The “GV in Your Community” innovation grant is underway with some exciting news. As you may recall, the project calls for six in-person meet-ups and six virtual Hangouts as a way to build stronger ties with our readers, microgrant applicants, and others that might be interested in meeting our community.
Earlier this year, we announced the initiative on the GV Community list, and received an outpouring of interest from GVers eager to take part. Some offered to host a meet-up, develop the program/agenda, or help out any way that they could.
The first step was to decide where the six in-person meet-ups will take place. There were several factors that were given high priority in making this selection.
1.) Strong GV Presence – We decided that it would be best that each site should have a team of two primary coordinators responsible for the organizing and logistics of the meet-up, as a way to share responsibility. We also searched for GVers that may have attended at least one GV Summit in the past, since it would demonstrated that he or she is active in the community and can convey the benefits of getting to know one another in a physical setting. While there will be two primary coordinators at each site, other GVers in that location may also want to get involve in some capacity.
2.) Demonstrated Need – As mentioned in the original Innovation Grant proposal, we want to address the fact that we have received nearly 2700 microgrant applications over the past three years. Unfortunately, we have only been able to fund 16 during that period. So to also help determine where the first six meet-ups would be held, we took a look at the number of applicants from each region and country. However, it will not be a requirement for attendance that he/she applied for a RV microgrant, but they will be given high priority.
3.) Geographic and Linguistic Diversity – Balance among the regions and in various languages
So considering a combination of these factors, we are pleased to announce the six confirmed sites and their coordinating team:
Kampala, Uganda: Maureen Agena and Rosebell Kagumire
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Sopheap Chak and Ramana Sorn
Skopje, Macedonia: Elena Ignatova and Filip Stojanovski
Kirachi, Pakistan: Sana Saleem and Faisal Kapadia
Cairo, Egypt: Mohamed El Gohary and Tarek Amr
Maputo, Mozambique: Sara Moreira and @Verdade
These six meet-ups will take place between September and November. Watch for further details about exact dates. You may notice that Latin America is not listed on the first six sites. Part of that reason is because of Rising Voices’ earlier activities with the Conectándonos events in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Perú. Other cities/countries were considered a higher priority for this first round.
As also mentioned in the original proposal, we are approaching this as a pilot project to see what works and what does not work. That way, we can help develop a curriculum/program that may be used by other GVers who want to organize something locally and have the experience from the six teams listed above. Already there are GVers who have expressed an interest in the next round, such as Mac-Jordan from Accra.
The virtual meet-ups are still in development. As many of us have noted, the use of Google Hangout is not an exact science. So we are still experimenting and finding the best way to organize. We are happy to note that Jeremy Clarke has graciously agreed to run one of these virtual Hangouts about the use of WordPress.
Additional assistance with the virtual component of this project is especially needed.