Archive for the ‘Alexandra’ Category

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]

Advertisements

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.

 

 

Hillside Digital Trust’s mantra is “We are one people, we have one destiny, we can make the world the way we’d like it to be.”

Our task is simple, to bring about real change and make a real difference. Our Siyakhona (We can do it) Video Journalists use their skills in film, new and social media as community organizers, they are empowered to engage with their community, identify the root causes of their social ills, organize the community to find the answers and implement action plans to solve the issue together with all role players, stakeholders and partners.

We started in October 2009 and our concept is proving itself as a game changer in community development. There’s been a paradigm shift at the offices of Region E since we presented our call to action video on the rats crisis in Alexandra Township.

To remind you Siyakhona’s advocacy call to action film on the rats crisis so impressed all the regional directors of Gauteng, that they pooled all their resources together, from as far as Orange farm and Soweto. Our film inspired the departments of health, environmental affairs, service delivery, roads, water, the Police, emergency services and others to join our campaign. Over three days they joined us and nine hundred local volunteers in a major clean up and education campaign. The Regional director has since overhauled their entire approach on service delivery. Before the campaign their departments worked in silos, each not knowing what the other was working on. Siyakhona has inspired the city to bring all departments together in an integrated service delivery plan for Alexandra and surrounding areas to combat service delivery issues in a manner that is sustainable and visible to the community.

Herbert and Lucky joined me at the Region E offices to identify the hotspots Siyakhona will focus on for the clean up campaign and rodent crisis; Pan Africa precinct, River Park Precinct, Madala Hostel, Nobuhle Hostel and Helen Joseph Women’s Hostel, how to monitor the project’s impact and get the support of specifically the hostel dwellers as well as the rest of the community. The regional director established monthly Siyakhona task group meetings at her offices. The task group involves representatives from departments of environmental health, housing, PickitUP, Stakeholder management, Service delivery, urban management and ourselves in which we will work together on this and other service delivery issues and implement innovative solutions.

All departments have been briefed on the Siyakhona Initiative and have been directed to submit plans on how they can best add to the project and its impact on the community. Further to the clean up campaign we are also discussing other projects such as recycling, developing green based cooperatives, rehabilitating the Jukskei river, ending tribalism as well as delving into the problem of housing delivery.

Region E will pay the costs of our public screenings, literature and marketing materials and participate in conversations with the community at our screenings. I met with Ephraim; marketing specialist for Region E, he relayed how excited they all are to join the Siyakhona Initiative and add to our work. He believes that joining our grass root initiatives will be far more effective than trying to implement projects developed at management level.

We’ve also been given the go ahead to produce and distribute a Siyakhona Environmental Health DVD on rodent control.