Posts Tagged ‘MDGs’

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.


I’m a young lady from Alexandra township trained by Hillside Digital in the Siyakhona project to become a video journalist. We collect votes from the community before producing a documentary on a burning issue. We screen our documentary back to the community and encourage the audience to speak their mind.

As Hillside Digital we have a partnership with the local radio station; Alex fm. Our show is every Tuesday at seven pm. I chose a topic on millennium development goals. The United Nation chose 8 goals to focus on, to eradicate extreme poverty around the world. This is an important issue to talk about on air because it affects us all in different ways.Suzan Khosa

I arrived at Alex FM to prepare to be on air. Brian the presenter asked what the topic of the day was. I told him that I wanted to talk about the United Nations’ MDGs as there was a summit in New York about the world meeting the MDG deadline in 2012. We started the show but Brian stopped the show because he didn’t have any idea what the millennium goals were all about. I gave him a copy and he read to get some clue on what is all about.

I was very disappointed to see the local radio station who has more than 50 000,00 listeners, had never heard of the MDGs. They host a good show but they don’t know about vital policies the international community is following to get us out of poverty. I don’t blame the radio station or its DJs but I can’t help thinking that if radio talk show hosts don’t know about the MDGs then how many residents of my community or South Africa know about them?

I think it is very important that we as a community follow what the United Nations is doing because it affect us all. The world agreed to these goals to get poor townships like Alexandra out of poverty. It is time for us to start educating our people to be aware about the goals and have our voice heard as a contributing factor in the policy decisions. It is our lives that is affected by MDG policy and my people don’t even know they exist.

While in the process of doing this story we face a lot of challenges because, the topic has so many angle to choose from, and no matter how you try to eliminate same of them they find their way right back to your story. Which makes it hard for one to edit.

The reason we did this story is because we wanted to highlight that HIV does not necessarally kill a person, but it is the HIV cycle that leads to death meaning that in our townships people are still  discriminated against because of their status.

Our main character Noma Africa had an amazing  and sad story to tell, it was amazing in a way that after all she has been through with her family and community and having a young boy of seven who has HIV, she is still living strong. Even with examples like Noma Africa in the community, it is sad that  there are still youth with  little knowledge about the risks of  getting HIV infected.

Hopefully the message that  you will get across from this  film is that people rely on ARVs to live longer. Lots of money has been invested in health care and prevention, I think what people really need is educational skills about HIV because after all these years people are still ignorant. They still  judge by appearance whether one is HIV positive or not. Those living with HIV and AIDS still find it difficult to disclose.

I personally think that  education should start in grade one and the information should not be limited because they are at a young age. What we’re told at schools is that if you are  HIV positive you will die. We are not taught how to prevent contracting the disease and the  details that goes with it.