Workplan: In the 10 weeks leading up to the election, the Vozz team will focus on education and training, citizen first-hand reporting, interactive events for conversation-building, and collaboration with the local municipalities. Through training of trainers and partnership with community technology centers in 20 municipalities, Vozz will support groups of young people, ages 16-24, to report before, during and after the elections in their communities.  A three-day event training will take place from 16 through August 28, 2011 in Bakabs 5a. Avenida 10-53 Zona 1, Centro Histórico. Guatemala City, http://bakabs.com.

Technology: Working with youth across the country, it is important to provide a space to share and discuss information across geographic boundaries. Building from HablaGuate’s existing software, Vozz will include a central platform which will integrate with social media (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube), provide for multi-media postings – text, audio, photo and video – via phone and internet, and allow participants to share their reporting in multiple languages. Additionally, the platform will incorporate interactive and gaming aspects.

Team: Spearheaded by Ashoka Fellow Kara Andrade, HablaGuate has assembled a strong coalition of partners. HablaGuate will work with Digital Democracy to develop curriculum and conduct training of trainers. We will be working collaboratively with the municipality of Patzún, implementing a strategy to reduce the digital divide through their Digital Community Center. In December 2010 Patzún was awarded an Organization of American States MuNet grant to implement e-governments in 20 municipalities of Guatemala. The coordinator, Jorge López-Bachiller Fernández, has agreed to implement VOZZ in 20 municipal locations’ Digital Community Centers to train young reporters how to cover Guatemala’s election in September 2011. To ensure diverse participation of youth we will be working with The Rigoberta Menchu Tum Foundation and Renacimiento, both national nonprofits who work with youth, especially indigenous youth, in the areas of education, productive development and research, and supported by NGOs in the U.S. and Europe. Other contacts include youth organizations focused on political and civic engagement in the country. The list of organizations can be viewed here.  The deadline for submitting application is August 8, 2011. If you have any questions please contact me at kara@hablaguate.com or for more information, visit http://vozz.com.gt/.