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I got a great comment from Gareth on my last post Why aid and development workers should be reading blogs:

Do you know of any good blogs from local aid workers? I enjoy reading all these blogs from western-educated aid workers like myself, but we do tend to have a fairly similar way of looking at things, so it’d be great to read something from a different perspective. Any suggestions?

He’s right of course.  It would be nice to add some local perspectives to the lists of aid and development bloggers that float around.

Two well-known sites to find ‘local’ voices are Global Voices and Rising Voices. There is also Maneno which is (used to be?) a platform for bloggers in Africa, but it seems to be under maintenance while an open source platform is developed. I’m not sure how many of the bloggers on those platforms technically work at aid or development organizations, but regardless of that minor detail, you will get great local perspectives on aid and development issues there.

But the question stands – where can we find local aid and development worker blogs?

Suggestions please!

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One of the main programs I support is a youth arts, technology and media program called ‘YETAM‘.  The program supports youth to identify and raise issues that they consider important, and then helps them engage their communities to resolve the issues they’ve raised. The youth have talked a lot about water in most of the places where I’ve been working in the past couple years, probably because children and youth tend to be the ones responsible for carrying water.

As part of the project in Okola District in Cameroon last year, youth mapped their community and prioritized their issues. One of their top issues was water. They made this film together about the water problem and shared it with the community adults and local authorities.

Probleme d’eau Potable – The Potable Water Problem (for subtitles, click on the arrow on the bottom right hand side of the video player and then click on the red ‘cc’ button)

Spurred on by the project and the organized youth, a few months later the community got to work fixing one of their water sources. They put in some resources and so did our local office.

La quete d’eau potable – Lack of Potable Water part 2.

Here are a couple other videos about water filmed by youth….

The Community Water Tank from El Salvador about what happens when water sources are not kept up (click on link as it’s not available on YouTube yet)

Djiko: l’eau potable a song youth wrote to remind communities about water scarcity in Mali

Water – Amazi where youth interview a rural family about water scarcity in Rwanda

Related posts on Wait… What?

A catalyst for positive change

Youth empowerment through tech, arts and media

Meeting in the middle

An example of youth-led community change in Mali

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