Archive for the ‘HillsideDigital’ Category

“Morning everyone. My name is Danny and this is Herbert. Welcome to the Siyakhona training program. I am from the Hillside Digital Trust, a not for profit organization that trains young people like yourselves in human rights based participatory video journalism and community activism. Herbert is one of the first guys we trained in Alexandra Township in the first Siyakhona project. For the next 3 months we’re going to train you to become experts in and protectors of human rights, learn to think critically, research and engage experts, your neighbors and other stakeholders. We’re going to teach you how to film, edit and screen your call to action films to your community and to the world. And we’re going to have fun doing it. You will use these skills to fight HIV and AIDS and bring about dramatic social change in Lesotho.”

First day of training at the Kick4Life Football for Hope Center in Maseru, Lesotho

First day of training at the Kick4Life Football for Hope Center in Maseru, Lesotho

Following the success of implementing Siyakhona in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape and Alexandra Township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, Sony and FIFA have sponsored the Siyakhona Media Studio, with additional support from Streetfootballworld, for the Kick4Life Football for Hope Center in Maseru, situated behind the Palace of Justice on the old police training grounds.

Herbert and I kicked off the training by getting our new students to handle the camera for the first time. ‘Today was the most amazing day in my life. Unlike in most film schools and universities, the first thing we did was going straight into practically handling the camera and the mic. Everybody had a turn to introduce themselves with a mic while somebody was behind the camera filming them. Likewise, everybody had a turn behind the camera and film the introduction,’ writes Lepheana in his journal.

After an introduction to human rights and how it began the Siyakhona crew were sent out into the community to see how much people knew about their human rights. “I learned a lot about human rights only to find out there are 30 human rights, we did a little research, asked people what they knew about human rights. I believe as Siyakhona we’ll teach the community about what we have learned and we’re going to work hand in hand to bring changes,” writes Ben Mohajane. If you’d like to know more about your human rights, visit Youth for Human Rights

Watch our video on their first week of training and follow their progress on their very own blog site, Siyakhona Lesotho The site will be regularly updated with the Siyakhona crew’s journals and blogs and pretty soon they will begin uploading their call to action videos. We hope you’ll join us on their journey.

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What we do

Posted: October 30, 2011 by Danny Lurie in Alexandra, HillsideDigital, Khayelitsha, PressClipping, Sony, The Process, Video

Hillside Digital citizen journalists (CJs) collect a minimum of 100 votes from their community on a particular issue before producing an advocacy based video on a call to action: Sony Fevacastors made a great video explaining what we’re about.

HD CJs research and interview all concerned before formulating and producing a film that calls for a ‘plan of action’.

Platform

The screenings provide a platform for information sharing, debate and (a specialist on HIV/AIDS, employment, housing, government policy etc) dialogue empowering the community and leadership to unite to find solutions to their most pressing issues- speeding up social change.

HD videos are screened to all parts of the community on portable projectors; covering a number of issues notably, service delivery, human rights, health, education and employment, local news as well as positive stories on local arts and entertainment, success and impact.

A post viewing dialogue will give the audience a chance to have their voice heard.

The videos empower the community to unite and find solutions to their most pressing issues; i.e. speeding up social change.

HD CJs are responsible for implementing an agreed upon action by the community and reporting back to their community.

Action

 

In each area where Hillside Digital operates, it coordinates with the area’s key role players; community leaders, NGOs, development forums and local authorities (when ethical) inspired by the community to ‘do it for themselves’ through the video advocacy screenings. Siyakhona inspires city to put rats in its crosshairs [tweetmeme source=”hillsidedigital” only_single=false]

DATE: 29 AUGUST 2011

VENUE: MC WEILER PRIMARY SCHOOL

We as Siyakhona went to the MC Weiler Primary school to screen the rats’ call to action film for 250 learners. We were truly amazed by the way the kids responded to our call for them to join the Siyakhona Initiative to get rid of the rats and pollution in Alexandra.

It was not only to show the film but to hear their views about the project and the film. Mandla from Eco-Solutions was there to tell the kids about the owls and how they will help Alexandra to reduce rat populations. The kids responded by saying:

“We want the owls because it’s good for the environment and they could help.” But there were two sides, others said “Owls are used to practice witchcraft”. Others said they were scared of rats but they would love to be part of the project of introducing owls to their school and a competition to turn waste into wealth by recycling as the environmental class.

They came with the solutions that they are using now, “as learners of MC Weiler we will go around our township and collect waste and recycle.

And they have their three R’s (re-use, reduce and recycle). So we urge the schools that are part of the competition to start looking at the environment differently and tell their peers to.

BY

Shirley Langley

Siyakhona held their mobile public cinema screening on 25 August 2011, the screening was held in the Setshwetla area near Marlboro Gardens. We demonstrated a good strategy of working together with local stakeholders such as Alex FM and Amakhone Esintu. The Alexandra community station reported on the event and dj Umbrella joined us to listen to what the community had to say. Amakhone Esintu, a local theatre production company performed African traditional ways of story telling to empower our community with issues related to battle against rats.

Mobile Community Cinema Screening

Lehlohonolo speaks to the community

Eco solutions provoked a possible solution by playing a digital story about owls and their role in managing the rats and also verbal teaching of the importance of balancing the eco system. Introducing owls to the rats problem is part of a solution which then sparked debate amongst the citizen of Setshwetla.

After the rats film the audience shared their views and opinions:

They highlighted the issue of cleanness as one of the problems, they then suggested to be given extra plastic bags to put in their rubbish.

