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Home » Let’s spend the night in a rural village in Africa! Recruiting participants for “Global Media Camp in Benin”

Let’s spend the night in a rural village in Africa! Recruiting participants for “Global Media Camp in Benin”

Specified non-profit organization Development Media
Let’s spend the night in a rural village in Africa! Recruiting participants for “Global Media Camp in Benin”
The “real” Africa is in rural areas! Summer of becoming a journalist ……
This summer, Kaihatsu Media, a non-profit organization that operates Ganas, a non-profit media specializing in developing countries and international cooperation, will host a program called “Global Media Camp in” that will spend the night in rural areas of Africa reporting, writing articles, and disseminating them. Benin” will be held. To date, Global Media Camp has been held 38 times (12 locations in 9 countries) in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, making the most of the network that ganas has cultivated. This is practical and unique content that combines “information dissemination” and “human resource development (skills and knowledge improvement)”.
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If you want to get to know a country as deeply as possible, you have to go to the countryside. As the world becomes more homogeneous, cities in all countries are becoming more and more similar.
Have you ever felt like this?
“Global Media Camp in Benin,” a program to cover developing countries, write articles, and disseminate information, will be held in Benin, West Africa this summer, and participants will spend the night in a rural village doing research.
The base is Tota village (Dobo city, Kuffo department), which is two hours from Benin’s largest city, Cotonou. The population is
approximately 4000 people.
Many of the villagers grow crops (corn, beans, cassava, tomatoes, okra, onions), sell food, drinks, and daily necessities (towels, toothbrushes, etc.) on their heads, make clothes, and do hair. I make a living by setting things up.
What do you sell, how do you sell it, and how much money do you make? (Do you even know your income in the first place?) In addition to reading reports, you want to learn more about people’s lives through on-site interviews.
In Tota Village, it is common to live without running water, electricity (some places have public electricity), or gas.
If there is a public well nearby, you can collect water there and bring it to your home. If it’s far away, you’ll have to walk many kilometers. Hard labor. For this reason, many households use turtles to collect rainwater for use in washing dishes.
To obtain electricity, you can also place small solar panels on the tin roof of your home (which often leaks). Even if there is no public electricity, you can charge your mobile phone with solar power. People who don’t have access to electricity pay someone who has electricity to charge their batteries.
By the way, the mobile phones in use in the village range from the latest smartphones to flip phones. It may be said that visible disparities in life are beginning to emerge. wave of capitalism. Everyday meals are prepared using charcoal instead of gas as the heat source. On the one hand, I’m envious of the slow lifestyle, but on the other hand, there is a huge amount of housework that must be done every day, in addition to cooking. Even though we have cell phones, we live without gas stoves, rice cookers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, etc. In Japan and other developed countries, it is said that household appliances have liberated women from household chores, but what does this mean?
Voodoo, which is said to have originated in Benin, is also deeply rooted among the villagers in Totah Village. You can also participate in the rituals held every Sunday. It’s incredibly valuable! Of course, interviews are also possible!
Even if you list the life style of rural villages in Africa in words like this, it doesn’t really make sense. However, even if you just go to the location, the information you can pick up visually is minimal. Here’s a suggestion.
Why not stay in Tota Village for about a week and not only experience village life, but also thoroughly interview the villagers? If you want to get to know the local area as deeply as possible during a short stay, interviews are effective.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t speak the local languages ​​Aja, Fon, or French. Each participant will be provided with an English-speaking Beninese interpreter (so that they can be interviewed individually). Urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa (south of the Sahara desert) are experiencing rapid economic development, as symbolized by the construction rush of skyscrapers and shopping malls, traffic jams caused by cars and motorcycles, and the widespread use of smartphones. However, according to the World Bank, approximately 58% of the population still lives in rural areas. There is a “real Africa” that is different from the cities where lifestyles and values ​​are becoming more uniform.
