Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Study trip to Kenya, authentic stories in the (social) media, roundtables and travelling exhibition

Study trip to Kenya
By the end of January winners of photo and article competitions in Lithuania - Akvilė Norkute and Vaida Blažytė - as well as journalist Lauryna Vireliūnaitė and project’s media specialist Giedrė Biržytė went on a study trip to Kenya. The aim of the trip was to collect authentic, first-hand stories of local Kenyan communities. Thus, the programme of the trip included a number of visits to distant villages and slums of the capital city Nairobi, meetings with Kenyan NGOs and local people. The delegation visited Ol Pejeta nature reserve, Huruma slum, met women of Samburu tribe, members of self-help groups in Nairobi.

Stories collected throughout the study trip are being publicized in the national media and presented in public discussions.

A meeting with Samburu Women, January 2016

Roundtables with journalists
Three roundtable discussions were organised to foster more in-depth discussions by journalists visiting developing countries with the public.

By the end of January a roundtable on albino situation in Tanzania was held. Vaida Blažytė, the winner of the article competition, shared her insights about the social marginalisation of the local albino community in East Africa and presented her experience while shooting a documentary on the topic. Issues of prejudice and health care were highlighted. Possibilities for Lithuanians to contribute while overcoming these difficulties were addressed as well.
A Roundtable with Journalists, 21 January 2016.

At the end of February the second roundtable took place where participants of the aforementioned  study trip to Kenya presented their experiences there.  The audience was introduced to the socio-political situation of the country as well as stories about HIV-support community and self-help initiatives in Nairobi slums.

A Roundtable with Journalists, 26 February 2016.

In March, the third roundtable was held where Lithuanian journalists and lecturer at Vilnius University Džina Donauskaitė and radio journalist Živilė Kropaitė shared their stories from their recent trip to Nepal organised by the Minority Rights Group. The journalists covered not only the diverse ethnic constitution of the country’s population, but also discussed the reasons behind the ineffectiveness of humanitarian aid provided by the international community after the earthquakes that hit Nepal in 2015.
A Roundtable with Journalists, 23 March 2016.
Additionally, in February another roundtable was organized in order to bring together participants  (professionals and amateurs) of photo and article competitions on development organized in 2015. Prospects for future cooperation and developmental journalism in general as well as the code of conduct for development journalism were discussed there.

Photo exhibition
The photo exhibition The World As You See It continues to be displayed in different venues: Šiauliai Stasio Šalkauskio gymnasium, Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University as well as in Education Development Centre. The exhibition will further be displayed in the Lithuanian Parliament and it will travel around the country reaching inhabitants of smaller Lithuanian towns.
Photo Exhibition at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius, March 2016.

Article section
In January a new section was introduced in the national daily Lietuvos žinios in order to reach a wider public and familiarize it with current development issues. Every Saturday the stories of Lithuanian journalists that visited developing countries as well as selected articles from the article competition organised in Lithuania last year are published there. Each article is accompanied by an introduction into a certain aspect of development cooperation disclosed in the publication. 12 articles have been published so far, including those selected by project partners.   
“People of the Ocean” by Berta Tilmantaitė in “Lietuvos Žinios”, February 2016.

Appearances on TV

On the National TV morning programme “Labas rytas, Lietuva” project writer Vaida Blažytė and media specialist Giedre Birzyte appeared respectively on 19 January and 21 March with stories from the Kenya trip.

Social media
Facebook continues to be a priority channel social media communication. The trips and round tables with journalist provide attractive content and the audience steadily increases.  Since March boosting of the stories published in the media enabled to reach wider audience from approx. 4000 to 16 000 users. For example:
Samburu - Vaida.png
Example of Facebook post boost

Currently, the Facebook account has almost 2000 followers. Since January 46 posts with hashtag #M4Dproject appeared on the site.

Since January Twitter was also used as a social media communication channel. The profile has already reached 49 followers and 20 tweets using hashtag #M4Dproject were posted. Twitter is not very popular in Lithuania, however, it is on the rise, especially among policy makers, experts and opinion leaders. So it is these particular groups that are targeted through this channel.

Social media campaign targeting the most common development myths is underway. It will be conducted with the help of videos of a well-known Lithuanian stand-up comedian and special photo series.

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