wiki:west_bank_outreach_and_training

Version 4 (modified by Mallory Knodel, 8 years ago) (diff)

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Funding Application for

Technology and Media Trainings in the West Bank

prepared by May First/People Link (mayfirst.org)
Liaison: Mallory Knodel, mallory@…

Micro-grant Funding Request: $5160

Description of Applying Group

May First/People Link is a membership organization based in the United States. It is one of the oldest progressive providers of Internet to non-profits in the world. Our membership consists of over 500 members, most of which are organizations, while others are individuals. By joining as a member and paying yearly dues, an organization receives free, unlimited website and email hosting. Our vision is to build a network that values an Open Internet by committing to the use of Free and Open Source Software and making principled decisions regarding policy and practices that affect online communication.

The technologists that support May First/People Link offer trainings to member organizations in building technology solutions that fulfill some basic principles:

  • Organizations and individuals have the right to access and control of their data.
  • Technology and practices that support an Open Internet are a benefit to all, especially popular movements.
  • That the administration of Internet technology is hegemonic by race, class, and geography is a significant weakness of its potential to catalyze social change.
  • Global networks must be built for collaboration towards the solutions for humanity's crises.

We believe that the technology choices of organizations impacts their ability to fulfill their missions. Likewise, we believe that the socio-economic background of the technologists behind the Internet has an impact on the success of the Internet, too. Therefore, it is a manifestation of our mission and principles that we widen the network of technologists into the Global South and communities of color through trainings in high-level administration of Internet technology, such as websites.

Project Vision

Beyond training organizations in blogging, this project seeks to create administrator-level technologists for ongoing, in-house maintenance and further development of content management systems. This perspective will empower organizations to adapt their websites to meet their political missions, unlike an outsourced content management system, which may fail due to rigidity and stagnation of the design or functionality.

For three months, four organizations in Palestine will meet to receive training in the development of a Drupal website for blogging. Technologists from Stop the Wall (STW), Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA), Union of Palestinian Women's Committees (UPWC), the Alternative Information Center (AIC), and the Teacher Creativity Center (TCC) will participate in the trainings. The trainings will be conducted by a technologist from May First/People Link in the in-depth, administrative use of modern content management systems as well as independent media production. The project will bring together these five organizations for 40 hours per week for 4 weeks for the training in how to install, configure, design, and write content for their website. Rather than encouraging outsourcing of technology work, we believe that supporting in-house experts will increase the production and quality of website content for these five organizations.

To culminate and highlight the success of the project, we will announce and organize a day for blogging in solidarity with Palestine. We will aggregate each post to create a large, visible solidarity movement using citizen media. Additionally, It is our vision that this will be the first in a series of technology trainings to increase the network of progressive technologists in the Global South and communities of color. We will further build our 550-member network through trainings with international groups.

Background

May First/People Link helped organize the technology for the World Education Forum in 2010. This project allowed for the creation of alliances with five key organizations based in the West Bank of Palestine. The shared goals of Stop the Wall, Middle East Children's Alliance, Union of Palestinian Women Committees, and the Alternative Information Center are to create blogging websites that reach a global audience and join as members of May First/People Link.

Stop the Wall The Palestinian, grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, or "Stop the Wall", is a coalition of Palestinian non governmental organizations and popular committees that mobilize and coordinate efforts on local, national and international levels. These efforts are focused upon stopping and dismantling the Apartheid Wall, and resisting Israeli occupation and colonization. (stopthewall.org, contact: Jamal Juma)

MECA Founded in 1988, the Middle East Children's Alliance is a registered nonprofit organization based in Bethlehem and Berkeley, California that is working for the rights and the well-being of children in the Middle East. MECA sends shipments of aid to Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon, and supports projects that make life better for the children of Palestine. (mecaforpeace.org, contact: Josie Shields-Stromsness)

Union of Palestinian Women Committees (UPWC) The Union of Palestinian Women Committees Society was founded in the year 1980 under the name (Union of Palestinian Women Committees) to empower Palestinian women on all levels and to contribute in the Palestinian national struggle against the illegal, Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories. The Union is a progressive, women's, mass-based organization and an indivisible part of the Palestinian women's movement in particular and the national movement in general. (upwc.org.ps, contact: Arabiya Mansour)

Alternative Information Center (AIC) The Alternative Information Center (AIC) was established in 1984 by Palestinian and Israeli grassroots activists as a bi-national organization to promote the human and national rights of the Palestinian people and a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis based on progressive principles and respect for international law. (alternativenews.org, contact: Connie Hackbarth)

Teacher Creativity Center (TCC)

Project Plan

Organizing partnerships: The project began by organizing with multiple Palestinian organizations in the Fall of 2010.

Training and developing partnerships: The next phase of the project is to expand upon a training curriculum for the installation, configuration, and administration of Drupal blogging websites. The main phase of the project is to send one trainer from May First/People Link to the West Bank to conduct a comprehensive, five-week training program. The relationship building between these organizations and May First/People Link will solidify during the training phase. Blogging and multi-media content production will be an integral part of the training available to all members of the participating organizations. At the conclusion of the training program, each organization will have a fully-functional Drupal website, MF/PL membership for one year, and a deep knowledge of how to modify and maintain their website infrastructure on an expert level.

Event campaign and solidarity: We will announce and campaign around one day, to be determined, on which our current members and any organization or individual will register their site to participate in a day of blogging on the topic of Palestinian solidarity. We will highlight our new members and draw attention to the power of citizen media online to raise awareness.

Fostering ongoing partnerships: MF/PL plans to continue relationships with the technologists and their organizations by providing technical support as well as amplifying the voices of media that is produced through the sites by publishing a monthly newsletter that will highlight their articles. The development of this media and technology curriculum will be used again for future projects of exactly this kind.

Timeline

Since September of 2010, MF/PL has worked with these five organizations to establish a political bond based in solidarity. The work of finding partnerships in Palestine has already been established.

The total time given to each organization will be approximately one month, with overlapping trainings, for an estimated total of 40 hours per week. The project will last twelve weeks, although some of the hours have already been committed. Our trainer is present in the West Bank and hopes to finish the full project by the end of October.

At the end of the project's training period in Palestine, an ongoing relationship will continue between Rising Voices, MF/PL, STW, UPWC, MECA, TCC, and AIC through the creation of a monthly newsletter which highlights blogs produced on the new websites, the first issue of which can be expected approximately one month from the end date: in November 2011.

Relationships between the technologists will continue in a collaborative, ongoing way for support in website development and media production.

Budget Summary

Expenses

Travel$1800.00
Trainer's airfare from Denver, Colorado to Amman, Jordan
Trainer's Stipend$5760.00
40 hours for 12 weeks at $12.00 per hour
Website hosting$800.00
$200/year for 5 organizations
TOTAL COSTS$8560

Other Funding Sources

STW Hosting$200
Pledged membership July 2011
Travel$1800.00
In-kind donation from Stop the Wall
Other$1400.00
$900 pledge from STW and $500 from MECA
TOTAL RAISED$3400.00
TOTAL NEEDED$5160.00

See a full proposal here