■Overview of “Global Media Camp in Benin”
◎Location: Tota Village, Dobo City, Kuffo District, Benin ◎Period: Friday, September 20, 2024 to Sunday, September 29, 2024 ◎Fee: General 249,800 yen, Student 229,800 yen *Travel fee (5 (as of the 23rd of the month, round trip prices start from 210,000 yen), visa fees (50 euros), yellow fever injection fees (about 10,000 yen), insurance fees (from 3,700 yen), sightseeing and village life experiences (optional) *Included: Course fee, accommodation fee, transportation fee between Cotonou and the village, transportation fee between accommodation and interview destination, interpreter fee, other interview expenses, meal fee (breakfast, lunch, etc.) (excludes drinks and desserts) *Special discount of 30,000 yen for Ganas Supporters Club partners and 20,000 yen for supporters *Early bird discount of 10,000 yen for applications by July 20th (Saturday) Yen discount *If you apply with friends, you will each receive a 5,000 yen cashback as a “friend discount” *As a bonus, you will receive the “Global Writer Course” (equivalent to 55,000 yen) or “77 Day Writer Training” scheduled to be held in the fall of 2024. (equivalent to 69,000 yen) can be taken for a special price of 20,000 yen ◎ Deadline: Tuesday, August 20, 2024 *If you apply by Saturday, July 20, you will receive an “early bird discount” of 10,000 yen. Yen discount ◎ Sponsored by: Specified non-profit corporation Kaihatsu Media (ganas management organization)
■Basic schedule (planned) and interview destination candidates for “Global Media Camp in Benin”
9/20 (Friday) Gather in Cotonou 9/21 (Sunday) Travel from Cotonou to Tota village, interview, article writing & feedback 9/22 (Monday) Article writing & feedback, village life experience 9/23 (Tue) ) Interview September 24th (Wednesday) Article writing and feedback, Village life experience September 25th (Thursday) Interview September 26th (Friday) Article writing and feedback, Village life experience September 27th (Saturday) Interview, article Writing & Feedback, Farewell Party 9/28 (Sun) Move from Tota Village to Cotonou, Article Writing & Feedback 9/29 (Sun) Reflection, Disbanding locally (scheduled around noon)
We are considering the following interview destinations and themes as candidates (please feel free to contact us if you have any requests). ↓↓↓ A female Voodoo chef (supreme leader), a thriving pork shop, a carpenter who can order anything, a seamstress with many apprentices, a woman who makes the traditional turbans worn on the head, Sodavi (a representative of Benin) , a distillery that produces alcoholic beverages made from palm oil, and women who make beignets (deep-fried peanuts) and peanut oil.
■Three reasons why you will benefit from participating in “Global Media Camp” 1) You can cover developing countries! “Global Media Camp” is a one-of-a-kind program that allows you to fully cover developing countries, write articles, and disseminate them. Unlike study tours, you don’t just receive lectures from the person in charge.
Participants are free to ask questions to their interview subjects. 2) You can improve your skills! ‥‥The ability to find topics (good and bad stories) and viewpoints (cut points), the ability to ask questions to extract information, the ability to dig into things, the ability to summarize the main points, the ability to write sentences that can be understood, etc. “Lifelong communication” We aim to improve our skills. As a result of our hard work, we will have a “signed article” based on on-site interviews. The article received over 10,000 likes.
3) You can see developing countries from a “multiple perspective”! Is it okay to assume that developing countries = poverty or happiness? There are many different ways of looking at things. At Global Media Camp, you will learn how to see things from multiple perspectives. There are many things in this world that we don’t know and that we have unconsciously assumed. We spend plenty of time talking with local people, including interviews, so please feel free to ask your questions directly. Let’s aim to break away from stereotypes! ■Five skills you can acquire at “Global Media Camp”
1) Ability to discover… “Storytelling and perspective” are essential for writing articles. In my daily interviews, I first struggle to find specific topics. Neta often refers to problems or strengths. Days of searching for material will improve your “ability to find” (power of discovery).
2) Ability to ask questions… It’s not just a matter of finding the topic and opening point. How to collect relevant information (input) is important. The quality and quantity of information you receive, as well as the content and level of the article, will vary greatly depending on how you ask the question. Every day at the reporting site, we ask many questions necessary for writing an article. Intensive training of questioning skills (ability to obtain
3) Ability to think deeply: By repeatedly collecting information through questions (input), brainstorming, writing articles (output), and receiving feedback from the instructor, students will have the experience of digging deeper into things. You may even be able to see things that you couldn’t see before. The key here is the idea of ​​connecting “things that seem to be related at first glance” (for example, “religion” + “SNS” = what do you think?). The moment you discover something unexpected or make a connection, it’s a great feeling!
4) Summarizing ability: You will also develop the ability to summarize the main points. A long story with an unclear meaning will not be listened to, especially when you go out into society. How can it be expressed concisely without diluting the content or abstracting it? This has something to do with how to write articles (especially headlines and leads). Summarizing ability is one of the skills that is currently attracting attention. I will practice this every day. 5) Writing skills: Rather than cool/beautiful writing, how you convey your message/get it read is more important, right? Learn that technique. Writing ability is the basis of communication skills. Of course, it is also useful for creating reports and entry sheets (ES). Particularly recently, the importance of communicating in writing has increased, as the number of people writing emails has increased dramatically over the phone.
