Two Years On

Time flies. I join Global Voices (and Lingua) project for two years already. I didn’t realize that until one morning after the conference. I couldn’t sleep that night, trying very hard but in vain. Early in the morning, before the sunrise, I left the bed, turned on my computer, and started to translate another GV article.

Only in this time, I feel intimate with someone else, and that someone is myself. Car sounds are far, birds are still asleep, and no wind strolls in the woods. From nowhere, I recall others asking me how long I have translated for GV. “Almost two years,” I answered then. And now, it’s already two years.

At the end of year is always a time for reflection. Some people sum up the year in preparation for a whole new one. Some just follow others. Creating so many more contents in Chinese, I ask, do they bring up any changes to others?

Global Voices, and I, believe media has power. It has power to increase public awareness, discover interconnectedness, and dig into stories unrealed before.

It has power, for sure, to bring out changes and mobilize the crowd.

For the past year and a half, David Sasaki, Outreach director of Global Voices, representing Rising Voices project, flies around the world and visit different citizen media projects. Among them, HiperBarrio, supported by Rising Voices, has trained a group of citizen reporters in Medellín, Colombia, to cover stories often overlooked or neglected by major media and their correspondents who rarely visit there.

I have to confess that before reading their reports, violence is the only impression I have towards Medellín. After HiperBarrio, I really broad my horizon. Their blogs and records, at least, have changed my understandings about that place.

The project has extensive coverage on a 78-year-old man Suso, who collects bottles and cans for a living. We must have seen someone like this in our neighborhood, but most of us don’t have that motivation to talk to them or understand their stories.

Well, HiperBarrio citizen reporters do, and they discover a great story. Suso’s family had great contributions to the community, including the land for local library, so they think to pay back in some ways. HiperBarrios starts a fundraising campaign to repair Suso’s makeshift shelter.

They also make a great video clip at here.

After months of voluntary works, it’s almost done. If you are willing to play a role in this, but not able to be there, please feel free to make a donation via PayPal to dsasaki@virtualvillagetovillage.com.

Donate to Global Voices - Help us spread the wordAlso, for the past couple of years, Global Voices has been working very hard to bring up voices around the world to join the global conversation. We have Rising Voices aforementioned to enhance digital literacy, Advocacy to promote online freedom of speech denounce censorship, Voices without Votes to amplify concerns from the world about US Election 2008, and Lingua to spread GV information to different parts of the world in different languages. At the time for reflections, we also invite you to make a donation, big or small, to “keep the world talking”.

Some people say there’s already too much information and news online generated by media and bloggers. After two years of participation, I know it is never enough to reveal stories that major media pay not enough attention to. And Global Voices will bring up more for sure.

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One response to “Two Years On

  1. Thanks for spreading the word Leonard – that’s very kind of you. Sometimes our work is like staring at the minute hand – it doesn’t seem to move until you realize you’re already late. We’ve come a long way … in no small part thanks to all the work you’ve done managing Lingua so effectively.

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