People also have a problem of congestion as one of the problems that prevent proper cleanliness, and they suggest that the cleaning company must intensify cleaning effectively in congested areas .

They also highlighted the issue of housing as the main solution to the rats problem.

More than half the population believe in different myths that are attributed to owls . However one lady suggested that it would be better to live with owls than rats. The over-all response of people on this eco-solution showed a greater need for more workshops about owls.

The Setshwetla screening was one of the best screenings that we ever had around Alex. The turn out was +-350 people and more than 50 kids were there. Organizations from Alexandra township like Life Line also supported our consultation, helping us to facilitate the dialogue session after the film and encouraged us with support for the great work we are doing.

They are big with different kinds of colors. They don’t care about life as long as they get something to eat. You will find them everywhere, but they stay in a township called Alexandra yes I am talking about Rats. Others may take rats and mice and make them their pets but for us people of Alex it’s terrifying to have rats as our pets.

We live, eat, sleep with them. These rats have invaded our beautiful township. mobile public screening in Setshwetla Alexandra

They are seen day & night yet we think it is normal, at first it was 1, 2, 10 but there are millions of rats in Alexandra township. These rats come with their own diseases, but still we sit and keep quiet. I am a citizen journalist of Alex who is very concerned because these rats won’t only give me their disease, but the whole of Alex will suffer.

So we took the rats’ film to Setjwetla one of the informal settlements in our township, trying to hear their views and what can we do about this problem.

The people were very shocked when they heard about the diseases that the rats carry. We consulted with them. This is what they said, “as long we don’t clean after ourselves nothing will be done to get rid of these rats”, the other one said “we as Alexandra citizens, we need to help the municipality and work with them to keep our township clean”.

We do not plead to the government only but to the people as well please let’s keep our yards clean, let’s live in a clean environment, the government is trying to help Alexandra by bringing owls to the township so people I leave you with this question. What do you think about owls in the township of Alex?

 

 

 

 

Before I blog about this month’s documentary Screening, I’d like to show Hillside Digital’s gratitude to Ms Kgomotso for blessing us with a sophisticated venue. We also want to thank our guests such as Linda Twala , AZAPO, SA HIP HOP , for taking time off their schedules to witness and admire our passion as the Hillside Digital family. I’d like to emphasize my thanks to the Siyakhona crew for bringing the whole event to life. Now that I’ve given thanks, let me get to what this blog is about, The Siyakhona Documentary Screening .

I feel I should elaborate to those who do not have the full scoop on what Siyakhona Hillside Digital is about. The Hillside Digital is a Non-Profitable Organization based in Alexandra Township, with a goal to plant a seed of change within the unattended community. It deals with the obstacles that bash the township against the wall. Hillside Digital goes out to the community and captures the matters, organizes screening events across the township and showcases them to the people it affects, community members . It also helps the worried citizens to come up with solutions as to how they can approach and defeat these problems. And so far, Hillside Digital has done an exceptionally good job to reach out a hand and try help bring these obstacles forth, through the power of video journalism.

So, on the 6th of June 2011 , Hillside Digital organizes a documentary screening, sets up in a well known venue in Alexandra Township (The Basement). The guests’ early arrival portrayed a sense of keenness toward the event and to witness what the Hillside Digital family had to showcase. The success of the event was unexpectedly great; since we had guests’ like Linda Twala who has had Alexandra Township in his hands for many years; he was instrumental in saving our Township and survived the police bombing his home back in the day. The documentary screening commences and goes on as planned. Our first documentary showcases one of the matters that the township faces on a daily bases-rape. It focuses on the young Alexandra citizens that have been victims and have suffered the ill consequences of living with HIV.

Our second documentary is based on Housing and the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP). We show footage that Hillside Digital has gone out to research, and get feedback on how the people of the township have housing issue. It’s been disclosed that the unhappy citizens have bad experiences with the Housing Projects; they report that their houses are sold to unknown individuals that have paid enormous amounts of money. We then went out to hear what the ARP had to say about the matter, though the citizens are told by an ARP representative that it has nothing to do with the Housing Department selling their homes. Then the screening proceeds to another problem in Alexandra, updating our progress to end the rats crisis and the audience relates very well as they live under the disturbing conditions.  We then show a documentary called “Music Frees My Soul”; it is based on the passion and talent for music in Alexandra Township. We capture the young voices that live and love music; we meet music legends of Alex such as Jika Twala who is a musician and Moses Sibeko who is a producer. They move our concentration from the troubling topics to something the township is capable of-music. The young talent in Alexandra is marvelous though still undiscovered as yet, so Hillside Digital takes initiative to expose it at the screening event. After the Documentary Screening, we allow the citizens to have a voice and come up with solutions as to how we can better the community. They spoke about solutions as to how we could build a sanitarily clean and crime-free township, and luckily the audience really felt the need to stand as one and fight these battles together as a community. And we as Hillside Digital were content to realize that we have given a voice to Alexandra Township and the township has a voice found through  Siyakhona and Hillside Digital.

Siyakhona Alexandra and Siyakhona Khayelitsha are saddened to hear that Matthew Lang is leaving his post as CEO of Sony South Africa. We wish you all the best for your future Matthew and hope that we will remain in your thoughts as you surely will remain in ours. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and encouragement during our training and filming the football for hope tournament.

Thank you for playing a part in changing our lives, giving us skills and amazing Sony equipment. With Siyakhona and your help we have inspired our communities to join us in improving all our lives and our surroundings.