■Voices from “Global Media Camp” participants (excerpt)
“What is more important than “skillful writing skills” is “interview skills” that allow you to gather deep and detailed information.When conducting an interview, it is better to ask questions about everything rather than assuming things are “probably like this.” This will lead to more interesting and accurate articles. I want to participate in a program in another country again.” (Yamamoto Zai, student)
“Being able to go to countries that are difficult to go to on your own, and being able to interview with an interpreter to learn more about that country is interesting. I learned the phrase, ‘Benin people know very well about Benin. Ask Benin people.’ I saw it” (Yuma Kobayashi, student)
“I had never communicated so closely with a foreigner before. In order to write a good article, it is essential to know as much as possible about the country, so I did my best to research the country.” (Takeshi Narita, student) )
“The floating villages in Benin, West Africa, were exciting as I was able to visit their homes and interview community leaders.No matter how many questions you ask during the interview, only about 10% of them will be used in the article. When I tried to convey my message, I realized that I had to ask detailed questions.” (Sakiko Ohno, student)
“I had the impression that African people were people who were struggling to make ends meet and asked for help.However, I realized that that was wrong.I met many people who started their own businesses and were chasing their dreams. It was fun to learn about Benin.” (Fumiko Tanaka, student)
“What I learned through interviews was the ability to connect the dots of what the other person was saying and communicate the story as a story.It was also an asset that I was able to meet other attractive participants.” (Kohei Fukuhara, student)
“I would recommend it to people who are interested in writing. You can cover places you can’t go and people you can’t meet when you travel. You can also get direct guidance from Ganas Editor-in-Chief.” (Misaki , working adult)
“I was surprised to see how deep-rooted the relationship between West Africa and France, the former colonial power, is, and how there are still things left over from the colonial era.” (Fumiya Kondo, student)
■This part of Benin (Tota Village) is interesting!
☑The Kingdom of Dahomey, before it was ruled by France, was a country that prospered through the slave trade. Black people themselves were hunting black people as slaves.
☑Many of the soldiers who fought to destroy the Kingdom of Dahomey were black. The hostility of the Yoruba people in particular led to the decline of the Kingdom of Dahomey and led to its colonization by France.
☑The documentary “Dahomey,” which depicts the return of art looted by France from Africa to Benin (formerly the Kingdom of Dahomey), won the Golden Bear, the highest award in the competition section of the Berlin International Film Festival.
☑Benin is a multi-ethnic country. There are 46 ethnic groups, including the Fon people, who account for about 25%, the Yoruba people, the Barba people, the Aja people, the Puru people, and the Somba people.
☑On the outskirts of Cotonou is Gambier, Africa’s largest floating village. It is nicknamed the “Venice of Africa”. It is said that they were created to escape from being sold as slaves.
☑The people who supported the Haitian (Caribbean country) revolution were descendants of Fon slaves. Toussaint Louverture, the “Father of Haiti’s founding”, was of Fon descent. By the way, Haiti was the first independent country in Latin America (1804), 156 years earlier than Benin’s independence (1960).
☑Benin is the country where Voodoo religion originated. The Fon people who were taken to Haiti as slaves escaped from plantations and established communities in the mountains. Voodooism was developed there. Voodoo (English) is called “vodun” in Benin, which means “spirit” in the language of the Fon people.
☑ Voodoo was suppressed by the Catholic Church during the colonial period as a “slave cult.” The United States, which occupied Haiti in the early 20th century, tried to downgrade the image of Voodoo by portraying zombies as creepy in Hollywood movies.
☑Vodun (Vodoo) has been Benin’s official religion since 1992, but Benin is also a multi-religious country. According to the Benin Embassy in Japan, 58% are Voodoo, 25% Christian, and 17% Muslim. There is also a sect of Christianity called Ceres, which originated in Benin.
☑The country where African songstress Angelique Kidjo was born. Creative music is fascinating. A singer who is also famous for supporting girls’ education in Africa. She also sang at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
☑ Benin is a young country that became independent in 1960 (by the way, its population is also young, with half of the population being children under the age of 15). The country’s name at the time was Dahomey, and it became Benin in 1975. It is also known as a country that abandoned socialism (Marxism-Leninism) in December 1989. ☑ Benin’s President Patrice Talon is a millionaire who is described as the “Cotton King.” I would like to add that Benin’s top export product is cotton! There is also a story that Benin’s cotton is transported to China, where “Benin’s traditional cloth (pagne)” is made, which is then imported to Benin. Incidentally, President Talon once worked for Marubeni.
☑Benin does not have its own currency. We use the Safer (CFA) franc, which is the common currency of West Africa. While the exchange rate system is fixed to the euro, which reduces exchange rate risk, some activists argue that French domination continues.
