Global Change, the education program of MS ActionAid Denmak has an ambitious goal teaching social and political change on a global level through education of young people in communication, new media and innovative organising. They are being helped by a team of 31 Global Voices Blogger Mentors that have each been paired with one Danish or African student in order to help them become more familiar with both the technical and human aspects of blogging.
Challenges of mentoring virtually
Since the initial chain of introductory emails between Mentor and Mentees around two weeks ago, numerous positive interactions have taken place and new friendships are forming. Some Mentors have been giving technical advice on Gmail, Twitter, RSS feed, Skype, Facebook, instant messaging, embedding videos, sharing links, Flickr and creative commons, and Mentors have also been commenting on the Mentees’ new blogs.
However, in a recent online IRC chat meeting between Mentors to review progress, some were concerned that many Mentees are still only treading carefully into the online world, and have such a tight program, learning new technology, while at the same time learning and planning a campaign for the Copenhagen climate change summit that they have not all been as excited about daily online communication via email and chat as the Mentors.
Resources for new bloggers
Mentors have decided to approach this positively by looking for more ways to inspire Mentees to find meaning in blogging and appreciate how sharing information and building online communities can contribute to transformation, epecially for a burning issue like Climate Change. With only 3-4 weeks left of the mentorship, Mentors have discussed starting blog memes, and providing topic suggestions for those new bloggers who are still unsure what to write about.
Mentors have been on the go, gathering resources for better mentoring for their Mentees on a wiki page. and in an email group mailing list. Noteworthy resources include: The Common Craft “in plain English” video series, including “Blogs in Plain English” and “Twitter in Plain English“; various articles on climate justice; a list of environmental journalists on Twitter; Sylwia Presley's newly started blog about how to blog; and Diego's suggestion of this inspiring guide.
Catching up with Mentee Blogs
Mentees have written many interesting and resourceful posts with their take on climate change and its challenges. Following are some of the highlights from the 31 mentees.
Annlou has questioned about superficial green revolution. Casper wrote about the obvious limitations of the individual approach – and the problems of the communal alternative. Josephine wrote a thought piece which was triggered by the idea of climate friendly food.
Mentee Arvid and Mentor Renata Avila jointly posted their experience and shared insights gathered while Renata visited Dominican Republic. Rie has blogged on what is happening with the climate issue on the NGO and grassroots level where she featured a number of non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace and Peoples Climate Action.
Signe reflected on the buzz about climate change and personal responsibility. Simonwr wrote about why changes must come from ordinary people rather than from government leaders.
Mentees also organized this happening in central Copenhagen as part of the Avaaz Global Wake-Up Call on Climate Change.