My new calling: teaching blogging to Kenyan students

April 10, 2009 at 7:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I finally had a chance to unleash my wordpress sales pitch – really they should hire me. I visited St. Paul’s University outside of Nairobi to see a professor teaching a Master’s program on  AIDS, including gender, Dr. Nyokabi to community workers and pastors.   Love what she is doing.

On the way out the door, the communications professor asked me to talk to his class on public relations.   So there I was, 30 young Kenyans looking at me expectantly.   First thing I asked them was how do they use the internet, and how often?  Most of them said they use it every day, and every single one of them was on Facebook!  I have traveled the world and I can say for sure that young people will do whatever it takes to get to the internet, it doesn’t matter their income or status– they will find a way online.   Well, I told them about youth-led organizing using online tools like TakingITglobal and the Global Youth Coalition on AIDS, trying to spread the word that youth can do anything, and the internet can help, you just need to work hard on your vision.  Interesting thing was that their professor is not an online guy – I told them they have to keep him up to date, and, that my mom just joined Facebook so things are changing.

They were a quiet bunch but by the end of the class I told them about WordPress and said — what if I told you that you could set up a website in one hour, would you be interested? Finally, all of them raising their hands, nodding.   Then I walked them through the site – wishing I had some powerpoint or some visuals, but you can do a lot with a chalkboard.   I told them if you can do Hotmail, you can do WordPress.

Anyway, will be interesting to see if any of them create blogs, will need to check back.   Their professor,  Dr. Charles Ngng, is teaching video production with no equipement, just his personal camera.  He is looking for universities or TV/radio stations  in the US that could donate their old equipment, as long as its digital, he will make it work. There must be some organization that works on this kind of thing… will do some sleuthing later on, or drop me a line if you know who does this.

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2 Comments »

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  1. That’s awesome, Emily. Did you also tell them about Global Voices (http://globalvoicesonline.org/)? Not sure what these students would be blogging about, but it could be a good way for them to reach a broad, global audience.

  2. Glad to be useful in making a point. Go Emily!


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