☑ Speaking of Beninese people who are famous in Japan, Mr. Zomahon is a former attendant and entertainer of Beat Takeshi and gained popularity on the TV program “This is Weird, Japanese.” Former Ambassador of Benin to Japan. He has built a Japanese language school in Benin.
■“Global Media Camp” is recommended for the following people (working adults and students)
◎People who want to delve deeper into developing countries/want to have deep conversations with people from developing countries!・I want to learn how to view diverse developing countries from multiple perspectives!・I want to work in a developing country in the future!・I want to uncover the connections between the past (history), present, and future through reporting!・I want to do fieldwork!・I want to make friends with young people from developing countries (friendship is the “foundation” for continuing to watch that country)!・I am interested in JICA Overseas Cooperation Volunteers!
◎People who are interested in media, public relations, and
communication.I have doubts about the media, so I want to try my hand at reporting and writing articles!・I want to share with many people about the developing countries that I have covered on my own!・I want to experience the movements of journalists!・I want to improve my “ability to find topics and angles,” “ability to ask questions,” “ability to dig deep,” “ability to summarize main points,” and “ability to communicate effectively”!・I would like to try reporting in English (Japanese is also available in Colombia)!・I want to accumulate achievements that I can show off in ES, etc.
Since the spring of 2014, Global Media Camp has been held in 12 locations in 9 countries: the Philippines (Cebu, Negros), Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Colombia, Benin (Cotonou, Totah Village), India (Pune, Kolkata), Thailand, and Rwanda. We have a track record of opening a total of 38 times. There were a total of 196 participants. Their ages range from 18 to 59.
For university students, the universities with the most participants are Keio University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Sophia University, Waseda University, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Meiji University, Rikkyo University, Aoyama Gakuin
University, University of Tokyo, University of Tsukuba, Hosei University, and Yokohama. National universities, Osaka University, Hokkaido University, Ritsumeikan University, Chuo University, Tsuda University, Tokyo Women’s University, ICU, Nihon University, Doshisha University, Nara Women’s University, Ibaraki Christian University, Nagoya University, etc.
Participating working adults include JICA staff, NGO staff, office workers, university professors, civil servants, doctors, nurses, company managers, experienced/candidates/applicants for Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, regional revitalization cooperation
volunteers, freelancers, etc. It has received.
Daiji Nagamitsu (editor-in-chief of GANAS) Editor-in-chief of GANAS, an NPO media specializing in developing countries and international cooperation/Representative director of development media, a specified NPO. After graduating from the Faculty of Law at Sophia University, he established the Thai and Philippine bureaus of NNA (currently Kyodo News Group), Asia’s largest Japanese-language media company. He assumed his current position after working as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer, and head of Devex Japan’s media department. Has over 10 years of experience living overseas (USA, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Venezuela) and has traveled to approximately 50 countries. He is also an alumnus of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers. Hammock collector.
■Local coordinator
Yoko Eke (Vice Representative of NGO “SaluTota”, resident of Tota Village, Benin) Graduated from the Faculty of Nursing at an Australian university. She has been a nurse in Japan for a total of 15 years. He works in Kikaijima, Tokunoshima, and the main island of Okinawa in Kagoshima Prefecture. After that, she worked as a JICA Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (occupation: nurse) in Tota Village, Kuffo District in southwestern Benin. After returning to Japan, she married a Beninese man she met at her post. They have two children. Moved to Tota Village in March 2023. She founded the NGO “SaluTota” and aims to work with village women to create a source of income to send their children to school.
■Sponsoring organization
Specified non-profit organization Development Media
・Website: ・Facebook page: ・Twitter: ・Podcast:・Email:・Location: 1666-4-412 Oyada, Iruma City, Saitama Prefecture
■Articles written by previous participants
A blind Beninese man who escaped from hikikomori succeeds with the trifecta of “massage,” “soap making,” and “goat farming.” A sandal shop’s apprenticeship system was amazing, giving Benin children who dropped out of school the skills to earn money. NGO Salutota starts raising edible rabbits in rural Benin with 11 women in need! Is there a limit to “supporting the poor”? Even Benin, which has a culture of mutual support, cannot help.
The only 100% juice shop in a village in Benin, the income has increased compared to before leaving the company. “There’s still a long way to go!”
Does the most popular traditional fortune-telling in Benin help people? ! Customers with concerns form a line
There was a grandmother in a village in Benin who raised her five grandchildren on 100 yen a day! Can you earn money for your
grandchildren’s school fees with rabbits?
A floating art shop in Gambier, Benin makes and sells baskets from eroding aquatic plants.
Even if you get shot, you won’t die! ? The legend of the man chosen to be the supreme leader of Voodoo is amazing.
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