Radar launched its first training programme in Kenya on 14 February 2013.
Many people in the east African country still don’t have access to the internet and yet 75% of the population owns a mobile phone. Radar is harnessing the power of this simple and cheap technology to build, train and support a network of active citizen reporters across five key Kenyan cities and regions: Nairobi, including the Kibera slum, Kisumu, Kajiado and Mombasa.
As the eyes of the world focus on Kenya in advance of its general election on March 4, many fear a repeat of the post-election violence of 2007/2008. Owing to this heightened tension, the ability to gather and share information is especially crucial. And yet the voices of those living on the margins of Kenyan society – the people most likely to suffer electoral fraud and rights violations – are the least engaged in mainstream news production.
It is Radar’s mission to amplify these voices.
Starting with two two-day SMS reporting workshops in Nairobi, we will begin building a network of more than 100 citizen reporters from across Kenya, many of whom comprise the country’s most vulnerable social groups.
The network will include some of the inspirational members of partner organisations including young disabled people from Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Young Voices programme, and the Social Welfare and Development Programme based in the Masai area of Kenya’s Rift Valley. Other groups include people living with HIV and slum dwellers.
The training will cover how to report on irregularities or concernsduring the election process, source factual information and news, and share it safely using high quality reporting principles. And Radar will continue to work with and strengthen the capacity of the reporter network long after the 2013 election.
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