FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.
I've always been passionate about film and technology. In 2008 I returned to my father's farm to produce a documentary on the plight of rural farm workers. It was evident that corruption was rife and living conditions were appalling. The biggest observation I made during interviews was a sense of hopelessness, those I interviewed complained that no one would listen to them and their plight. A young man I interviewed told me he wished he could go back to school, graduate and become a social worker so he could help his community, I got the "aha!" moment.
Rather than producing a documentary in the hopes of highlighting their plight, it would be more effective to train young people like him in digital film making, human rights, community engagement, computer and Internet skills so that they are empowered with a voice for positive social change.
I realized that with today's technologies and its affordability it was possible to establish community citizen video journalism hubs in impoverished communities. Empowering the community with digital video cameras and knowledge would encourage the community to find solutions from within and leaders to take action.
Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date
Siyakhona Producers; young people not in full-time education or employment when trained by Hillside Digital have already made call to action films on issues including xenophobia, poverty, HIV/AIDS, crime and homophobia and screened them to thousands of people of all ages, inviting debate and solutions to the problems. Their work has been featured internationally on CNN Aljazeera English and several South African television shows.
Our Siyakhona community media hubs in Johannesburg and Cape Town are also sustainable businesses, offering a wide range of services to clients both within the community, nationally and internationally.
Mobile Cinema Screenings have attracted an average of 300+ per screening reaching 1000’s of residents. Siyakhona Alexandra hosts a half hour talk show every Monday on radio Alex FM discussing burning issues and local culture. Alex FM has over 100 000 listeners.
What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?
Hillside Digital aims to replicate Siyakhona at other Football for Hope Centers such as Lesotho, Kenya, Ghana and Mali. Our aim is also to partner with other NGOs in townships and rural communities throughout Africa. Our goal is to establish the largest network of grass root citizen journalists in Africa championing the rights of their community, their region and our continent, achieving dramatic positive social change together.
Siyakhona Alexandra's first call to action film has mobilized the entire community, the city of Johannesburg and more recently government to work together and improve living conditions and health.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Secure enough funding to cover organizational costs
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Establish new Siyakhona unit in Lesotho while increasing the capacity of Hillside Digital