple videos on a continual monthly basis.

Each unit has two video cameras, one computer, one TV/VCR and one wide screen projector for outdoor screenings.

The videos are viewed in community settings, seen by up to 10,000 people per month.

People’s media

The strategy is to bring the programs to the same people, each month. By attempting to match the regularity of a news program as opposed to the randomness of documentaries, the aim is to create community ownership and participation.

Every month, the community distributor, usually a woman, travels to 25 villages to screen the video, lead a discussion, and instigate any follow up action.

In 2006, the first six Community Video Units were launched by six leading Indian NGOs. Video Volunteers is now working to create opportunities to leverage these voices into the mainstream media—by distributing their media on the Internet and on their recently launched online site Channel 19, dedicated entirely to community-produced content.

This month Video Volunteers is featured on the website of America's best-selling magazine PARADE, and is competing in America's Giving Challenge.

Source: http://southasia.oneworld.net/article/view/156940/1/

Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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