With the world changing at a rapid pace, so many industries rising, technology leading to more efficient and effective ways of doing things and globalization interconnecting people, communication is also growing. Increasing accessibility to information through different forms of communication is one of the critical things that continues to contribute to the growth of developing countries in Africa, Kenya included.
Communication is done through so many ways, including the internet, FM stations, television and even newspapers and magazines. Kenya currently has more than 90 FM radio stations, more than 15 television stations, and an unconfirmed number of print newspapers and magazines. Publications mainly use English as their primary language of communication, with some media houses employing Swahili. Vernacular or community-based languages are also commonly used in broadcast media; mostly radio.
Somewhere in Kibera however three young people want to revolutionize how information will be relayed to the locals. Allan Allan Niongira (founder), Minzilet and Annetta(co-founders) are opening a broadcast resource center making podcasts and other audio-visual educational resources aimed at offering alternative learning experiences. Known as PortableVoices (http://portablevoices.org/), the center will use these resources to broadcast and share information with the local people.
The resource center will be one of its kind in Kibera and even Nairobi. Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa and according to the founders the resource center will offer the best platform for the locals to contribute as well as get the necessary information they need.
With a mission to increase human intelligence through training in information technology the centre is also creating easy access to learning contents and helping young people upscale their knowledge in business, technology, design and current affairs. Its services are aimed at creating easy access to learning contents, and up-scaling people’s knowledge about business, technology, design and current affairs.
‘’The idea behind PortableVoices is to give young people an opportunity through training in information Technology and Audio Visual products while at the same time giving the community a chance to easily engage in self-empowerment project around’’ Allan Niongira, Portable Voices Projects Manager says.
So what does PortableVoices do?
The resource center apart from making podcast and other audio-visual resources, it has started recording discussions that that they host on soundcloud. The discussions are always centered on current affairs and other issues affecting local people. Here, the center gives participants a platform to express their views and share opinions as well as brainstorm on the solutions that could solve the prospectus issues.
PortableVoices is also developing a curriculum to start offering intensive short courses in communication skills, audio-visual production, information technology and podcasting.
‘’PortableVoices will be an open communication space and learning development resource center that will cater for all young people from different ages and backgrounds’’ Allan adds.
In its initial stages, PortableVoices is currently working on the rise startups in Kibera, a four-episode podcast that will highlight how startups in the area have grown and the social economic impact they are having on the people of Kibera. This is just among the projects the resource center plans to venture in.
‘’Our online platform will strive to spread the most interactive learning and content creation experience to people from all education backgrounds’’ Allan adds.
He adds that PortableVoices wants to grow to be the most accessible and reliable resource centre that will offer value based communication services and training resources giving young people in Kibera a chance to come share information with the rest of the world.
With communication growing everyday, the center should be something to watch out for.