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Rising Voices Seeks Micro-Grant Proposals for Health-Related New Media Outreach

Application Deadline: June 1, 2008

Rising Voices, the outreach arm of Global Voices, in collaboration with the Open Society Institute Public Health Program’s Health Media Initiative, is now accepting project proposals for the third round of microgrant funding of up to $5,000 for new media outreach projects focused especially on public health issues involving marginalized populations.

Ideal applicants are dynamic NGOs or individuals who:

  • Represent the vital voices of communities affected by stigmatized health issues whose stories, viewpoints, and experiences are often marginalized, unheard, or misrepresented in mainstream media. These communities include people living with HIV and AIDS and/or tuberculosis, people with mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities, injecting drug users, sex workers, LGBTI individuals, people in need of palliative care services, and Roma facing discrimination in healthcare settings.
  • Are enthusiastic about using new, interactive modes of communication to build relationships and establish dialogue on the important advocacy issues of their community.
  • Envision and highly prioritize media and communication strategies to achieve the advocacy goals of their organization.

Pre-requisite for the competition:

  • Organizations must have their own website or participate in a network website.

Rising Voices and OSI aim to bring new voices from new communities and speaking new languages to the conversational web, by providing resources and funding to local groups reaching out to underrepresented communities. Examples of potential projects include:

  • Working with a tuberculosis or HIV clinic or local drop-in center with the offer of training health workers, local harm reduction or sex worker outreach workers, patients, and their families to blog and upload video, in order to document their work, their experiences, and their community.
  • Use blogs, podcasts, and online video to help give voice and representation to LGBTI communities and advocate for their rights.
  • Distribute mp3 recorders to a local NGO working on palliative care issues, and help them produce monthly audio testimonials and/or interviews featuring stories and experiences of participants, for uploading to the NGO's website.
  • Organizing a regular workshop on blogging and photography at a legal aid center representing the rights of people living with mental disabilities. Part of the budget could be used to purchase affordable digital video cameras and internet café costs, so that participants can describe their challenges and life experiences to a global audience.
  • Purchasing an affordable digital video camera and teaching a group of local Roma community outreach workers how to produce an ongoing video-blog documentary about their work, which could then be posted to the organization's website and linked to other networks’ websites.

Rising Voices outreach grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000. Special consideration will be given to proposals from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucusus. Please be as thoughtful, specific, and realistic as possible when drafting your budgets.

Successful projects will be prominently featured on Global Voices.

Completed applications will be accepted no later than Sunday, June 1st in either English or Russian. Please submit your application on the Rising Voices apply page. Russian-language proposals should be submitted here. All applicants will receive a confirmation email by June 3. Grantees will be announced on June 28 at the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit in Budapest, Hungary.

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The OSI Public Health Program’s Health Media Initiative aims to increase public awareness of health issues, especially stigmatized health issues involving marginalized populations. The initiative focuses on supporting health NGOs to develop their relationships with journalists across all media platforms so they may communicate health and human rights issues effectively with the public. Where the media environment is especially hostile, OSI also supports “community journalism” initiatives to encourage NGOs to use digital technology to communicate their stories and issues to each other and to the world at large. The initiative also seeks to build the capacity of media professionals to report responsibly on public health issues.

Rising Voices aims to help bring new voices from new communities and speaking new languages to the conversational web, by providing resources and funding to local groups reaching out to underrepresented communities.

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